EPA’s environmental performance



Procurement (buying goods or services) at EPA presents many opportunities to purchase more responsibly. When it comes to purchasing, EPA prioritises products that have the lowest environmental impact over their life cycle. For example, when selecting office paper EPA looks at the amount of post-consumer recycled content, the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the paper manufacturing and transport, and the environmental performance of the paper mills that make the paper.

EPA has used a number of initiatives to purchase from suppliers that demonstrate sustainable business practices, particularly in the areas of paper, stationery, building materials, and design and consultant selection. Some of these initiatives include:

  • head office being fitted with recycled, locally manufactured and eco-accredited materials, including Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA)-certified furniture, 100% Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified wood and low-toxin materials (see the 200 Victoria Street case study)
  • purchasing 100% post-consumer recycled A4 and A3 white office paper
  • reducing paper use per full-time equivalent (FTE) staff from 10.41 A4-equivalent reams in 2005–06 to 7.12 in 2012–13
  • working with cleaning contractors to use environmental performance of cleaning products with improved environmental performance
  • insertion of environmental requirements into project briefs when selecting contractors and consultants
  • development of ecologically sustainable design guidelines for new buildings and retrofits
  • development of a sustainable procurement policy for all staff.

We learned many lessons when making procurement decisions for EPA’s new head office. To ensure these lessons were integrated into future decision making, we developed ecologically sustainable design (ESD) on the minimum requirements for new buildings, refurbishments and fitouts.

When selecting consultants and contractors, EPA staff must include environmental considerations in their project briefs. These can range from requiring consultants to provide information on their environmental credentials (such as having an environmental management system or EMS in place) to more stringent requirements to report on their greenhouse gas emissions, waste minimisation and recycling activities.

Future actions

We will embed our recently developed sustainable procurement policy. The objectives of this policy are to:

  • seek to ensure the goods and services we purchase have the least impact on the environment
  • eliminate unnecessary purchases to reduce cost and waste
  • promote the sustainable use of resources.


Page last updated on 22 Jan 2016