GECA’s Positive Procurement Pledge – FAQs

  • Q. What do you mean by sustainable procurement?

    Sustainable procurement is more than simply looking at environmental impact. It’s also about moving far beyond tokenistic gestures. The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) defines sustainable procurement as – procurement that has the most positive environmental, social and economic impacts possible over the entire life cycle of the product or service.

     

    According to ISO, the seven key areas to address within sustainable procurement are:

    • organisational governance;
    • human rights;
    • labour practices;
    • the environment;
    • fair operating practices;
    • consumer issues; and
    • community involvement and development.
  • Q. What value can my organisation receive through taking the pledge?

    By committing to long-term sustainable procurement, your organisation can build resilience and become future-proofed through increased efficiency and effectiveness. Our pledgers will receive added value from:

    • Gaining access to a step-by-step framework for best practice sustainable procurement;
    • Protecting your organisation’s reputation by efficiently managing sustainability risks in your supply chains;
    • Getting ahead of future client and regulatory requirements;
    • Obtaining a competitive advantage in your sector by seizing the opportunity to innovate; and
    • Demonstrating supply chain engagement to Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) or other indices.
  • Q. Will every organisation’s pledge journey look the same?

    At GECA, we understand that every organisation’s pledge journey will be unique. Some of our pledgers will have existing sustainable procurement policies, while others will be taking their first steps in this area. Our pledge has been designed to allow you to move to the next level at your own pace no matter where you’re starting from. We’ve created a three-year road map as a guide and touchstone for all pledgers – however, these percentages are negotiable subject to procurement capacity within your organisation. It’s about making significant progress across the pledge period and beyond, not perfection.

  • Q. My organisation has a sustainable procurement policy which governs all purchasing decisions - should we still sign the pledge?

    Yes! It will likely be a simple process to integrate the ISO20400 principles into your current policy. By signing the pledge you’ll be able to share the great work your organisation is doing with a global audience.

  • Q. What actions will my organisation be pledging to carry out?

    Your organisation is pledging to develop, document and implement a Positive Procurement Policy to govern all purchasing decisions by 31 December 2020 (if not already). As part of your pledge, we’re asking you to take the following actions.

  • Q. Does my organisation need to pay GECA to take the pledge?

    There is no fee for taking the Positive Procurement Pledge. If your organisation needs to purchase a copy of the ISO20400, this is done directly via the International Organisation for Standardisation.

  • Q. When will we need to report back to GECA and in what format?

    Each year we will send a confidential survey to all pledge participants. These surveys will allow us to track your progress over the three-year pledge period. In addition to this, pledgers will have opportunities to share their lessons learned and receive advice through GECA-hosted webinars, workshops and informal meetings.

  • Q. Are there tools and resources we can use to help us on our pledge journey?

    Along with the tools you will receive upon purchasing the ISO20400, GECA will be providing pledgers with a suite of sustainable procurement resources including:

    • video guides;
    • workshops;
    • webinars;
    • networking events;
    • an exclusive pledger’s LinkedIn group; and
    • a newsletter featuring curated articles and global procurement news.

    We can also organise consulting advice to help you on your procurement path.

  • Q. How will GECA be promoting our organisation's positive actions?

    At GECA, we’re committed to sharing your Positive Procurement Pledge actions with key stakeholders around the globe, including your employees and customers. Once you have taken the pledge, we will work with you over the next three years to build your organisations’ unique Procurement Pledge Case Study. There will also be many

    opportunities to share your achievements within the GECA newsletter, our social media channels, and through industry and mainstream media outlets. We strongly encourage using your own channels to tell your pledge stories. At the end of the pledge campaign, we will be hosting an awards ceremony for high achievers in a variety of categories.

  • Q. Are there sustainable procurement case studies that we can look at?

    Procurement was one of the critical elements for delivering the sustainability strategy of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. You can read their case study here.

  • Q. Will we get access to the Positive Procurement Pledge logos and social media tiles?

    Yes – once we have received your pledge, we will be sending you a starter-kit which will include access to relevant digital assets for your website and social channels.

  • Q. Can organisations outside of Australia take the pledge?

    Yes! GECA is proud to be the only Australian member of the Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN) – giving us international relevance and recognition. GEN members are spread across 57 countries and territories. So, no matter where your organisation is located – this is a unique opportunity to differentiate yourself from the competition and demonstrate leadership and innovation within your sector.

  • ISO20400 – International Standard for Sustainable Procurement

  • Q. What is the International organisation for Standardisation?

    The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from 163 national standards bodies. To date, ISO has published 21,718 International Standards and related documents, covering almost every industry, from technology, to food safety, to agriculture and healthcare.

  • Q. Where can we purchase a copy of the Standard?

    The standard is available for purchase here on the ISO website.

  • GECA certified products and services

  • Q. What services does GECA provide?

    As part of our commitment to solutions for sustainability outcomes, we work with all those who are truly committed to the challenges ahead. Our services include:

  • Q. Does my organisation need to be certified with GECA to participate?

    No, you don’t need to be certified with GECA or any other certifying bodies to start your pledge journey. There is also no obligation to procure any GECA services at any stage.

  • Ecolabels

  • Q. What are the key qualities to look for in an ecolabel?

    Key qualities to look for in an ecolabel are:

    • independence;
    • transparency and consistency in its standards; and
    • third party accreditation and verification processes (where the verification and
    • licencing agencies are also independent of one another).

    Robustness, credibility and impartiality are what build the reputations of good ecolabels so that suppliers and consumers can come to trust them. The Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN) has created a comprehensive Introduction to Ecolabelling information paper.

  • Q. Do ecolabels help drive sustainable production and consumption?

    Yes, they do. By gaining consumer confidence and trust, ecolabels help increase sales of products that perform better socially and environmentally. In this way, they can help drive demand and supply of more sustainable production and consumption by influencing or affirming positive actions by consumers, retailers, manufacturers and producers alike.

    Ultimately this can lead to changing social norms and expectations of certain products.

    A good example of this can be seen in paints. Paint fumes are caused by volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs have adverse impacts on human health and well-being as well as the environment, causing air pollution, asthma and headache, for example. Increasing public and business demand for less toxic, low VOC paints has resulted in changes in manufacturing and production. Now, low VOC paints, such as those certified by GECA, are widely available and commonly used in commercial and domestic building projects.

  • Privacy and confidentiality

  • Q. What type of information about my organisation will be shared publicly?

    GECA takes your organisation’s privacy very seriously and will never share your information without prior consent. Category and sector trends uncovered through the pledge surveys may be published, however, no information will be attributed to individual organisations.

    Our communications team will also liaise with your organisation before arranging any media stories.

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  • Q. What do you mean by sustainable procurement?

    Sustainable procurement is more than simply looking at environmental impact. It’s also about moving far beyond tokenistic gestures. The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) defines sustainable procurement as – procurement that has the most positive environmental, social and economic impacts possible over the entire life cycle of the product or service.

     

    According to ISO, the seven key areas to address within sustainable procurement are:

    • organisational governance;
    • human rights;
    • labour practices;
    • the environment;
    • fair operating practices;
    • consumer issues; and
    • community involvement and development.
  • Q. What value can my organisation receive through taking the pledge?

    By committing to long-term sustainable procurement, your organisation can build resilience and become future-proofed through increased efficiency and effectiveness. Our pledgers will receive added value from:

    • Gaining access to a step-by-step framework for best practice sustainable procurement;
    • Protecting your organisation’s reputation by efficiently managing sustainability risks in your supply chains;
    • Getting ahead of future client and regulatory requirements;
    • Obtaining a competitive advantage in your sector by seizing the opportunity to innovate; and
    • Demonstrating supply chain engagement to Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) or other indices.
  • Q. Will every organisation’s pledge journey look the same?

    At GECA, we understand that every organisation’s pledge journey will be unique. Some of our pledgers will have existing sustainable procurement policies, while others will be taking their first steps in this area. Our pledge has been designed to allow you to move to the next level at your own pace no matter where you’re starting from. We’ve created a three-year road map as a guide and touchstone for all pledgers – however, these percentages are negotiable subject to procurement capacity within your organisation. It’s about making significant progress across the pledge period and beyond, not perfection.

  • Q. My organisation has a sustainable procurement policy which governs all purchasing decisions - should we still sign the pledge?

    Yes! It will likely be a simple process to integrate the ISO20400 principles into your current policy. By signing the pledge you’ll be able to share the great work your organisation is

    doing with a global audience.

  • Q. What actions will my organisation be pledging to carry out?

    Your organisation is pledging to develop, document and implement a Positive Procurement

    Policy to govern all purchasing decisions by 31 December 2020 (if not already). As part of your

    pledge, we’re asking you to take the following actions.

  • Q. Does my organisation need to pay GECA to take the pledge?

    There is no fee for taking the Positive Procurement Pledge. If your organisation needs to purchase a copy of the ISO20400, this is done directly via the International Organisation for

    Standardisation.

  • Q. When will we need to report back to GECA and in what format?

    Each year we will send a confidential survey to all pledge participants. These surveys will allow us to track your progress over the three-year pledge period. In addition to this, pledgers will have opportunities to share their lessons learned and receive advice through GECA-hosted webinars, workshops and informal meetings.

  • Q. Are there tools and resources we can use to help us on our pledge journey?

    Along with the tools you will receive upon purchasing the ISO20400, GECA will be providing pledgers with a suite of sustainable procurement resources including:

    • video guides;
    • workshops;
    • webinars;
    • networking events;
    • an exclusive pledger’s LinkedIn group; and
    • a newsletter featuring curated articles and global procurement news.

    We can also organise consulting advice to help you on your procurement path.

  • Q. How will GECA be promoting our organisation's positive actions?

    At GECA, we’re committed to sharing your Positive Procurement Pledge actions with key stakeholders around the globe, including your employees and customers. Once you have taken the pledge, we will work with you over the next three years to build your organisations’ unique Procurement Pledge Case Study. There will also be many opportunities to share your achievements within the GECA newsletter, our social media channels, and through industry and mainstream media outlets. We strongly encourage using your own channels to tell your pledge stories. At the end of the pledge campaign, we will be hosting an awards ceremony for high achievers in a variety of categories.

  • Q. Are there sustainable procurement case studies that we can look at?

    Procurement was one of the critical elements for delivering the sustainability strategy of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. You can read

    their case study here.

  • Q. Will we get access to the Positive Procurement Pledge logos and social media tiles?

    Yes – once we have received your pledge, we will be sending you a starter-kit which will include access to relevant digital assets for your website and social channels.

  • Q. Can organisations outside of Australia take the pledge?

    Yes! GECA is proud to be the only Australian member of the Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN) – giving us international relevance and recognition. GEN members are spread across 57 countries and territories. So, no matter where your organisation is located – this is a unique opportunity to differentiate yourself from the competition and demonstrate leadership and innovation within your sector.

  • ISO20400 – International Standard for Sustainable Procurement

  • Q. What is the International organisation for Standardisation?

    The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from 163 national standards bodies. To date, ISO has

    published 21,718 International Standards and related documents, covering almost every industry, from technology, to food safety, to agriculture and healthcare.

  • Q. Where can we purchase a copy of the Standard?

    The standard is available for purchase here on the ISO website.

  • GECA certified products and services

  • Q. What services does GECA provide?

    As part of our commitment to solutions for sustainability outcomes, we work with all those who are truly committed to the challenges ahead. Our services include:

  • Q. Does my organisation need to be certified with GECA to participate?

    No, you don’t need to be certified with GECA or any other certifying bodies to start your pledge journey. There is also no obligation to procure any GECA services at any stage.

  • Ecolabels

  • Q. What are the key qualities to look for in an ecolabel?

    Key qualities to look for in an ecolabel are:

    • independence;
    • transparency and consistency in its standards; and
    • third party accreditation and verification processes (where the verification and licencing agencies are also independent of one another).

    Robustness, credibility and impartiality are what build the reputations of good ecolabels so that suppliers and consumers can come to trust them. The Global Ecolabelling Network

    (GEN) has created a comprehensive Introduction to Ecolabelling information paper.

  • Q. Do ecolabels help drive sustainable production and consumption?

    Yes, they do. By gaining consumer confidence and trust, ecolabels help increase sales of products that perform better socially and environmentally. In this way, they can help drive demand and supply of more sustainable production and consumption by influencing or affirming positive actions by consumers, retailers, manufacturers and producers alike.

    Ultimately this can lead to changing social norms and expectations of certain products.

    A good example of this can be seen in paints. Paint fumes are caused by volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs have adverse impacts on human health and well-being as well as the environment, causing air pollution, asthma and headache, for example. Increasing public

    and business demand for less toxic, low VOC paints has resulted in changes in

    manufacturing and production. Now, low VOC paints, such as those certified by GECA, are widely available and commonly used in commercial and domestic building projects

  • Privacy and confidentiality

  • Q. What type of information about my organisation will be shared publicly?

    GECA takes your organisation’s privacy very seriously and will never share your informationwithout prior consent. Category and sector trends uncovered through the pledge surveys may be published, however, no information will be attributed to individual organisations. Our communications team will also liaise with your organisation before arranging any media stories.