Local authorities and businesses need to go further than reusing, reducing and recycling their products and rethink if they need to buy products in the first place, according to London Remade green procurement manager Graham Randles.
Speaking to MRW Randles said rethinking needs to be added to the top of the waste hierarchy. He said: Most of what we waste is what we buy in the first place. We need to be thinking about what we are buying and looking to reduce waste at source.
The product with the lowest environmental impact is the one that you dont buy than the one you do. So, we can rethink need by deciding if we need to renew products on a regular basis. Do we need to upgrade our mobile phones every six months? Do we need to change our computers every two years? You can apply that philosophy to all types of products.
He added that businesses and local authorities could be furnishing their offices with carpets that have been leased to them rather than purchasing them, so they can give back the carpet to the lease lender to be recycled rather than throwing them out to landfill. He also used the example of computers and said that instead of buying new computers, components can be replaced instead of the entire equipment.
Randles explained: Rather than buying stuff can we reuse stuff that already exists in our organisation or can we work with third sector organisations that help reuse organisations.
He overseas the delivery of the green purchasing support service, the Mayor of Londons Green Procurement Code. The Code is a free service to help London-based organisations to reduce their environmental impact by buying sustainable goods.
Randles added: It is a starting point to consider eco-design and look at environmental performance as part of that process. People could look at frequency of deliveries, upgrading equipment instead of sending it to landfill, looking at packaging and service options.