Whistler, British Columbia Sustainable Purchasing Policy

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Whistler, Canada

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Type: Policy

Status: Adopted on 12/4/06

Source File: http://www.whistler.ca/content/view/160/208/


RMOW Adopts New Sustainable Purchasing Policy
On December 4th, 2006, Municipal Council adopted Purchasing Policy F-28, and authorized staff to implement the Administrative Procedure for Procurement in association with the RMOW Sustainable Purchasing Guide. The changes proposed reflect the RMOW's shift to more sustainable procurement practices and new procedures for the control and monitoring of purchases implemented as part of the new Agresso financial software.

This updated policy improves the manner by which the Sustainability Objectives contained within the Whistler2020 Plan influence day-to-day practice within Municipal operations. The specific definition and application of Natural Step Sustainability Principles forms the basis of the Sustainable Purchasing Guide (to review the Guide visit http://whistler2020.ca) and the commitments to sustainability included within the policy. The primary policy driver to this approach to sustainable purchasing was the Whistler2020 Materials & Solid Waste Descriptions of Success, including:

  • In 2020, Whistler's material flows are managed in a comprehensive, convenient and upstream way
  • Substances and chemicals that are harmful to human health are being eliminated, replaced or managed in a way that they no not disperse in nature.
  • Whistler is using durable materials that are less environmentally harmful, preferring recycled, natural and sustainable harvested materials and plentiful metals.

Sustainable purchasing is about including social, environmental, financial and performance pages from the RMOW sustainable purchsing guidefactors in a systematic way. It involves thinking about the reasons for using the product (the service) and assessing how these services could be best met. If a product is needed, sustainable purchasing involves considering how products are made, what they are made of, where they come from and how they will be used and disposed of.

The purpose of this Guide to make RMOW purchasers more skilled at making the strategic decisions required to move from products that are currently unsustainable, to products and services that are increasingly so.

This tool does not try to over-simplify the act of purchasing into simple static product lists. Rather, using the Natural Step Framework and Whistler2020 Sustainability Objectives, it presents the principles for sustainable purchasing success (much like presenting the rules to chess).

So rather than simply memorizing moves, this tool strives to make better ‘players' within the sometimes-complex environment of purchasing decisions. By providing a framework for applying the rules of the game in a structured approach, RMOW purchasers will increase their capacity to weigh the merits of purchasing choices with a much broader representation of the social, environmental and financial implications of their choices.