streetlight conversion showing before and after photo one using orange hsl lights and one showing bright clear led lights

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In 2017, the City of Victoria undertook the first two phases of a major streetlight conversion project. For the procurement of the fixtures, the City took advantage of a shared supply arrangement negotiated by the Province of BC. With the conversion, the City will save in energy and maintenance costs for years to come. To complete the project, the City purchased the light fixtures, which the manufacturer shipped directly to the contractor for installation. In Phase One, 1,800 fixtures were delivered and installed. At the conclusion of Phase One, the contractor brought forward concerns to the City about the volume of packaging that they were required to recycle due to the fixtures arriving individually packaged. The City decided to take action. They engaged the manufacturer to request that the fixtures for Phase Two be delivered in bulk packaging, and to understand how to make that happen.

The Outcome

In Phase Two, 4,544 fixtures were delivered to the contractor in bulk packaging. It’s estimated that this saved approximately 60,000 ft2 of cardboard. In addition, this arrangement resulted in much easier material handling for the contractor, easier inventory storage and management, and made it easier to receive the order. It facilitated work planning and delivery of the fixtures to the work site because there wasn’t as much cardboard waste in the way. Preparing the orders took some additional time: order quantities had to be adjusted to equal full bulk packs, whilst lighting was ordered by zones. However, the contractor was very happy not to have to deal with the quantity of recycling that was required in Phase One, and the manufacturer is likely able to make the bulk packaging option available for other large projects. The positive results of this initiative have made the City consider adding packaging specifications into future, large supply-only tenders. In addition, this project illuminated the importance of communicating with contractors as they can provide valuable insight to help with continuous improvement of practices.

Source: The State of Sustainable Public Procurement in Canada, 2017

Readers are cautioned not to rely upon this article as legal advice nor as an exhaustive discussion of the topic or case.  For any particular legal problem, seek advice directly from your lawyer or in-house counsel.  All dates, contact information and website addresses were current at the time of original publication.