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Govt purchases fail green business, sustainability

Government purchasing fails green businesses and sustainability

Green Media Release

19 December 2006

The Government has failed in its purchasing decisions to support green businesses and failed to protect the environment, a new report released today by the Green Party has shown.

“The Government has learned to talk the talk about environmentalism. But with some exceptions, its officials are failing to walk the walk,” Greens Co-Leader and Economics Spokesperson Russel Norman says.

The Environmental Purchasing Reportcard, issued today, shows that very few Government departments are prioritising the purchase of products endorsed with the Government’s own “Environmental Choice” label, 14 years after that label was established.

“Approximately half of the 25 Government agencies examined either do not know whether they have purchased any Environmental Choice products or, if they do know, have purchased none,” says Dr. Norman, also the Greens’ Economics Spokesperson.

“Two very significant agencies, the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, made no Environmental Choice purchases in 2005/06 and have given no indication that they intend to make any in the future.

“A large number of other agencies, including the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, are unable to provide any information on whether they purchase Environmental Choice products, but have signalled that they aim to do better in the future.

“Thankfully Ministry for the Environment showed their commitment to the programme by purchasing Environmental Choice products in nine out of ten areas where they made purchases in 2005/06.

“If we are to move our economy towards sustainability, then the Government must show some leadership by supporting businesses that have made the effort to make their products more sustainable and that have taken the trouble of getting Environmental Choice approval.

“If the Government agencies don’t buy Environmental Choice products and don’t even keep track of whether they are actually buying environmentally friendly products and services, then how can they possibly claim to be meeting environmental goals of the Govt3 program?”

ENDS

See... The Environmental Purchasing Reportcard

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