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Table 3: Green Procurement

How is your department planning to meet the objectives of the Policy on Green Procurement?

In 2007, the PSC developed a sustainable development policy and related guidelines that were communicated to its employees. It should be noted that the PSC is not considered a Category 1 Department and, as such, is not required to table a sustainable development strategy (SDS) in Parliament. In addition to providing recommendations to employees on ways to go "green" within their office environment, the policy identified corporate "greening" initiatives to take effect immediately upon release of the new policy. These initiatives include the recommended use of refillable/remanufactured cartridges for all printers and photocopiers, the return of used cartridges for recycling, the purchase and use of recycled paper products as well as the reduction of paper use through the setting of printer defaults to duplexing (double-sided).

Even though the PSC is not a Category 1 Department and does not set SDS targets, it nonetheless addressed Green Procurement through its internal investment planning processes. The PSC has in place a five-year Hardware Evergreen Plan which ensures that computer hardware is replaced on a continual basis, according to an established schedule. The Plan establishes an acceptable hardware standard and allows for central budget planning. The Plan also ensures that IT hardware stays current and functional. The PSC has been using an annual Request for Volume Discount (RVD) for IT equipment with Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC). The procurement of IT equipment is the PSC's main investment in procurement of goods. All PSC IT equipment no longer in use is disposed of through the "Computers for Schools" Program.

Has your department established green procurement targets?

In light of the PSC's buying patterns, the PSC did not see the need to establish its own specific green procurement targets, since it relies mainly on already established PWGSC Standing Offer and Supply Arrangements for the acquisition of the majority of its goods.

In progress

Describe the green procurement targets that have been set by your department and indicate the associated benefits anticipated.

As previously mentioned, the PSC has not established specific targets but is achieving Green Procurement commitments through a combination of initiatives, including government-wide commodity management initiatives and procurement services of PWGSC.

The PSC has implemented several initiatives to address environmental issues associated with the procurement of goods and services:

  • All of the PSC's solicitation documents include the following clause regarding Green Procurement and Services:
    • "5.13  Green Procurement and Services: The contractor should make every effort to ensure that all documents prepared or delivered are printed double-sided on Ecology certified recycled paper or on paper with equivalent post-consumer recycled content to the full extent to which it is procurable."
  • The PSC does not provide paper versions of its General Conditions, Supplementary Conditions and Terms of Payment of the resulting contract within the solicitation documents. These documents are available on-line:
  • Similarly to the solicitation documents, in the near future the PSC will no longer provide paper versions of its General Conditions for contractual agreements. This information will be available from suppliers on-line: This will reduce the document size from approximately 20 pages to approximately 8 pages.
  • All of the PSC's contractual documents are printed double-sided.
  • Whenever possible, the PSC posts its solicitation documents on-line (MERX), which provides the option to bidders to download the document on their computers.
  • The PSC purchased most of its goods using Standing Offers established by PWGSC which relate to Green Products/Services (e.g. re-manufactured and virgin toner; cartridges for various type of printers and facsimile machines; automatic data processing supplies; desktop and network printers including accessories, supplies and services; cabinets; lockers; bins and shelving).
  • In January 2009, the President has exchanged her current 2004 Chevrolet Impala (6 cylinder) vehicle for a 2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid (4 cylinder). The vehicle has been purchased using PWGSC's Standing Offer.

The PSC's headquarters is located at L'Esplanade Laurier, where the major tenants are Finance Canada (FIN) and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS). FIN/TBS have developed a number of greening of operations commitments, complete with specific targets. As co-tenant with FIN/TBS, the PSC has been working with them in trying to achieve these targets. Some of these commitments include decrease in greenhouse emissions; improvement of waste management programs; improvements in green procurement and increase in green stewardship.

The PSC continues to be an active participant in the Green Citizenship Network, a group of like-minded, environmentally conscious employees from the PSC, FIN/TBS and the Canada Public Service Agency who meet on a regular basis to discuss ways to promote environmental stewardship within the L'Esplanade Laurier complex.

Over the past several years, the PSC has undertaken a number of internal space reconfiguration projects with a view to making more efficient use of existing space by reconfiguring floor layouts to conform to the new Government of Canada space allocation and fit-up guidelines. Investments in furniture and furniture systems have been limited to improving areas in which space can be used more efficiently. Based on operational priorities approved by senior management, replacement green office furniture/furniture systems is acquired and installed based on these set priorities and the availability of funds.

Over the past four years, the PSC has invested in over 260 new Teknion workstations which can be re-used, reconfigured or relocated at any time and at minimal cost. These workstations are uniform in look and size, which reduces relocation costs and complies with Government of Canada standards. It should also be noted that the Teknion firm has a department devoted to sustainable development and, through the establishment of a "Greenworks Team," has made significant strides in the area of waste reduction, use of green materials as well as the recycling of materials and has made a proactive environmental focus a part of their culture. The procurement for the Teknion workstations was performed through PWGSC's office furniture Standing Offer.

It should also be noted that the PSC continues to work with PWGSC in its efforts to improve building efficiency, e.g. lighting projects and the reduction of high energy consumption.