Just Released: The CCSP’s 2020 State of the Nation Report on Sustainable Public Procurement in Canada

The Canadian Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement (CCSP) has just released its Annual State of the Nation Report which showcases the efforts of its 30 member institutions to align their spending with their sustainability commitments. The report highlights that despite the effects that COVID-19 has had on their supply chains and organizational budgets this national community has still managed to advance their social, ethical, Indigenous, and green procurement goals. . In a difficult year, these member institutions shifted to procurements that benefit local and global communities and hopefully inspire other public-sector institutions to join the sustainable procurement movement.

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About the State of the Nation Report

The Annual State of the Nation on Public Procurement in Canada highlights the latest sustainable procurement trends, features member success stories from across the country and includes the popular ‘moon chart’, which benchmarks CCSP members progress towards high impact programming that shows demonstratable outcomes. Information for the report was gathered through interviews with CCSP members from November 2020 to February 2021.

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Top 5 Sustainable Procurement Trends of 2020

2020 Annual Report on the State of Sustainable Public Procurement in Canada

The public sector saw a shift in priorities this year as COVID-19 affected buying-power, single-use plastics usage, work environments, and prompted discussions of Living Wage policies. Organizations like universities, cities, and crown corporations were forced to refocus their priorities towards emergency response efforts, and sustainable procurement efforts were left with reduced resources. Some trends to emerge from these circumstances include:

  1. The Return of the Disposable: Single-Use Plastics Explode
  2. Living Wage Programs Explode to Help Front-Line Workers
  3. City Councillors Mainstream Buying for Good
  4. COVID Response Efforts Turbo-Charge Buying from Local SME’s
  5. Increased IT Purchasing to Support At-Home Workers

Social and Indigenous procurement was by contrast, boosted by the Black Lives Matter movement and the Canadian pipeline and railway protests. These movements brought forth national conversations on racial inequalities, economic disparity, and reconciliation, and have led to increased attention to opportunities for inclusion in procurement.

 

Success Stories

The City of Nanaimo began their Urban Clean-Up Program in response to concerns voiced by downtown residents and businesses about the impacts that social issues were having on the urban areas of the city, such as litter and debris. The City reached out directly to the Nanaimo Region of the John Howard Society and together they hired individuals with barriers to employment, such as those who have experienced homelessness or incarceration, to clean up discarded needles and other debris. The program has been successful both for the hired participants, who are receiving a fair wage and work experience, and for the resulting cleanliness of the downtown area.

The Government of Yukon advanced reconciliation through infrastructure procurement by engaging local Indigenous groups and contracting to Indigenous workers . In Yukon, where 23% of the territory’s total population is Indigenous (2016) and 11 out of their 14 First Nations are self- governing, the Government of Yukon has long considered Indigenous peoples as key partners. The project has set new standards for acknowledging Indigenous citizens impacted by infrastructure projects in their communities.

 

The CCSP community has made great strides this year despite unfavourable circumstances and have championed sustainable procurement in Canada for another year. We encourage you to download the full report here and contact Erin Unger, Program Manager for the CCSP should you be interested in learning more about the community.