Working collaboratively to promote sustainable practice across the legal sector

Procurement Guide: Business Machines

19 May 2011 11:14 AM | Anonymous member
  • Photocopiers – colour/black & white
  • Printers
  • Fax machines
  • Scanners
  • Computers
  • Telephones
  • Dictation equipment
  • Projectors
  • Televisions
  • Video-conference facilities
  • et al

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  • Material choice i.e. does the equipment contain unrecyclable items or hazardous material (i.e. overhead projector globes containing mercury), is the equipment made of recycled material?
  • Compatibility with recycled paper (i.e. some photocopiers/printers are more sensitive to dust from recycled paper).
  • Energy consumption.
  • Recycling i.e. toner cartridges – does the supplier provide recycling of these materials
  • Disposal – what happens to the equipment/machine when it is replaced?
  • Suppliers sustainability commitment i.e. what they are doing to contribute to energy efficiencies etc within their own company.
  • Packaging of the equipment.


Identify Requirement

  • Consider the requirements of the equipment to ascertain the level of technology required.
  • Consider your first tier suppliers’ production processes initially, this will help to map the inputs from other organisations and ultimately highlight the 'sustainability issues' for the complete = product/service lifecycle.
  • Consider the materials contained within the equipment – some equipment contains hazardous waste e.g. lead, how will this be disposed, does the supplier provide assistance?
  • Consider if the equipment is energy efficient? What is the Energy Star rating? Do machine features (i.e. standby modes) reduce energy consumption?
  • Consider if the machine consumables are recyclable?
  • Ensure the recyclable consumables (i.e. paper) are compatible to use with the equipment and usable under the manufacturer’s warranty?
  • Is the packaging supplied with the equipment recyclable?
  • Can the equipment be recycled at its end of life cycle? What are the supplier’s disposal arrangements?
  • Can the equipment contribute to sustainability in other areas? – e.g. video-conferencing may reduce travel requirements.


  • Analyse opportunities to reduce equipment throughout the office by improving layout or centralising machines.
  • Analyse current issues with existing machines (i.e. high volume of toner consumed, frequency of services required etc).
  • Ensure staff are trained in the use of key features of the equipment to enable efficiencies to be maximised (i.e. double side printing, scanning etc).
  • Analyse the impact & feasibility of equipment requiring user codes to be entered before printing is enabled.


  • Sustainability criteria to be included in the selection process of products should include the following:
  • Meets technical requirements,
  • Promotes energy consumption efficiencies,
  • Has minimal hazardous materials,
  • Is compatible with recycled consumables & manufacturers warranty is valid using recycled consumables,
  • Packaging is recyclable,
  • At end of life cycle the product is recyclable.
  • Sustainability criteria to be included in the selection process of Suppliers should include the following:
  • Ability to provide evidence of commitment to sustainable practices & initiatives internally,
  • Are actively engaged in community sustainability activities & projects.
  • Provide recycling facilities for consumables, hazardous materials and machines at the end of their life cycle,
  • Can provide assistance on initiatives to reduce waste and energy consumption of their products,


  • Measure sustainability performance changes during the course of the contract. Examples could include:
  • Reductions in energy consumption,
  • Reductions in heat output (affects the energy requirements of the air conditioners),
  • Reductions in waste by-products.

Further Information

Prepared by
Melissa Bator, Jackson McDonald and
Michael Cusack, McCullough Robertson

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