Commissioner says contracts are powerful mechanisms for improvement of resource efficiency and environmental sustainability

Media release

The 2012 strategic audit report Sustainability - designed to be signed, sealed and delivered was tabled today in the Victorian Parliament. The report prepared by Victoria’s Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability, Professor Kate Auty examines the implementation of environmental management systems by Victorian Government departments and agencies.

In the report Professor Auty examines how contracts and contracting processes can leverage environmental outcomes and calls on leaders in government to foster innovation that leads to resource efficiency and environmental sustainability.

The report also includes the annual examination of environmental performance data in relation to Victorian Government departments, the Environmental Protection Authority and Sustainability Victoria.

“Compared to the 2011 report, results largely show continued progress across government with a 3.3% decrease in total greenhouse gas emissions” said Professor Auty.

“The Victorian public sector, including local government, is addressing the many aspects of environmental sustainability in its operations. The task is complex, requires continued innovation and produces co-benefits consistent with fiscal responsibility.”

Agency case studies are provided to demonstrate the range of initiatives and contract arrangements which currently operate to deliver environmental sustainability. The agencies studied are the Department of Treasury and Finance (Greener Government Buildings program), Melbourne Health and Victoria Police.

“The strategic audit demonstrates that contracts are not only a legal instrument, they can also be a sustainability mechanism and my three key messages for the departments and agencies are that:

  • Contracts are powerful mechanisms which should be used by the Victorian Government’s departments and agencies to design outcomes which improve resource efficiency and support environmental sustainability.
  • The Victorian Government should use its market power to foster innovation that leads to resource efficiency and environmental sustainability.
  • Heads of departments and agencies need to increase their personal commitment to environmental sustainability and ensure their executive teams are accountable for sustainability outcomes across all operations.”

The strategic audit Sustainability - designed to be signed, sealed and delivered can be viewed at www.ces.vic.gov.au.