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Waikato council works with businesses to enhance sustainable procurement

28 August 2014

Over 160 businesses from across New Zealand attended an event held by Waikato City Council to discuss ways of integrating sustainability concerns when tendering for public contracts. Experts offered advice and support to the assembled business leaders on meeting sustainability requirements. In 2011, the council adopted a policy whereby contracts worth more than NZ$50,000 must have a 10-15 percent sustainability weighting.

"[Waikato Regional Council] spends about $83 million annually, with over 1400 suppliers and contractors. This means that we have the scale and opportunity to make real, positive differences to our environment, our economy and our communities through purchasing. We have a duty to spend our ratepayers’ money responsibly. That means not just financially responsible spending, but also socially and environmentally responsible spending." said Council chief Vaughan Payne.

Dr Eva Collins, the concluding speaker at the event, praised the Council's initiative, saying: "Businesses are inextricably linked by the supply chain. When one influential organisation demands a greater level of sustainability, it raises the bar for everyone. Organisations discover they can conserve resources, save money, increase productivity and promote their values all at the same time."

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