The Asian Development Bank defines sustainable public procurement as ‘a systematic approach to identifying and encouraging the procurement of goods, works, and services that are assessed to be less damaging to the environment during their production, use, and disposal than other goods or services that serve the same purpose while also considering economic, social, and institutional impacts’
Why is this important to Fiji (and the Pacific)?
The Pacific region is particularly well-suited for sustainable procurement, as many countries in the region are facing challenges such as climate change, natural disasters, and poverty. Sustainable procurement can help to address these challenges by promoting the use of renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and ethical labor practices.
In addition, it is an important tool for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 12. The goal of SG12 is to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
It is important to note that “Value for Money’ is a fundamental procurement principle for the Government of Fiji. Value for money is the effective, efficient, and economic use of resources, which requires an evaluation of relevant costs and benefits along with an assessment of risks, nonprice attributes, and/or total cost of ownership as appropriate.
Value for money is a broader concept than sustainable procurement as it can include factors such as quality, timeliness, and innovation. Therefore, one can say, that Sustainable Procurement has been practiced in some form in Fiji.
By implementing sustainable procurement, government agencies improve the value for money in their procurement and in addition can help to protect the environment, promote social and economic equity, and improve good governance.
Where to Start
While we develop our sustainable procurement guidelines, using available sustainable procurement tools can help Ministries in their sustainable procurement journey. Some sustainable procurement readings and tools are listed below.