City of Cape Town looking at 'green spend' for bigger savings

Greening and resource efficiency was incorporated into the City’s Supply Chain Management Policy, which was adopted by Council on 31 July 2013.

The City of Cape Town will be undertaking a review of its big spend areas to assess where the greatest environmental impact can be achieved.

The review will form part of the City’s commitment to increasingly include green procurement criteria into its bid specifications and evaluation for key products and services in an effort to drive improved resource efficiency and environmental sustainability and to unlock the potential that the green economy holds. Green procurement refers to how money is spent in a way that promotes resource efficiency, environmental sustainability and the green economy.

“Given its significant purchasing power, the public sector has a key role to play in driving the market for environmentally sustainable products and, consequently, promoting more sustainable consumption and production for a better future,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, Environmental and Spatial Planning, Councillor Johan van der Merwe.

During the Local Governments for Sustainability World Congress (ICLEI) held in Seoul, Korea in April, a Global Lead Cities Network on Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) was established. The City will be taking an active international leadership role in this important field.

“Green procurement means amending our procurement system with the intent to optimise the City’s resource efficiency and to promote environmental sustainability while using our public market power to bring about environmental and social benefits locally. It focuses on achieving value for money across the entire value chain and promotes growth in the green economy in Cape Town.”

“It is therefore not only about what the City buys, but also includes aspects such as assessing demand for the product or service, considering the environmental impact of the manufacturing process, and ensuring responsible disposal when the life of the product is over,” said Councillor Van der Merwe.

As a result of the City’s green procurement efforts, a total saving of approximately R120 million is expected by 2018 through our current internal energy efficiency programme. Since 2013, energy efficiency projects have included upgrading City buildings and replacing traffic and street lights with low-energy light emitting diode (LED) lights.

“This review is also important in light of the load-shedding that is occurring in Cape Town and in the rest of the country as a result of Eskom’s critical supply constraints. The successful and speedy implementation of energy saving measures in City operations is therefore of utmost importance. Electricity supply is expected to remain critical and while it is clear that everyone must play their part to save electricity, government must lead by example,” said Councillor Van der Merwe.

Greening and resource efficiency was incorporated into the City’s Supply Chain Management Policy, which was adopted by Council on 31 July 2013.

The policy states that green procurement must be incorporated as far as reasonably possible for all specifications of goods, services and construction works, and that innovative mechanisms should be explored in the development of bid specifications to render the service or product more resource and energy efficient.