The feasibility of a green procurement practice for low cost housing in the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality
Thobane, Wamkelwe Amulet Perseverance
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Green Procurement is defined as taking into account environmental criteria for goods and services to be purchased in order to ensure that the related environmental impact is minimized (Incite Sustainability, 2008: vii). An inherent feature of green procurement is the integration of environmental considerations into purchasing policies, programmes and actions (Stigson & Russell, 1998:9). The European Commission states that green public procurement should ideally cover areas such as the purchase of energy-efficient computers and buildings, office equipment made out of environmentally sustainable timber, recyclable paper, environmentally-friendly public transport, organic food in the cafeteria, electricity stemming from renewable energy sources and air conditioning systems complying with environmental solutions(European Commission, 2004:5). The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) recommends the inclusion of the construction of new buildings, restoration and renovation as well as the purchase of building material as one of the areas that have to be addressed when developing green procurement policies. The City of Tshwane Municipality (CoT) intends to move towards a green procurement practice. The City plans to attain the latter without deviating from the intentions and parameters of the South African Government’s procurement legislation and further more within the limits of its current budget constraints. The intention of the study was to investigate the feasibility of a green procurement practice in the CoT and to give special attention to low cost housing. The results of the study suggest that it is feasible to implement the practice. The City of Tshwane was found to have relevant and progressive policies in place and what was found lacking was the application and integration of the policies into existing programmes. Green procurement barriers that the CoT will have to overcome were identified as awareness, motivation, economic, legal, institutional, information and technical barriers. The study concludes with recommendations to the CoT with regard to potential opportunities the City can take advantage of when implementing a green procurement practice.