In 1998 Manitoba passed The Sustainable Development Act, a proactive piece of legislation with far reaching implications, that sets out the principles of Sustainable Development for Manitoba.
The Act recognizes that the public sector, through its internal operations and procurement practices, has an integral role in promoting environmental awareness and Sustainable Development. Government departments and publicly funded agencies will be required to apply Sustainable Development principles in their operations.
The economy, the environment, human health and social well being should be managed for the equal benefit of both present and future generations and economic decisions, including purchasing decisions, should adequately take into account their environmental, human health and social consequences.
The Sustainable Development Act (1998) required the establishment of Procurement Guidelines and the integration of the Guidelines into Provincial procurement manuals and procedures. These guidelines were ratified by Cabinet in December 2000 with a one year implementation period for the development of Government wide performance goals and action plans.
Development Procurement Guidelines are to be considered in
any procurement and in broad outline would include the following:
Potentially the cost of some environmentally preferable products, (see schedule "C" of the Manitoba's Sustainable Development Procurement Guidelines) materials and services may be higher, however, any potential increase will in all likelihood be offset by related benefits associated with conservation, life cycle cost analysis, full cost accounting and other changes in purchasing behavior.
The Procurement Guidelines are broad in scope and allow for both flexibility and creativity in their application by Manitoba's buying professionals. They can range from the familiar attention to recycled products and avoidance of toxic substances, to the more fundamental recognition that purchasing decisions should consider the unique aspirations and needs of the people of the various regions of the province including Manitoba's Aboriginal Peoples.
Manitoba's Green & Sustainable Procurement Policy is available here.