5 Tips for Purchasing Greener Building Materials

Image of a green building at UBC.

Recognizing the global building sector contributes 39% of global carbon emissions, public organizations have had a strong focus on embedding sustainability into the design, construction, maintenance, operation, and demolition of both vertical and horizontal infrastructure. There have been great strides in adopting standards and certifications like LEED, WELL, and Envision as well as increasing the energy efficiency of buildings but there is lots more work to be done. Notably, experts are now calling to reduce embodied carbon of building materials like concrete, steel, mass timber, and insulation – an often hidden cost of building.

Many of us are familiar with the concept of operational carbon: greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted when operating and maintaining a building. Embodied carbon represents the carbon footprint of materials. It considers all GHGs released throughout the material’s supply chain, including extraction, manufacturing, assembly, maintenance, and demolition (World Green Building Council). Embodied carbon is taken into account when doing a life cycle analysis (LCA) of a building (Bringing Embodied Carbon Upfront, 2019).

Embodied carbon of building materials is currently responsible for 11% of global GHG emissions (see right; Carbon Leadership Forum Website, 2019). However, as buildings become more efficient and utilize clean energy, embodied carbon is expected to represent 49% of all carbon emissions of buildings by 2050 (Embodied Carbon Review, 2018).

Find below 5 tips on incorporating green building best practices and considering the embodied carbon in your next purchase. A special thank you our 4 industry expert who shared these insights at the Canadian Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement (CCSP) last Peer Exchange webinar on May 14, 2020:

 

1.   Learn your building policies and codes and sustainability plans

Get up to speed on 1) the building policies and codes in your region and 2) your organization’s sustainability plans to understand what goals and targets need to be met. In Vancouver, BC, there’s a number of relevant policies and codes including the BC Energy Step Code, the Green Buildings Policy for Rezoning, and the City’s  Big Move #5 from the City’s Climate Emergency declaration.

2.   Get to know who’s responsible for green building in your organization

It’s rare for a public organization to buy building materials themselves. The contractor is typically responsible for purchasing the materials and the designer guides what materials the contractor uses. Get to know who’s responsible for green building and ask to join the conversation in the early stages of the project – before specifications for designers are developed.

Look for opportunities to collaborate internally. Increasingly organizations are using integrated design processes (CMHC, 2020), which allow engineers, costing specialists, operations people, energy specialists, and other relevant actors to provide input to architects at early design stages (iiSBE, 2020).

 

3.   Use standards and certification to set performance-based targets

For example, use the LEED scorecard to signal where the design team should focus (see Figure 3). Provide rewards for achieving higher scores over the minimum thresholds and penalties for not meeting the thresholds.

Figure 3: LEED Scorecard for Materials and Resources

Other great green building standards and certifications include WELL, Living Building Challenge, Passive House Canada, Zero Carbon Building Standard by the Canada Green Building Council, ASHRAE, and EnerGuide by Natural Resources Canada. Find comprehensive lists on the National Institute of Building Sciences and the Ecolabel Index websites.

 

4.   Leverage Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) to avoid greenwashing

Ask designers and contractors to provide Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for a few priority materials.

EPDs document the embodied carbon associated of specific materials. They act like a nutrition label – either providing an industry average or a manufacturer-, product-, or plant-specific calculation. They are Third Party Verified, which helps avoid greenwashing, and are ISO 14044 & EN 15804 compliant.

Where can you find EPDs?

EC3 is a new, free, open-source tool that compiles EPDs for building materials, created by a non-profit alliance of AEC firms, manufacturers, foundations, and building owners.

 

5.   Engage your suppliers to discover sustainability innovations

Engage your suppliers to learn about the sustainability features of particular products. Learn about new products and emerging technologies and set collaborative goals to buy greener materials. For example, concrete and cement contributes to sustainable, resilient buildings because they:

  • are most often extracted and manufactured within 100 miles,
  • contain recycled materials and is recyclable,
  • create durable, long-lasting structures,
  • require less finishes and used less energy in buildings, and
  • have a light colour which reduces heat island effect.

Lafarge has worked to increase the sustainability of its cement by adding limestone into its mix. This small change leads to a 5 to 10% reduction in carbon, while maintaining competitive quality and price. They are also increasing the sustainability of their organization by investing in emerging technologies around:

  • alternative fuels,
  • alternative, low-carbon binders,
  • collecting and capturing CO2 to be used for other purposes, and
  • converting CO2 into other materials through mineralization.

Find out more about the sustainability of cement and concrete in these EPDs:

 

Bonus Tip: Carefully review your consultants and designers’ green credentials

Check out Calgary’s green building resources for more information on how to attract and onboard the right team.

 

_______________________
Written by: Alyssa McDonald, Program Manager at the Canadian Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement (CCSP)
Last Updated: June 1, 2020

Charting a Path Forward in the Storm of COVID-19

Most mountaineers and backcountry explorers will tell you that when a storm descends that often the best thing to do is to actually do nothing. Conventional wisdom says settle in, get safe and ride it out. Scrambling around on the edge of a steep slope in the clouds and swirling snow is usually a recipe for disaster. But when a crisis occurs it’s hard to resist the urge to ‘do something’ – and to do it right now!

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global crisis. We’ve never experienced this paralyzing halt in our normal way of life. And so over the last six weeks, our team at Reeve Consulting has been trying our best to follow the sage advice of explorers and first responders to stay put, stay calm and listen. We’ve focused on our people, our projects and our partners while we wait out the storm. It’s been incredibly hard. The situation has been so dynamic – with an intensity to the crisis and economic shut down that was almost impossible to imagine.

As we begin to understand the enormity of the situation, we’ve been seeing huge needs within our supply chain and procurement communities. It has inspired us to take action and connect with our clients and our members of the Canadian Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement (CCSP) to see how we can help address the enormous supply chain challenges they are facing. Whether it’s securing adequate and reasonably priced PPE, ensuring the continuity of contracts with smaller suppliers who have seen global supply chains turned upside down, or simply managing the challenge of continuing to offer seamless procurement and supply chain services in the midst of a sudden and unexpected transition to remote work and telecommuting.

The recent CCSP Peer Exchange on April 16, 2020 highlighted how many challenges supply chain professionals are facing right now – and the incredible pressure they are under to secure adequate supply in a time of unprecedented competition for product. This has been further compounded by the fragility of global supply chains that bring certain benefits and efficiencies but leave many communities completely disconnected from some of the critical suppliers and inputs that are absolutely essential to us. It was amazing to see our members respond to the call to share information and resources to manage issues in real time – and then to be able to document those resources and make them available broadly to our members and others.

We know the first job is to stabilize the health and safety of workers and the public at large. But it’s coming with some direct sustainability costs and we are already hearing about the impacts of dysfunctional supply chains under pressure from COVID-19. As we scramble to assemble necessary supplies and PPE for front line workers from far flung regions around the world, one can only imagine the cost that will come in terms of packaging and waste and transportation emissions. The temptation to move towards more single-use and disposable products may be a huge step backwards in our efforts towards Zero Waste.

We’ll be monitoring these unintended consequences and hope that an outcome of this pandemic is an overhaul of how we think about our supply chains. Let’s continue to pause and reconsider the value of producing more products domestically, the role that small and local businesses play in our economy, what it means to really think about ‘best value’ and ‘total cost’ when it comes to how and where essential products like our food are produced, and the working conditions of people caring for our most vulnerable populations.

We know this storm isn’t over – but we do see skies brightening at the moment – and that’s giving us the chance to chart our course and take action. As we consider the post COVID-19 recovery let’s take this opportunity to rebuild our economy in a way that is more respectful of workers and the planet.

By: Tim Reeve, President of Reeve Consulting and Founder of the Canadian Collaboration of Sustainable Procurement 

10th Annual State of the Nation Report on Sustainable Public Procurement in Canada

A Roadmap to a New Economy Through Coronavirus Response and Recovery Spending

By: Alyssa McDonald

 

The Municipal Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement’s network of 18 leading public sector organizations has just released a report on their progress towards aligning their spending with their social and environmental goals.  In the era of Coronavirus, advancing sustainable procurement is as relevant as ever. Canada’s public sector can use its buying power to supplement stimulus packages and social welfare systems to build healthier, more resilient communities. “I’m hopeful that this report can act as a roadmap to other public sector organizations seeking to use their buying power to meet a triple bottom line as we collectively respond and recover from this crisis,” says Alyssa McDonald, Program Coordinator of the MCSP.

 

About the Report

The 2019 Annual Report on the State of Sustainable Public Procurement in Canada highlights the country’s latest sustainable procurement trends, showcases the popular ‘moon chart’, which benchmarks MCSP members against each other, and features member success stories from across the country. Information was gathered through interviews with MCSP members from November 2019 to January 2020.

 

Meaghan Davis, Acting Manager, Circular Economy and Innovation Unit at the City of Toronto, presenting at the 2019 Zero Waste Conference in Vancouver, BC.

Trends

The public sector continues to reduce single-use plastics, offer reusable alternatives, and minimize waste through new circular and zero waste programs and pilot projects. Social procurement is increasingly operationalized through supplier diversity programs, social enterprise procurement, and supplier engagement for food and event services. International climate protests and declarations of climate emergency across Canadian municipalities inspire new commitments to climate change mitigation and adaptation with a focus on fleet electrification and energy. Finally, cross-functional and cross-sector collaboration – including working groups, cooperative purchasing, and conferences – accelerate innovation and build capacity to implement of sustainable procurement initiatives.

 

Success Stories

In 2019, the City of Toronto engaged employees and diverse suppliers through information sessions, events, and 1-on-1 conversations leading to a 40% increase in divisional purchases from certified diverse suppliers, as compared to 2018, and being recognized as a finalist for 3 Women in Business Enterprise (WBE) Canada Supplier Diversity Awards. Mississauga built a successful business case to electrify their fleet of ice resurfacers using a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Their calculations showed fleet electrification would save $1,711,160 and 832 tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – the equivalent of taking 255 cars off the road – over the units’ 20-year life cycle. Members of the 2019 MCSP’s Working Group from Calgary, Victoria, Halifax, Edmonton and Mississauga activated social procurement for low-value purchases by creating and piloting a 15-minute training for P-card and credit card holders.

 

Staff from Tayybeh, a female-owned and operated business that employs Syrian newcomers, preparing food for an SFU event.

The report highlights other innovative member initiatives including SFU contracting social and Indigenous caterers, TRU diverting waste from landfills with a new online platform for repurposing furniture, Halifax purchasing picnic tables from an eco-conscious social enterprise that employs people with mental health challenges, Ottawa establishing Corporate Energy Management Office to save energy and money, Edmonton implementing new living wage policy for custodial workers, Calgary eliminating the use of pesticides in parks through targeted grazing, and Vancouver updating their procurement policy to promote animal welfare.

Looking to the Future

In 2020, the MCSP officially relaunched as the Canadian Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement (CCSP), a brand that better reflects our mission to serve all Canadian public sector organizations advancing social, ethical, and green procurement. We are making our community more accessible to small organizations and adding new benefits and services for members. We encourage you to download the full report here and contact Alyssa McDonald, Program Coordinator at the CCSP, if you are interested in learning more about the community.

 

Let’s create a national sustainable purchasing movement across Canada!

_____________

About CCSP

Established in 2010, the Canadian Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement (CCSP) is a member-based network of Canadian public-sector institutions working together to set and achieve green, social, and ethical purchasing goals. Our member organizations meet online on a monthly basis to share information, collaborate on tool development, and exchange lessons learned to address emerging sustainability risks and opportunities in their supply chains.

Collaborating to Activate Social Procurement for Low Value Purchases across Canada’s Public Sector

Results of the Municipal Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement’s 2019 Working Group

By Alyssa McDonald

 

Social procurement is a major trend in sustainable purchasing. It has been gaining ground to complement green purchasing as more public organizations consider how their buying power can positively impact the social wellbeing of their communities such as poverty reduction, economic and social inclusion, and local economic development.

Inspired by this momentum, the Municipal Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement’s 2019 Working Group with members from Calgary, Victoria, Halifax, Edmonton and Mississauga developed and piloted a training program to encourage public credit card and p-card holders to include social value when making everyday purchases like catered meals, promotional materials, and contract labour/services.

They hoped to build awareness around the opportunities for purchases under procurement thresholds, give members tools to make an impact with minimal resources, and promote a united approach for MCSP members across Canada.

 

What is a Working Group?

The MCSP’s Working Group is made of volunteers from current member institutions interested in working together to advance thought-leadership and co-create resources on a topic of mutual interest. They convene for 5-6 facilitated meetings throughout the year and present their work to all members at our final Peer Exchange webinar.

 

How was social procurement defined?

The group’s definition of social procurement is best defined by the presentation itself (see image on right).

More specifically, it signifies purchasing goods and services from suppliers including social enterprises and suppliers that demonstrate best practices in:

  • diversity, inclusion, and accessibility of marginalized populations,
  • providing employment and training for youth and people with employment barriers (e.g. people with disabilities, new immigrants, chronically unemployed, ex-offenders, etc.),
  • offering full-time and living wage employment for marginalized and targeted populations,
  • considering social value in their production process (e.g. Fairtrade, B Corps, etc.), and/or
  • adopting advanced health and safety practices.

 

What did the Working Group accomplish?

The Working Group developed a 15-minute training on “Including Social Value in Your Low-Value Purchases” to deliver to p-cards and credit card holders in public organizations. The content included key definitions, the business case for social procurement, and how and when to consider social value when making a purchase. Additionally, it shared 4 recent social procurement success stories.

Once the training was complete, members tested it on nearly 40 staff across 4 cities – Victoria, Halifax, Edmonton, and Calgary – and used the feedback to finetune the content and create additional resources such as an FAQ document and a guide on “How to Find a Social Value Business”.

 

What did participants think?

Feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive! They agreed (average score of 4.8/5) that the training:

  1. Enhanced their understanding of the concept and benefits of including social value in their purchases;
  2. Offered relevant information to help them include social value in their purchases; and
  3. Made them more likely to include social value considerations in their purchases.

Feedback forms included quotes like: “Learning about this topic and seeing that the city supports this initiative is making me think about how my section can improve. I hadn’t thought about my purchases like this prior!” and “I’m happy that the city is encouraging more sustainable and community-driven purchases rather than promoting buying whatever is cheapest!” Likewise, the success stories – like the one from Edmonton below – were often cited as insightful and motivating.

 

 

What’s next?

The training materials are shared with MCSP’s 20 member organizations through our online Resource Centre and are actively being updated with new success stories from across our network. Victoria and Halifax have formally integrated the new content into their staff training sessions and intranets… and we’re actively looking for more public organizations interested in implementing sustainable procurement in 2020!

This year, our network is relaunching as the Canadian Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement (CCSP) to officially open our community to the entire public sector and offer more accessible pricing to smaller organizations. Find out more in our new program brochure and reach out to us if you’re interested.

 

READ MORE

TRU launches next phase of sustainable procurement

This spring, the Municipal Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement (MCSP) launched its latest Annual Report on the State of Sustainable Public Procurement in Canada containing 9 success stories from members including this story from Thompson Rivers University. Download the full report here

Thompson Rivers University (TRU) is home to 14,000 students across several campuses in interior BC. TRU is proud of its platinum AASHE STARS sustainability score–the highest designation available–which credits its commitment to sustainable procurement. TRU will be releasing a new campus sustainability plan this fall.

Reeve kicked off the next phase of sustainable procurement work for TRU this week. We’ll be working with a variety of departments—from the Bookstore to Facilities and Operations—to define the highest impact procurement opportunities and align procurement with the environmental and social priorities emerging from the sustainability planning process. We’ll then develop product guides and an action plan, and bring buyers across campuses together for hands-on training.

This project builds on our work with TRU earlier this spring to develop a Sustainable Procurement Guidebook for buying staff at the university. The Guidebook offers simple decision frameworks, tools and resources on how to include sustainability within PCard, multiple quotes, and Request for Proposal procurement processes.

The Draft Guide was presented to TRU’s Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee in February 2019, and they were pleased with the results. Project lead Jim Gudjonson, Director of the Office of Environment and Sustainability observed that creating the Guide renewed the important conversation among key stakeholders about implementing sustainable procurement at TRU.

This second phase will now define the priority product and service categories for sustainable procurement and equip buyers across TRU’s campuses and regional centres with focused information and training on these procurement categories.

Join our team as a Sustainability Project Consultant

Update: The position has been filled. 

Reeve Consulting is growing and looking for a new part-time Project Consultant to assist with client sustainable supply chain and sustainability-related work.

Since 2004, Reeve Consulting has worked with clients in the public and private sector to identify their sustainability priorities and activate social and environmental opportunities in their supply chains.  We are a small firm that works with big clients. We are known for keeping things simple, developing high-quality work and delivering results.

We’re inviting a highly motivated individual to join our team in Downtown Vancouver, BC; someone who is passionate about helping organizations implement environmental and social impact programs. We require someone who has outstanding communication skills, demonstrates strong attention to detail, and possesses 2-3 years experience working on sustainability projects; preferably in a consulting role. Working directly with the company President, and liaising with a network of associates, the Project Consultant supports key client work and assists with related project coordination tasks for the firm.

We’re offering a 9-month contract with the potential for ongoing employment and/or extended hours depending on company needs and candidate interest. Candidates should have their own current laptops equipped with MS Office and a mobile phone.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Researching sustainable supply chain trends, best practices, and related issues.
  • Creating client deliverables (policies, tools, plans, reports, presentations, etc.).
  • Organizing thought-leader interviews, note-taking and summarizing research findings.
  • Drafting, editing and report production, including large document formatting.
  • Supporting project meetings, note-taking, and coordinating project follow-up tasks.
  • Preparing and delivering work plans with other consultants, team members, and associates.
  • Tracking project expenses and managing online/hardcopy documents and files.
  • Supporting marketing, proposal writing and developing new opportunities to grow the firm.

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • 2-3 years’ experience working in a sustainability or environmental role (f/t or p/t).
  • Post-secondary degree in related sustainability, environmental or planning discipline.
  • Highly knowledgeable about sustainability, responsible sourcing and circular economy.
  • Basic knowledge of procurement processes within private and public sector organizations.
  • Extremely well-organized and capable of managing multiple projects and relationships.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills with full English fluency.
  • Excellent research and analytical skills.
  • Outstanding ability to exercise judgement at all times and proven trustworthiness.
  • Creative, curious, with a collaborative attitude and problem-solving working style.
  • Independently-motivated worker and thinker.
  • Proven skills with MS Office and other programs (Zoom, Dropbox, CRM).

Desirable Skills and Experience

  • Direct experience working as a consultant within a firm or independently.
  • Deep networks within the BC, Canadian or broader sustainability communities.
  • Strong knowledge of public procurement and supply chain risks.
  • Talented in developing and managing relationships with potential clients and partners.
  • Ability to master and teach others new software applications.
  • Well-practiced analytical, critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills.
  • Marketing experience and ability to use social media platforms to promote projects.
  • Basic design skills and ability to produce great-looking reports, tables, and proposals.
  • Strong diplomacy and ability to facilitate decision-making and consensus within groups.
  • Ability to work in French.
Download the full job description here.

This position offers a great opportunity to make a significant contribution to the inner workings of a small consultancy and offers the potential for career growth. It will expose the successful candidate to in-depth work on a wide variety of projects and with a wide variety of clients globally.

Reeve Consulting knows that diverse teams are strong teams. We welcome people from all identities, backgrounds and experiences. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply, although Canadians and Permanent Residents will be given priority.

If you are interested in this opportunity, send your curriculum vitae with a covering letter to timreeve@reeveconsulting.com with “Application: Project Consultant” in the subject line by September 20, 2019 at 5 pm. Applications received in any other form will not be considered. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted. No phone inquiries.

Lessons from Canada’s first Circular Procurement Summit

Photo by Elaine Somers.

 

The concept of a ‘circular economy’ is gaining attention as a way for society to increase prosperity, reduce consumption and minimize the creation of waste – especially for plastics – which have proven to be exceedingly difficult for producers and consumers to manage responsibly.

This growing emphasis on circularity is a thoughtful and necessary response to the traditional linear “take, make, dispose” model that starts with resource extraction and ends with waste. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, considered to be at the forefront of the promoting the circularity agenda, defines the circular economy as ”an economic and industrial system that is restorative and regenerative by design, and which aims to keep products, components and materials at their highest utility and value at all time”.

It sounds good, and in our opinion, it makes total sense. These concepts, however, aren’t really new. Groups like the Recycling Council of BC (RCBC), Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO) and the Municipal Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement (MCSP) and many others have long promoted business practices and procurement programs that emphasize resource efficiency, leasing rather than owning and ‘buying recycled’. What’s new is the language. Terms like circular economy and circular procurement are helping bring more awareness and clarity to concepts like closed-loop systems and eco-efficiency – and that’s definitely a good thing.  We still need many more organizations using their procurement and buying power to send signals to the marketplace and stimulate massive changes in our supply chains and systems. In fact, we need more circular economies. We always have and the call to action is greater than ever.

So it was timely that Reeve Consulting was able to recently gather with over 100 buyers, suppliers, sustainability managers, waste reduction coordinators, innovation managers and other sustainable procurement stakeholders in Toronto, Ontario to attend Canada’s first ever Circular Procurement Summit hosted by RCO. It was a really first-class event both in terms of content and the quality of the speakers and presentations and also by the fact that over 50 stakeholders spent nearly three days discussing concepts, showcasing examples and connecting around common challenges. Kudos to RCO for pulling this off!

Experts like Cuno Van Geet and Mervyn Jones from Europe highlighted an impressive array of policies, programs and examples of circular procurement, including the well-known and inspiring program at the Schiphol airport, who has entered into a collaboration for the new lighting in the terminal buildings at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The light as a service means that Schiphol pays for the light it uses, while its supplier Philips remains the owner of all fixtures and installations. Philips and its partner Cofely will be jointly responsible for the performance and durability of the system and ultimately its re-use and recycling at end of life. By using energy-efficient LED lamps, a 50% reduction in electricity consumption will be achieved over conventional lighting systems.

Whether you call it sustainable procurement – as we tend to at Reeve Consulting, responsible procurement as our friends do at ECPAR or circular procurement, there’s consensus that whatever it’s called, it’s really about incorporating relevant specifications and criteria into the planning and procurement process so that we get off that tired and failed ‘take, make, waste’ economic model that has brought us into conflict with the earth’s natural limits.

Public institutions in Canada spend over $200 billion dollars annually on good and services. Sustainable procurement is one of the biggest levers we have to shift to a more circular economy. Let’s not let terminology get in the way of smart procurement. Let’s get on with doing the doing!

Considering end-of-life management in municipal tenders 

This spring, the Municipal Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement (MCSP) launched its latest Annual Report on the State of Sustainable Public Procurement in Canada containing 9 success stories from members including this story from the City of Edmonton below. Download the full report here

 

City of Edmonton diverts used oil filters and containers, glycol, and waste fuel from landfills  

In June 2018, the City of Edmonton awarded a contract for the sustainable end-oflife management of oil and oil productssuch as oil filters and containersglycol, and waste fuelfrom the City’s Eco Stations and fleet maintenance shops.  

First, the tender required bidders to validate their downstream processes showing how products will be processed and recycled. Then, the Corporate Procurement and Supply Services Branch worked with the Waste Services Branch to choose a credible processor and create a contract that ensures the processor complies with the City’s environmental regulations and effectively diverts oil and oil products from landfills 

Through this tendera significant amount of oil and oil products is diverted from landfills. High quality used automotive oil is re-refined into new lubricating oil. Lower quality used oil is processed into a fuel that can be used by pulp mills, cement and asphalt plants, and other industrial applications. Oil filters are crushed (with the residual oil captured) and processed by a metal recycler for manufacturing into construction materials such as rebar and pipe. Plastic oil containers are pelletized and used as feedstock for products such as new containers, guardrails, fence posts and railway ties.  

According to Hieu Lam, Senior Buyer at the City’s Corporate Procurement and Supply Services, “We were able to facilitate this procurement because we have the appropriate infrastructure in place. The City’s Eco Stations do a great job in collecting and separating product, which makes it easier for the processor to collect and haul the product to their site.” In this case, the City has taken a full life cycle and multi-stakeholder approach that involves engaging with suppliers as partners in delivering an effective city program.  

 

City of Edmonton’s Eco Station Program  

The City of Edmonton’s Eco Station program provides residents four convenient, environmentally sound, costeffective, and safe facilities to drop off household hazardous waste (including oil and oil products), universal waste, general waste, and recyclables. It has operated for 23 years, and as of 2016 served over 2.7 million customers and diverted over 4 million gallons of household hazardous waste (HHW). The program is responsible for the diversion of almost half of the HHW in the Province of Alberta, though it represents only 21% of the population. It was honored with a Special Waste Management Gold Award of Excellence from the Solid Waste Association of North America in 2016.  

 

About the MCSP

Learn more about the MCSP here and contact Tim Reeve at tim@reeveconsulting.com if you’d like to join our network.

    How to use the MCSP’s latest report to improve your sustainable procurement program

    This spring, the Municipal Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement (MCSP), a group of 18 leading Canadian public institutions, launched its latest Annual Report on the State of Sustainable Public Procurement in Canada.

    The report outlines the latest trends in green, circular, social, and ethical public procurement, benchmarks members progress at implementing the MCSP best practices framework, and offers member updates and success stories. Not only is it a great read, but it’s also useful when improving your sustainable procurement program.

     

    Find 5 tips on how you can leverage the report below.

     

    1. Share it with leadership

    Send the report to your senior leadership team and/or council. If you’re just getting started, it can inspire your leaders to see what’s possible and share with them that you are part of a movement across the country.

     

    If your organization is featured as a success story, it showcases that you’re leading sustainable public procurement in Canada. The good PR can help justify more resources and support for your initiatives.

     

    2. Get inspired

    Check out the member program development section and success stories to inspire new initiatives for the upcoming year.

     

    3. Connect with other members

    Compare your benchmarking results to those of other organizations and reach out to members who rank high on areas you’re looking to improve in.

     

    4. Align your program with best practices

    Review the MCSP’s 10-point Best Practice Framework with your team and internal stakeholders. Discuss gaps and opportunities to further embed sustainable purchasing across your organization.

     

    5. Publicize your successes

    If you have a success story, share the report with your marketing and communications team as well as local publications to have your initiatives shared broadly to your stakeholders. Communicating successes is key to generating more buy-in for your work!

     

    Shout-out to The City of Winnipeg who had their success story mentioned in The Winnipeg Free Press last year. Read the article here.

     

    Want to learn more?

    Download the full report here and contact Alyssa McDonald, Program Coordinator at the CCSP if you are interested in learning more about the MCSP.

    New Report on Trends & Best Practices in Sustainable Public Procurement in Canada 

    Manitoba Jobs and Economy Minister, Kevin Chief, at the announcement of Mother Earth Recycling’s mattress recycling program in Partnership with IKEA. Mike Deal, Winnipeg Free Press. 

     

    A network of nineteen leading public sector organizations has just released a report on their progress towards aligning their spending with their values and commitments on sustainability. “Sustainable procurement has reached a turning point in its relevance as a strategic tool to drive sustainability in the public sector,” says Tim Reeve, Managing Director of the Municipal Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement (MCSP). “We are seeing a vibrant national conversation around sustainable procurement as a core strategy for the public sector to take action on climate change, poverty reduction, and building healthy communities.” Established in 2010, the MCSP supports Canadian public-sector institutions to work together to set and achieve sustainable purchasing goals.

     

    About the Report

    The report highlights the country’s biggest sustainable procurement trends, showcases the popular ‘moon chart’, which benchmarks members against each other, and offers member updates and success stories around social and aboriginal procurement, green infrastructure, innovative training and communication initiatives, the circular economy, and more.

     

    Trends

    According to the report, there are some significant trends to watch. The Government of Canada and several provincial governments are creating an enabling environment for social purchasing and the use of community benefit agreements to provide employment and skills training opportunities for Canadians with barriers to employment. There are a growing number of hubs and networks supporting a standardized approach to sustainable and social procurement at a regional level. In 2018, the Coastal Communities Initiative launched on Vancouver Island to support social procurement through education, training and coaching. Finally, increasing awareness on the negative impacts of plastic waste has driven new commitments this year in government and industry, with new regulatory initiatives and industry-wide collaborations to consider investment in sustainable plastic alternatives and zero-waste strategies.

     

    Success Stories

    Members are enriching their sustainable procurement programs and applying sustainability to new procurement categories. They are developing innovative partnerships with certification organizations and academic researchers to design new approaches and engage supplier communities. In August 2018, Simon Fraser University became the first university in Canada to become an Aboriginal Procurement Champion, a special designation by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB). The university is now working to embed a clause on Aboriginal procurement into the university’s overall procurement policy. Mary Aylesworth, SFU’s Director of Financial Operations, is excited to see SFU take action on reconciliation by supporting Indigenous entrepreneurship and economic development. She says, “I want to see this grow, so that all public sector organizations think about how they can work with Aboriginal businesses before going out to the general market.”

     

    On the environmental side, the Province of BC took a leap forward in supporting the transition to clean technology vehicles by making it more accessible for BC’s public sector to invest in charging infrastructure. It’s a big deal for action on climate change, as each electric vehicle on the road in BC displaces four tonnes of CO2 annually. The BC Procurement Services Branch collaborated with the BC Climate Action Secretariat to release a supply arrangement to purchase Electric Vehicle Charging Stations. The full service arrangement allows client departments to solicit bids from a pool of pre-qualified suppliers, including regional distributors and electricians.

     

    The report highlights other innovative member initiatives—the University of Alberta’s new designation as a Fair Trade Campus, an innovative box spring recycling pilot with an Indigenous social enterprise by the City of Winnipeg, the recycling of used oil filters and containers, glycol and waste fuel at the City of Edmonton’s network of Eco Stations and an ambitious new Zero Waste Food Ware Strategy and series of plastic waste reduction initiatives by UBC’s Student Housing and Hospitality Services (SHHS).

     

    Looking to the Future

    Reeve is proud of member accomplishments and is excited about the growth of the network in 2019. “The MCSP fulfills a very important niche as the only known Canada-wide sustainable procurement network catering specifically to public procurement professionals,” he says. “We have a new strategic plan to chart our course to 2022 and are looking forward to supporting a diverse range of public sector organizations to gain better business and social value from sustainable procurement.”

     

    Download the full report here and contact Tim Reeve at tim@reeveconsulting.com if you are interested in learning more about the MCSP.

    _________________________

     

    The Municipal Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement (MCSP) is a member-based network of Canadian public-sector institutions working together to deliver better services and achieve better value through sustainable purchasing. Our member organizations meet virtually several times per year to share information, collaborate on tool development, and exchange lessons learned related to mitigating risks and improving social and environmental outcomes by considering sustainability in procurement.