Sustainable Purchasing Resources

Sustainable cutlery and plates

 Sustainable purchasing is all about thinking twice and making a choice when you purchase everyday items in your business.

Every business buys products and services.

Whether it be paper and toner for the printer, envelopes to send mail, pens, light bulbs, coffee and tea, cups, plates and cutlery, cleaning products, toilet paper, paint, carpet and wooden flooring, there is always an environmentally friendly optioin.

Sustainable products are those that :

  • contain recycled content 
  • are reused or recycled at end of life 
  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions 
  • save water and/or energy 
  • are non toxic
  • help protect biodiversity and habitat
  • are made or recycled locally
  • minimise unnecessary purchasing
  • provide long term value for money.


Interesting Facts and Figures

  • Producing paper from recovered fibres consumes 60% less energy and 55% less water than manufacturing paper from virgin pulp. (Know your Paper Guide, NSW EPA 2004)
  • Australia manufactures more than 1 million tonnes of glass per annum. Only about one third of this is recycled.
  • The energy saving from recycling one glass bottle will: operate a 100-watt light bulb for four hours, power a computer for 25 minutes, power a colour TV for 20 minutes, or power a washing machine for 10 minutes. 
  • The energy consumed by driving a car one kilometre is the equivalent of manufacturing 8.7 plastic bags. 
  • Overall, Australian's recycle only 20% of our packaging waste. 
  • The manufacture of one desktop computer & 17 inch cathode ray tube (CRT) requires approximately 240kg of fossil fuels, 22kg of chemicals, & 1500kg water.

 Source: Sustainable Choice, Local Government Purchasing for Sustainability