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Queensland Government Gets SMART about Sustainable Procurement  

The Sustainable Procurement Team in the Queensland Government Chief Procurement Office (QGCPO, part of the Department of Public Works) has engaged a SMART student from the University of Queensland (via CEED) to assist them with a major sustainable procurement project.   

SMART (Sustainable Management Alliance in Research and Training) courses equip UQ students from a wide range of disciplines with the skills they’ll need to forge careers in sustainable business management. 

Robert Kelly — a UQ student in his final year of a dual degree Bachelor of Business Management/Bachelor of Laws — was appointed to the CEED sustainable procurement project in early March.   


QldGovt.Procurement.Robert Kelly (CEED student) 
 Pictured above (L to R): John Dears (Qld Govt), Robert Kelly (CEED
 student), Tanya Lindenberg (Qld Govt)

Sustainable procurement is an essential part of the Queensland Government's commitment to sustainable development and to protecting the environment, and to doing business with socially responsible and ethical suppliers. 

Queensland Government agencies are required to integrate sustainability practices into the procurement of goods, services and construction, and QGCPO’s project will develop a framework to measure and report on the sustainability outcomes of procurement arrangements. 

This is a large project, and Robert will play an important part by developing two QGCPO case studies, the findings from which will be vital for the overall project, and will be used to develop the measurement and reporting framework. 

Robert’s case studies will focus on the ICT and office furniture procurement arrangements. He will assess the sustainability performance and outcomes of the arrangements, provide recommendations on future reporting and measurement, and how the findings can be used with existing arrangements. The case studies will then assist the development of more concrete goals, objectives and areas of assessment. 

The measurement criteria Robert will use to assess the arrangements will cover areas such as: 

-        climate change
-        energy
-        water use and quality
-        waste
-        toxic substances / pollutants / emissions
-        resource use and intensity
-        social responsibility and ethical practices
-        carbon measurement of company, including footprints
-        sustainable supply chain
-        certification schemes and voluntary incentives. 

During his project, Robert will also research optimum ways for sustainability to be reported, identifying current examples in Australia and overseas. This research will also be used in the framework’s design. 

QldGovernment.Chief Procurement Office.Sustainable ProcurementMeasurement of sustainability benefits within procurement arrangements is an emerging area. Robert’s CEED project will ensure formal procedures are in place to evaluate their performance — an important step in reaching the Queensland Government’s sustainable development ambitions.   



UQ SMART students come from varied disciplines/backgrounds. Around 40% of the students are from engineering; about 30% are from business, economics, commerce or law; about 20% are from environmental management; with the remainder from agribusiness, journalism and general science programs. 

If your company has a carbon/emission reduction, sustainable business management, or related project idea, please contact Deidre at CEED ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) to discuss whether it could be suited to a SMART student.

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