Sustainable Procurement Information

General Guidance

Additional information is available on the VicRoads Web Site.

Sustainability Attributes is VicRoads framework developed to evaluate the sustainability of road construction contracts, and was successfully trialled in 2013. It is now implemented for design and construct contracts greater than ten million dollars in value, and provides a consistent way of valuing sustainability initiatives and including this in the procurement assessment process. It also leverages the ability of suppliers to innovate through the initiatives they propose. It is likely to be extended to other construction contract types as the appropriate evaluation methods are developed. It will also standardise and build on some of the previous efforts by VicRoads to incorporate environmental sustainability into contracts.

This framework requires the use of an additional contract schedule, where tenderers will indicate how sustainability will be delivered within their tender through the delivery of initiatives involving the use of sustainable materials and technologies. This information along with the tender price is then assessed against the equivalent information in the other tenders, to determine which provides the best value for money. As such it is possible that a tenderer which is not the lowest price but adds sufficient sustainability value, would be assessed as the best value for money and awarded the contract on this basis.

Sustainable procurement carries a default weight of five percent, however, this is determined on a project specific basis. It could be less if it is seen as appropriate by the project. An example of where it could be less is if a bypass is being constructed with minimal intersections, drainage or lighting. Another example is where a predominantly spray seal project, will have little opportunity to incorporate reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP). The distribution of the weighting between the categories is based on the projects understanding of the likely available opportunities and the entire weighting can be on only one of the categories.

A number of factors influence sustainability in construction materials. These include:

· the fact that reserves of high quality aggregate are limited, especially around Melbourne. This means that their use should be restricted to those applications which genuinely require high quality attributes
· a number of material suppliers who have either installed or are in the process or installing new asphalt facilities capable of more efficiently delivering warm and hot mix asphalt with higher amounts of Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement
· without sustainable reuse options construction and demolition wastes will end up in landfill

In responding to these factors, VicRoads has a number of alternative materials which have historically been permitted within road construction materials. These materials continue to evolve with experience and new production technologies, and include:
· crushed concrete
· geopolymer concrete
· warm mix asphalt
· glass cullet
· supplementary cementitious material, such as fly ash, slag and silica fume.

Additionally, Section 86 of the Transport Integration Act states that the primary object of the Roads Corporation (VicRoads) is to provide, operate and maintain the road system consistent with the vision statement and the transport system objectives. Sustainability is included within the vision and is one of the transport system objectives.

VicRoads also has a set of strategic directions describing its vision, purpose and objectives. One of the objectives is to make the road system more environmentally sustainable. This sustainable procurement mechanism supports this objective and also aligns with the VicRoads Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy.

There are two components within the sustainable procurement framework, which combine to give the Sustainability Attribute Score for a tender. These are pavement materials and other sustainability initiatives.

Pavement materials evaluates the level of virgin material replacement through the use of recycled materials such as crushed concrete, Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP), glass fines or other substitute materials. It also evaluates the use of additives to reduce the required energy consumption (i.e. Warm Mix Asphalt). Both of these contribute to a reduction in the greenhouse footprint of the pavement materials. VicRoads Technical Note 107 contains additional information on the opportunities in this area.

Other sustainability initiatives include a broad range of other initiatives. Standard specifications permit the use of sustainable materials in some non-pavement materials, such as stormwater pipes or cement used in kerb and channel. However, this is not always the case as road furniture such as sleepers and bollards or seating can be made from recycled materials but without specifications covering their use.

This also extends to the use of technologies that offer reduced energy consumption including LED street lights, the use of voltage regulation electronics in street lighting and operational renewable energy such as solar panels. The determination of their value would be at the discretion of a VicRoads assessment panel who would consider the following factors in valuing the proposed initiative relative to the standard product:

Contractors are encouraged to ensure that their tenders conform to VicRoads specifications where relevant, especially for areas such as pavement materials and drainage. To assist with this, contractors should understand the implications of the pavement rating system, and further information can be found in the Sustainable Procurement FAQ ‘s section of the website.

One of the potential issues identified in developing this mechanism was that a tenderer could seek to manipulate the assessment by providing a tender response with significant sustainability initiatives, in order to maximise their chance of being awarded the contract. It is central to the integrity of the sustainable procurement mechanism and the procurement process, that tenderers are able to deliver on their commitments, and VicRoads has developed a specific contract clause to manage this risk.

For further information contact [email protected]

The following files contain a worked example designed to illustrate how the sustainable procurement framework operates. There are two attachments. The first is the worked example spreadsheet and the other is the completed schedules utilised in the worked example. It should be noted that this is for illustrative purposes and the initiatives proposed are different from the actual VicRoads template.

Sustainable Procurement Worked Example.XLSXSustainable Procurement Worked Example.XLSX Schedule for Worked Example.DOCXSchedule for Worked Example.DOCX