All Posts

Bridging the Gap – Strategies for Increasing Indigenous Procurement

Ready to get serious about Indigenous procurement? The CCSP’s recent Peer Exchange explored several procurement measures the public sector can use to increase engagement and spend with Indigenous suppliers.

“If all levels of government in Canada were to procure five percent of their current $224 billion spend from Indigenous businesses, this would equate to an $11 billion influx to the Indigenous economy.”READ MORE

What Role does Procurement Have in a Zero Waste Future?

Imagine a future where our purchases strengthen the economy, foster social benefit, and create zero waste. The concept of procurement as a driver towards a circular world was top of mind for us as we attended the 2022 National Zero Waste Conference, hosted by the Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Council. We were inspired by many of the speakers and panelists forging a path towards circularity through a common language of describing waste as a resource. We learned about innovative efforts to close the loop by re-integrating waste back into the manufacturing of new products or by giving products a second life. Below are three of our key takeaways from the conference, and our reflections on how sustainable procurement is enabling a zero-waste future.

 

 

READ MORE

Exploring the Unique Partnership Between Procurement and Sustainability

Does one plus one equal three? In the case of the powerful partnership between procurement and sustainability departments, the answer is a resounding yes! Read on to find out how these two groups are greater than the sum of their parts.

 

Procurement practitioners have a lot on their plates – they are the facilitator between internal business units and the products and services those business units need. They’re balancing procurement rules and regulations, supply chain disruptions, tight timelines and budgets, and at the same time they are being asked to consider complex issues like accessibility and sustainability. But this is exactly why procurement should be seen as a highly strategic function of an organization – and they shouldn’t have to act alone either.

READ MORE

Seeking the B in Sustainable Procurement

Procurement is the engine of an organization’s ESG strategy and is a key leverage point to address fundamental challenges like climate change, social inequity, and reconciliation. With so many products and services to choose from, and an increasing call to integrate sustainability considerations into the selection of goods, services and supplier, how do procurement teams navigate the challenge of making the very “best value” selection.

Integrating sustainability criteria into procurement decisions isn’t always easy and with a growing interest in ESG it can be difficult to distinguish the good from the greenwashed. Sustainability requirements for brands have led to greenwashing – sometimes making it extremely challenging for buyers to know how to differentiate what is a truly a more sustainable product or service.READ MORE

5 Sustainable Procurement Take-Aways from GLOBE ’22

Last month, Reeve had the privilege to attend – in person – the latest biannual GLOBE business and the environment conference which convenes world’s leaders in sustainability. There were many notable events, including the latest announcement from the Canadian government, unveiling their new plan to curb GHG emissions by 40% to meet their 2030 targets. In our corner of sustainability namely, scope 3 emissions, circular economy, and sustainable procurement, we saw more movement this year than ever before. The conversation is accelerating, and the standards are increasing.READ MORE

Read the Latest and Greatest Sustainable Procurement Trends and Success Stories from the CCSP

CCSP releases its 12th State of the Nation Report on Sustainable Public Procurement in Canada

Have you been wondering how to get started on sustainable procurement in your institution – or feeling disconnected from what others are working on? Take a look at the Canadian Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement’s 2021 Annual Report on the State of Sustainable Procurement in Canada.

Download from here.

READ MORE

Supply Chain Chaos: Is Sustainable Procurement a Solution?

Over the last two years, the flaws in our global supply chain have become increasingly and painfully obvious. Vulnerabilities in the complicated web of imports and exports have become glaring in the wake of extreme climatic events, political instability, and trade wars. We’ve witnessed huge shipping delays as a result of in-shoring and insourcing, relying on suppliers located in climatically or COVID-19 affected regions, labour shortages, and operational inefficiencies at ports worldwide.READ MORE

An exciting year ahead for CCSP

The Canadian Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement kicked-off its 13th year of operations at its first Peer Exchange webinar of the year on February 10th. Returning members, new members, and guests from across the country convened to share stories, plan for the year ahead and welcome our new CCSP Program Manager, Amanda Chouinard.  Amanda has been a member of the Reeve Consulting team for a few years and is taking her passion for sustainable procurement to new heights in leading the CCSP.

 

 

The CCSP was happy to bring together our network of organizations spanning the entire public sector from all levels of government, universities, and crown corporations. Program Director, Tim Reeve, reiterated the CCSP’s vision for sustainable procurement which is firmly rooted within four pillars of sustainability: environmental, social, Indigenous, and ethical. We also heard about the importance of not only building out the 10 elements of a good program, but also not letting procurements go by without actively integrating sustainability criteria.

 

We were proud to hear from CCSP members sharing both their 2021 successes and goals for 2022. City of Ottawa boasted both financial savings and significant GHG reductions through the purchase and installation of electric boiler systems. City of Calgary has started seeing the positive impact of their Public Value Through Procurement Policy and Benefit Driven Procurement Strategy. While Thompson Rivers University showed us the community and environmental value of purchasing local tables made from salvaged wood. The City of Winnipeg also spoke to their recently approved Sustainable Procurement Framework, and the City’s plans to refine a 3-year Action Plan for improving social and Indigenous procurement. These stories were just a sneak preview of the 2021 Annual State of the Nation Report (coming soon in March 2022).

 

Looking ahead, members provided input to the CCSP team on what they’d like to see covered during this year’s Peer Exchanges. Members highlighted interest in topics such as:

  • Matchmaking Increasing Indigenous procurement
  • Addressing circularity and GHG’s through RFx
  • Developing KPI’s and other tools like supplier sustainability assessments
  • Incorporating sustainability into commodities like construction, food services, and IT

 

The CCSP team discussed potential areas of growth for the program, based on the results of the ‘Future of CCSP’ survey. We look forward to continuing this conversation with members as the year progresses.

 

We also welcomed the 2022 Steering Committee members, a team of inspired leaders ready to provide strategic guidance to the CCSP team throughout the year:

Darren Tompkins, Manager of Purchasing, City of Kelowna

Corinne Evason, Contracts Supervisor, Materials Management, City of Winnipeg

Matt Sutherland, Procurement Leader in Supply Management, City of Calgary

Shelly Morrison, Senior Director, Financial Services and Strategic Procurement, UBC

Erin MacDonald, Senior Procurement Consultant, Finance and ICT, Halifax Regional District

Find out more:

Click here to learn more about joining the Canadian Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement, or email ccsp@reeveconsulting.com for more information. Members gain access to a network of almost 40 institutions across Canada, and to a regularly updated Resource Library with tools and valuable materials for learning to champion and implement sustainable procurement.

Decoding Supplier Diversity

The Canadian Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement wrapped up 2021 on December 9th, hosting a final peer exchange focused on the work from their Supplier Diversity Working Group. Supplier diversity can be defined as the stratification of efforts in two key areas:

  1. Increasing in the diversity of the firms you do business, with a focus here on equity-seeking and equity-deserving groups.
  2. Working with suppliers’ whose workforce is diverse.

The working group really lived up to their name this last year, having developed some key tools for defining and operationalizing supplier diversity. Rosalie Peevers, Senior Procurement Advisor in Supplier Diversity at CBC Radio Canada, and Lisa Myres, Senior Project Manager in Procurement Services at the University of Toronto, shared their stories of how their organizations got started and are trending with increasing their supplier diversity.

Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@timmossholder?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Tim Mossholder</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/s/photos/diversity?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>

Folks reading this may be first wondering what constitutes a diverse supplier? These suppliers are categorized as organizations that are at least 51% owned, managed, or controlled by persons belonging to an equity group or social purpose enterprise. Increasing your engagement with these types of suppliers may seem challenging at first glance, but with the right tools it’s achievable. The working group produced a set of tools; a supplier diversity certification council profile, and a Supplier Diversity Training Presentation slide deck, serving as deliverables for CCSP members to use freely in implementing supplier diversity at their organizations.

Sustainable procurement and supplier diversity work spans scaled spending levels, from low value p-card purchasing, to tenders and RFP’s, to large-scale capital projects. This span of spending levels creates many opportunities for improving your supplier diversity. Action items can include inviting at least a single diverse supplier to your RFP’s, focusing in on low-spend sole source as an area of interest in contracting a diverse supplier, increasing visibility to diverse suppliers, or simply better explaining corporate procurement processes and through direct engagement. Supplier diversity still a novel topic in Canada, and even the smallest strides in this area are impactful.

Supplier diversity is a business strategy, not a program. It is evolving from a social responsibility to a strategic enabler. The market is being flooded with new and innovative products from diverse suppliers, and folks working in procurement have the power to vouch for their growth and engagement with buyers. Employee satisfaction, brand value, flexibility through supply chain, fostering innovation and lower cost are all concrete benefits from strengthening your organizations’ supplier diversity. The intention behind buying also becomes clear when diverse suppliers are considered and involved, highlighting the nature of the engagement as a relationship  rather than a transaction.

Rosalie and Lisa advised those in procurement to really connect with their community of diverse suppliers and take the initiative to understand the variety of options and the stages those businesses are at. They stressed the importance of documenting your efforts, synthesizing the data in a way that’s productive to your organization. The ability to quantify the percentage of diverse suppliers your organization is engaging with, or at least your status on supplier diversity, is how you can communicate to corporate leaders the importance of the cause.

Fostering Vibrancy in our Communities’ Through Social Procurement

By creating economic opportunities for equity-seeking and target populations, social procurement is a key mechanism in reducing poverty and fostering inclusivity. It promotes and/or mandates more purchasing from suppliers that offer social value. It’s as simple as leveraging social value from existing purchasing practices to enhance inclusivity, vibrancy, and the overall health of communities. One little known fact is that social procurement fits neatly inside many other social impact related goals, e.g. poverty reduction strategies, diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies. Rather than something extra to achieve, social procurement is a tool to help better achieve existing goals.

The Canadian Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement (CCSP) hosted a Social Procurement Virtual Peer Exchange to over 85 members midway through November. Kim Buksa, the Sustainable and Ethical Procurement Manager at the City of Vancouver, and Matthew David, the Manager of Capital Projects and Projects for Transportation Services at the City of Toronto provided a wealth of expertise on the topic for all who attended. They discussed practical steps and tips for finding social procurement opportunities in organizational spend, matchmaking, and explored the benefits of a Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (JEDI) lens.

No matter the price, social value is always there.  

The following best practices are some practical avenues to understanding and implementing social procurement:

  1. Matchmaking: Break down the ‘what’ and the ‘from who’ of the supplier engagement process in procurement. For each individual procurement or service, consider finding several diverse supplier options, such as locally owned, Indigenous, or social enterprise. Think about drawing out a social value outcome on that procurement.                                                                                                                                                                      f
  2. You don’t have to do it all: Set realistic goals and identify gaps in existing social procurement to use as focus areas. Locate partner businesses that meet more than one need.                                                                                                                                                                                                                       f
  3. For the people, by the people: Elevate the weightings for key demographics your organization would like to engage with as suppliers. Call out social enterprise, Indigenous organizations, or temp agencies within union environments. Many of these are available through non-profits that have employment spaces.

 

Aligning the diversity of your supply chain with the diversity of your community is the cornerstone of fostering more social procurement and creating best value for folks and businesses alike. The social pillar of procurement works alongside the environmental, indigenous, and ethical elements as a tool to improve community investment. This value and impact is multiplied as social enterprises’ increasing involvement in contracts drives the market for diverse suppliers.

Letting go over financial concerns around initial spend and focusing primarily on best value or total costs of ownership can be a challenge. To address this, the paradigm around social procurement must shift towards creating a market with endless options for diverse suppliers, contractors, and apprentice organizations. Purchasers,

The transformative mechanism of social procurement on traditional buying and selling has massive potential to change local and national economies, and build community capital. The CCSP network provides a wealth of connections to members to collaborate and engage in discussion around topics such as this one, as well as attend Peer Exchange Webinars and hear from industry experts. If you’re interested in learning more, join the CCSP today and become equipped to create meaningful impact in your organization and community.