Sustainable procurement is coming to APAC: it's time for the IT channel to get ready

Sustainable procurement is coming to APAC: it's time for the IT channel to get ready

Sustainable procurement is coming to APAC: it's time for the IT channel to get ready

In our previous post we noted that sustainability regulations in the EU are forcing APAC IT vendors who want to protect revenue streams to improve compliance and reporting. But what about ESG regulatory activity closer to home?

There are already changes that are beginning to have an impact on public-sector procurement. New rules are sure to become more widespread in the coming years, bringing new challenges and opportunities for distributors, resellers and other channel players.

What changes can we expect?

Predictably, it is the more mature APAC markets that are leading on sustainability. Consider the following:

Australia: Both Department of Finance guidance and the government's Sustainable Procurement Guide highlight the importance of sustainability in procurement decisions.

Hong Kong: The Environment Bureau Circular Memorandum No. 1/2021 focuses on green specifications for products and services used by government departments.

Singapore: The government's GreenGov.SG initiative is a key pillar of the Singapore Green Plan, which emphasises the administration's commitment to sustainability. The inaugural GreenGov.SG report, slated for publication by the end of 2023, will measure public-sector progress on emissions and outline plans for environmental sustainability. The government technology agency, GovTech, is also in the process of defining standards for green IT procurement.

New Zealand: The Government Procurement Rules emphasise sustainability, focusing on reduced energy consumption and waste minimisation.

What will this mean for the APAC IT channel?

Going forward, distributors and resellers with public-sector clients operating in these markets will need to:

  • Adjust their product portfolios to phase out non-compliant products and introduce sustainable alternatives.
  • Manage costs more carefully, given that sustainable products often come at a premium. Reporting, tracking and documentation requirements will also affect costs since additional IT systems and/or extra staff training may be needed.
  • Enhance reporting and documentation to include life-cycle assessments, carbon footprint calculations and other sustainability metrics. Such measures will be vital for companies wanting to supply public-sector bodies committed to sustainability.

Meeting these challenges requires new ways of operating. But public-sector mandates will eventually be adopted by the private sector throughout APAC, so there are obvious commercial advantages to making a head start.

This is where data-driven decision-making is essential. CONTEXT is currently developing a product carbon database providing a single source of vendor-approved ESG information for distributors and resellers.

To enquire more about this product, get in touch with the CONTEXT Sustainability team:

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