Govt sustainability initiatives welcomed by Engineers Australia

Engineers Australia

Monday, 06 May, 2024

Govt sustainability initiatives welcomed by Engineers Australia

Engineers Australia has praised the Australian Government for taking a significant step towards sustainability through two new initiatives: the Circular Economy Ministerial Advisory Group (CEMAG) Interim Report and the Environmentally Sustainable Procurement Policy (ESPP).

“These initiatives aim to create tangible benefits for everyday Australians. By transitioning to a circular economy and environmentally sustainable procurement, we are safeguarding our planet for future generations while driving economic prosperity for everyone,” said Engineers Australia CEO Romilly Madew AO.

Taking effect on 1 July, the Environmentally Sustainable Procurement Policy will guide the government in purchasing products that minimise greenhouse gas emissions, are safe for the environment and last longer. Madew said the scale of these procurements presents a unique opportunity to make a substantial impact on Australia’s sustainability and net zero ambitions.

“Sustainable procurement isn’t just about buying products; it’s about shaping markets, driving innovation and creating jobs,” she said. “Prioritising sustainable products and services will help drive demand for new technologies, materials and processes that are environmentally friendly, socially responsible and economically viable.”

CEMAG’s recently released Interim Report offers guidance for Australia’s shift towards a circular economy, with a strong emphasis on enhancing materials efficiency, reducing energy demand, minimising waste and achieving net zero emissions.

Among the report’s 20 recommendations are priority suggestions such as establishing circular economy provisions in sector plans, setting circularity requirements to fill regulatory gaps and leveraging government procurement power to create circular markets.

The report also recommends promoting voluntary sustainability reporting aligned with international standards.

Madew said Engineers Australia was proud to contribute its expertise to CEMAG, and that it supported the Report’s call for urgent regulatory reform and coordinated action.

“Engineers will play an increasingly critical role in transitioning to a circular economy by implementing principles that promote materials efficiency, reduced energy demand, waste minimisation and achieving net zero emissions,” she said.

“We commend the government’s commitment to environmentally responsible practices and look forward to seeing the positive outcomes of this work.”

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