We work with the cities and regions in the Western Cape to consider sustainable materials, products and services that consider the environment and benefit society when procuring for public service delivery.

Our current modes of production and consumption are placing a burden on the environment and society and making life more unaffordable for citizens. As we continue to rely on ways of delivering services that require high levels of energy, water and material inputs, we place an increasing burden on our communities and increasing damage to the environment.

Government however holds a unique position in the value chain. It both sets and enforces standards and laws and while represent a significant client to many businesses when it procures services and goods for the public. Government can spend up to 30% of the annual budget on procuring goods and services to meet service delivery objectives. This means there is a significant opportunity to use procurement as a tool to achieve government’s broader economic, societal and environmental goals. To procure in a sustainable way involves looking beyond short-term needs and considering the longer-term impacts of each purchase.

Sustainable procurement of infrastructure delivery and asset management must therefore consider the long-term impact of purchasing decisions, known as the Total Cost of Ownership and the Lifecycle Cost. Primarily this requires that operational costs and impacts are incorporating in the upfront capital costs and design.

Project Location

Western Cape Province, South Africa

Project Duration

April 2018 – March 2021

Project Highlights

  • Workshop on Sustainable Procurement held at the SmartProcurement Conference

  • Peer-to-peer learning exchange hosted between local and provincial governments in the Western Cape

  • Three case studies on innovative ways to embed total cost of ownership in infrastructure procurement processes in the Western Cape

Project aims

SmartProcurement supports provincial and local governments in the Western Cape to implement sustainable public procurement in policy and action, ultimately contributing to achieving the Green Economy Strategy. It plans to:

  • Review and build on the case for sustainable public procurement
  • Identify and test key product and service groups to implement sustainable public procurement in one department in the provincial government and three local governments
  • Add to the local and global body of knowledge on sustainable public procurement
  • Work with provincial and local governments to develop a toolkit for the implementation of sustainable public procurement in the Western Cape

Funded By

This project is funded by the Western Cape Government.

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Main Contact

Rebecca Cameron