5 Tips for Buying Sustainable IT Products

Will you be writing RFPs for computers or printers in the next 3-6 months but are unsure of what sustainability criteria to evaluate? Do you have trouble understanding if your IT purchases are in fact the most sustainable options?

 

On November 5, 2020, members of the Canadian Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement (CCSP) learn how to improve the social and environmental impact of their IT purchasing from expert speakers Clare Hobby, Director Purchaser Engagement at TCO Certified, and Frances Edmonds, Head of Sustainable Impact at HP Canada.

Find below a summary of tips to apply when purchasing IT materials for your organization.

 

1. Leverage independently verified certifications to avoid greenwashing  

Leverage certifications like TCO Certified, which independently verifies the environmental, ethical and social sustainability of computers, displays, mobile devices, and 5 other IT hardware categories.

Certifications do the hard work for you. TCO Development spent 200,000+ hours on verifying and certifying 3500+ models and 27 brands in 2019 alone—representing a total of 100+ million certified devices.

Want to learn more? Check out TCO Certified’s fact sheet, browse their product finder, and join their Basics for Purchasers webinar on November 18, 2020 for a live introduction and Q&A.

 

 

2. Ask IT companies to disclose their sustainability impact

According to TCO Certified’s Impacts and Insights Report on Circular IT Management in Practice, 86.6% of all emissions related to notebooks (or laptops) are associated with manufacturing and transportation so don’t stop at evaluating the product’s sustainability performance (see left). Assure that vendors are being transparent about their operational sustainability. Ask for an EcoVadis assessment, CDP scores, proof of material sourcing, and the like.

See examples of the Carbon Disclosure Project’s (CDP) scoring of IT companies based on their water-, forest-, and climate-related performance.

 

 

 

3. Extend the IT product’s lifecycle

E-waste is the world’s fastest-growing waste stream with over 50 million metric tonnes generated annually and only 20% of the stream safely recycled. Avoid buying new if you can! Extend the lifecycle of your devices by ensuring products are highly durable, have standardized connectors, can be easily repaired, come with strong warranties, and ensure data can be easily wiped for reuse.

When possible, buy a service rather than a product. Suppliers then become responsible for repairing, reusing, and recycling the product!

 

4. Ask for post-consumer recycled content

When a sample of CCSP members were polled in the webinar, only 8% stated they asked for recycled content in their IT RFPs. The average percentage of post-recycled plastics in IT is 0-3%. Procurement can signal to suppliers to do more by asking about post-consumer recycled content, reducing plastics in our landfills, oceansnatural environment, and perhaps even our bodies. It is possible! In 2020, HP announced it aims to increase its use of recycled plastics from 9% now to 30% by 2025.

 

5. Don’t reinvent the wheel

There are tons of resources out there to help you along the way! Here are a few to get started:

  1. TCO Purchaser Guide
  2. WWF & HP Buying Responsibly Guide
  3. HP’s Sustainable IT Purchasing Guide
  4. Impacts and Insights Report – Circular IT Management in Practice
  5. HP’s Carbon Footprint Calculator

 

_______________________

WRITTEN BY: ALYSSA MCDONALD, PROGRAM MANAGER AT THE CANADIAN COLLABORATION FOR SUSTAINABLE PROCUREMENT (CCSP)

WANT TO STAY UP TO DATE WITH OTHER SUSTAINABLE PROCUREMENT NEWS IN CANADA? FOLLOW THE CCSP ON LINKEDIN AND SIGN-UP TO THE CCSP’S MONTHLY NEWSLETTER.

5 Tips for Measuring and Reporting Your Sustainable Procurement Progress

Do you have a sustainable procurement policy but struggle to make meaningful changes in how you buy? Do you have trouble understanding if your actions are positively impacting your community?

On October 15, 2020, members of the Canadian Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement (CCSP) gathered to learn how to set, monitor, and report on their program performance from expert speakers Andrea Westfall, Sustainable Procurement Coordinator at the City of Mississauga and John Bys, Public Sector Specialist at EcoVadis. Find below a summary of tips to apply in your organization!

 

The Basics

Measurement and reporting allows you to take regular stock of your progress towards achieving your goals. An effective measurement and evaluation system:

  • Helps define sustainability within an organization,
  • Highlights what’s working well,
  • Identifies areas for improvement, and
  • Creates accountability for staff.

 

It’s imperative to set strategic Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that align with your overall goals. These KPIs fall into two categories:

1. Process indicators – how well an organization is aligning practices with your sustainable procurement strategy, action plan, and policy. For example, some may track percentage of bids included sustainability, number of supplier audits, or number of staff trained in sustainable procurement.

2. Outcome indicators – specific social, environmental, or economic impacts. For example, this could include number of jobs created or amount of waste diverted from landfills.

 

Under outcome indicators, you can choose to assess two different types of sustainability performance:

1. Product- or service-level sustainability – specific features of the purchase, such as toxic chemicals, recycled content, or number of people employed from a target group.

2. Enterprise-level sustainability – leadership practices of the organization as a whole, such as less waste in their dumpsters, less energy consumed, best practice health and safety policies, or diversity and inclusions practices, etc.

 

5 Tips for Measuring and Reporting

 

1. Start by assessing your reporting capabilities

Do you already have dedicated purchasing reports that collect useful data? What can you easily start monitoring? You’ll want to find a few initial KPIs to start monitoring ASAP.

Once those initial KPIs are being tracked, assess what’s possible in the medium- and long-term. Do you have the ability to request new reports? Do you have budget for a better reporting server or dedicated IT support? Choose your KPIs while keeping in mind that the cost of manually collecting data must equal the benefit of the KPI to your organization. If it’s not useful or meaningful to your team, leadership, Council/Board, or the public, it’s not likely something worth tracking.

If you’re a CCSP member, follow the lead of the City of Calgary who presents the CCSP’s Annual Report to Council, showcasing their benchmarking ratings and success story as a testament to their progress. No additional work necessary!

 

2. Move from process to outcomes indicators

Start by measuring process indicators. They are easier to track and will help show progress quickly. Outcome indicators are often harder to track and may require certain infrastructure and/or training to accurately measure.

The City of Mississauga launched Phase 1 of their Sustainable Procurement Implementation Plan in 2018. The Plan has three overarching goals and six objectives to help reach those goals. To measure how successful, they set and monitored 13 KPIs related to their goals and objectives. The focus is largely process outcomes such as the percentage of buyers, client departments staff, and suppliers trained. However, they included training outcome indicators using pre- and post-surveys to measure comprehension and likelihood to apply knowledge. As the implementation comes to a close, the City plans to integrate more outcome indicators for Phase 2.

 

3. Avoid greenwashing by leveraging third-party verification

According to a CCSP poll, 89% of members did not have a way of consistently measuring their suppliers’ enterprise-level sustainability practices, while the remaining 11% use self-report sustainability questionnaires. Leveraging third-party assessments, who collect and assess sustainability data from globally recognized sources, can:

  • Can validate and compare suppliers claims
  • Track suppliers’ results over time
  • Provide recommendations for improvement
  • Engage sustainable suppliers to further innovate

Learn more about EcoVadis in their 3-minute Ratings Solution Overview video, SPLC’s Whitepaper on Strategies to Maximize Engagement in Sustainable Public Purchasing EcoVadis’ library of sustainable sourcing resources for public actors.

 

4. Share info externally and internally

KPIs that no one looks at aren’t useful. Make sure you have a plan of how you’re going to communicate your results. Can they be integrated into existing reports and communications? Do you have an intranet with a section where they could be posted? Show your key stakeholders that your efforts are driving organizational goals. Use your results to inspire action and make a case for more resources.

At the City of Mississauga, these KPI’s are uploaded to an internal dashboard to create visibility. Approved staff have access to view the dashboard in real-time and data is pulled from here into larger reports. The dashboard in particular creates visibility for the work and provides proof of concept, answer questions like: What is the program for? Is time being used effectively? Are they on track to meet our goals? For greater accountability, visibility and impact, mandate annual public reports within your policy like the City of Vancouver or the State of Maryland.

 

5. Leverage success stories to go beyond the numbers

Collect and share engaging success story stories that include humor, graphics, and inspiring messages. This is a friendly way showcase progress to folks who aren’t used to looking at data all day. It will make your program come to life!

City of Mississauga shares success stories like it’s “Ice, Ice Baby” example whereby the fleet team used a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) tool to discover that purchasing electronic ice resurfacers was cheaper over the total lifespan and reduced it’s emissions by 832 tonnes (eCO2)—equivalent to taking 255 cards off the road.

 

Bonus Tip

It’s not enough to simply measure and report KPIs, you should review and update your KPIs as your expertise and program evolves and verify and benchmark your progress using third parties like the CCSP, SDGs, and SPLC to align with best practices.

 

_______________________
WRITTEN BY: ALYSSA MCDONALD, PROGRAM MANAGER AT THE CANADIAN COLLABORATION FOR SUSTAINABLE PROCUREMENT (CCSP)
WANT TO STAY UP TO DATE WITH OTHER SUSTAINABLE PROCUREMENT NEWS IN CANADA? FOLLOW THE CCSP ON LINKEDIN AND SIGN-UP TO THE CCSP’S MONTHLY NEWSLETTER.

JOIN OUR TEAM AS A SUSTAINABLE SUPPLY CHAIN SPECIALIST

Reeve Consulting is growing and looking for a new full-time Project Consultant based in Canada 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 as thought-leaders that help clients find simple solutions to complex sustainability challenges.

We are inviting a highly motivated individual to join our team—someone who is passionate about helping organizations implement sustainable supply chain programs. We require someone who has outstanding project management and communication skills, demonstrates strong attention to detail, and possesses 5 years of experience working on sustainable supply chain projects, preferably in a consulting or sourcing team role. Working directly with the company President, and liaising with colleagues and associates, the Sustainable Supply Chain Specialist supports key client work and assists with related marketing and proposal writing tasks for the firm.

We are offering ongoing regular employment based on a 4 day/32-hour workweek. We don’t typically work Friday’s at Reeve if we can avoid it. Candidates should have their own current laptops equipped with MS Office and a mobile phone.

 

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Creating client deliverables such as policies, tools, action plans, reports, presentations, etc.
  • Delivering client projects on time and on budget, including developing work plans, tracking project expenses, and providing progress updates to key stakeholders.
  • Researching sustainable supply chain trends, best practices, and related issues.
  • Organizing thought-leader interviews, note-taking and summarizing research findings.
  • Drafting, editing and report production, including large document formatting.
  • Preparing and facilitating workshops and presentations in-person and on Zoom.
  • Leveraging communication skills to develop strong relationships with clients and partners.
  • Supporting marketing, proposal writing and developing new opportunities to grow the firm.
  • Provide mentorship to Junior and Intermediate staff, providing constructive feedback on client deliverables and supporting their professional development.

 

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Living in and able to work in Canada.
  • 5 years’ experience working in procurement and/or sustainable supply chain programs.
  • Post-secondary degree in sustainability, business, and/or related disciplines.
  • Highly knowledgeable about sustainability, responsible sourcing and circular economy principles.
  • Strong knowledge of procurement processes within private and public sector organizations.
  • Extremely well-organized and capable of managing multiple projects and relationships.
  • Experience with facilitation, presenting, and public speaking.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills with full English fluency.
  • Excellent research and analytical skills.
  • Outstanding judgement and proven trustworthiness.
  • Creative, curious, with a collaborative attitude and problem-solving working style.
  • Independent worker and thinker.
  • Proven skills with MS Office and other business software programs, including Zoom, Dropbox, and CRM systems.

 

Desired Skills and Experience

  • Direct experience working as a supply chain consultant within a firm or independently.
  • Deep networks within the BC, Canadian or broader sustainability communities.
  • Strong knowledge of sustainability supply chain risks.
  • Talented in developing and managing relationships with potential clients and partners.
  • Marketing experience and ability to use social media, MailChimp and WordPress to promote projects.
  • Design skills and ability to produce great-looking reports, tables, and proposals.
  • Strong diplomacy and ability to facilitate decision-making and consensus within groups.
  • Experience managing teams and mentoring young professionals.
  • Ability to master and teach new software applications.
  • Ability to work in French.

 

This position offers a great opportunity to make a significant contribution to the inner workings of a small consultancy and offers 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.

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. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted. No phone inquiries please.

 

Summary

  • Start Date: November 2020
  • Hours: Ongoing regular salaried role @ 4 days/week (32h/week)
  • Location: Remote (in Canada) or @ Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Supervisor: Tim Reeve, President and Company Founder
  • Pay: Based on experience and qualifications

 

How to Apply

Send a cover letter and resume to info@reeveconsulting.com with “Application: Sustainable Supply Chain Specialist” in the subject line by November 9th, 2020 at 5 pm.

Getting Sustainable and Social Procurement Lingo Straight Once and for All

Photo by ThisIsEngineering from Pexels

 

There are a lot of terms being thrown around in the sustainable and social procurement world these days and it’s a source of confusion for many. For example, have you heard Senior Executives or City Councillors talking about fair wage when they actually mean living wage? Or think social procurement is somehow different or distinct from sustainable procurement?

The Canadian Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement (CCSP) is here to clear the air because how can we be effective in advancing our social and environmental goals if we aren’t all speaking the same language? Find below definitions of sustainable and social procurement as well as other important related terms.

 

4 PILLARS OF SUSTAINABLE PROCUREMENT

Sustainable procurement embeds relevant sustainability considerations into processes for selecting goods and services, alongside traditional considerations like price, quality, service, and technical specifications. It’s a broad term that all sustainability issues can be nested under.

Typically, organizations draw from some combination of the following 4 pillars depending on their organizational plans and priorities. However, the best programs integrate all 4 pillars in a comprehensive, holistic way.

 

1. Environmental or Green Procurement

Sometimes referred to as circular procurement, aiming to:

  • reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, waste, energy and water usage, and toxicity,
  • increase the circularity of our economy, and
  • support clean, renewable industries.

 

2. Ethical Procurement

Reducing ‘sweatshop labour’ by:

 

3. Indigenous Procurement

Sometimes referred to as Aboriginal procurement, purchasing from Indigenous owned and operated businesses to support Reconciliation and socio-economic resilience for Indigenous peoples and communities.

 

4. Social Procurement

Reducing poverty and fostering inclusivity by creating economic opportunities for equity-seeking groups and other target populations. This includes:

  • purchasing from suppliers that offer social value, such as non-profits, social enterprises, and diverse suppliers, and
  • mandating suppliers to deliver social value as a condition of the contract, often outlined through Community Benefit Agreements (CBAs).

 

Photo by ThisIsEngineering from Pexels

KEY TERMS FOR SOCIAL PROCUREMENT

Within the domain of social procurement, there are many other related concepts to understand. Find a list of definitions for commonly used terms below.

 

EQUITY-SEEKING GROUPS, often referred to as marginalized populations, include women, Indigenous peoples, members of visible minorities and persons with disabilities. 

 

TARGET POPULATIONS are groups that are of special interest to a community. They may fall outside of traditional equity-seeking groups but are nevertheless important for the health and vibrancy of the community. Examples include youth, new immigrants, veterans, ex-convicts, homeless people, and small-medium-sized business owners.

 

SOCIAL VALUE within the context of procurement includes suppliers offering: 

  • socially responsible production (e.g. certified B Corps), and 
  • leading diversity, equity and inclusion practices, 
  • employment and training for equity-seeking groups and target populations,
  • full-time fair and/or living wage employment,
  • advanced health and safety practices, and the like. 

 

SOCIAL ENTERPRISE is an entity with a mission to achieve social, cultural or environmental aims through the sale of goods and services that reinvests the majority of its profits back into its mission.

 

DIVERSE SUPPLIERS are majority-owned, managed, and controlled by Indigenous Persons or individuals from an equity-seeking community including, but not limited to, women, racialized minorities, persons with disabilities, newcomers, and LGBTQ+ persons.

Many organizations with supplier diversity programs require suppliers to be certified by organizations including the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council, Women Business Enterprise Canada Council, Canadian Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, and/or the Inclusive Workplace Supply Council of Canada.

 

LIVING WAGES reflect the hourly amount a family needs to earn to cover basic expenses in their specific community. These basic expenses include food, clothing, rental housing, childcare, transportation, and small savings to cover illness or emergencies. Living wages reduce severe financial stress by lifting families out of poverty and providing a basic level of economic security.

For example, Canadian municipalities certified as living wage employers include the City of Vancouver,  New Westminster,  Burnaby,  Port Coquitlam,  Cambridge,  Kingston, Grey Bruce, North Perth, and the County Huron. Some cities have adopted category-specific Living Wage policies like the City of Edmonton’s policy for janitorial services.

 

FAIR WAGES are minimum wage rates for specific occupations. They must be paid by contractors doing work for governments with fair wage policies. These policies generally apply to the construction, trades, and sometimes cleaning and security workers. They are often tied to union wage rates, ensuring contractors don not slash wages and benefits.

For example, the Government of Canada, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Yukon and a number of municipalities such as the City of Toronto, Thunder Bay, Clarington, Hamilton, and Vaughn have adopted fair wage policies.

 

COMMUNITY BENEFITS AGREEMENTS (CBAs) require suppliers to provide jobs, training, procurement opportunities, and other benefits to marginalized and target groups in a particular community. They are most often included in Industrial-Commercial-Institutional developments.

For example, Infrastructure Canada’s CEB initiative requires applicable projects to employ or provide procurement opportunities to at least three out of the eight following targeted groups: apprentices, Indigenous peoples, women, persons with disabilities, veterans, youth, recent immigrants, and small, medium-sized and social enterprises.

 

LOCAL PROCUREMENT refers to the purchase of goods and services from suppliers in the buyer’s region and aims to foster local economic development and build stronger relationships with their community.

For example, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador increased their procurement thresholds and implemented a local preference provision in June 2020 to better support local businesses through COVID-19 and beyond.

 

KEEP IN TOUCH

Stay up to date with sustainable procurement news in Canada by following the CCSP on LinkedIn, signing up for the CCSP’s monthly newsletter, and reading our latest Annual Report on the State of Sustainable Public Procurement in Canada.

____________________________

WRITTEN BY: TIM REEVE AND ALYSSA MCDONALD FROM THE CANADIAN COLLABORATION FOR SUSTAINABLE PROCUREMENT (CCSP)

 

Looking for Top Tier Sustainable Procurement Events?

Have you been missing the learning and networking you used to get from in-person sustainability events? The Reeve team doesn’t want you to miss out on some of the most significant upcoming events on procurement and sustainability, so, we’ve highlighted the events we’re most excited about over the next few months.

Most of these sessions would have been hosted in person but are now transitioning to online because of COVID, something we have all been adjusting to! Like us, you may find yourself signing up to online events and either not attending or finding it less valuable than in-person events but we suggest giving it another shot!

Check out these 6 upcoming events and test our tips. Don’t miss out on the learning and connecting!

 

Tips for Attending Online Events

Before the Event

  • Create at least one learning goal and one business development/networking goal.
  • If possible, identify 1-3 people, either speakers or other attendees you’d like to connect with.
  • Prepare 1-3 questions in advance, knowing these may change during the actual event.

During the Event

  • Ask your 1-3 questions. Adapt as required and don’t forget to mention where you are from.
  • Connect with other attendees, most online events will have a chat function, so don’t forget to introduce yourself and use it.
  • Make note of anyone asking questions relevant to your own work and try to connect with them through the chat.

After the Event

  • Connect with the speakers and other attendees on LinkedIn to keep the conversation going.
  • Summarize your main take-away’s / learnings from the event and share back with your team.

 

July 16: SPLC Virtual Connect

The Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC) is hosting a virtual matchmaking event with a sustainability focus that offers an opportunity for buyers and suppliers to network in meaningful ways. Participants are invited to discover fresh business opportunities beneficial for all procurement professionals, whether seeking services or fulfilling the critical needs of buyers dedicated to influencing the sustainability goals of their organizations and their commitment to the good of the planet. More info and registration found here and more events found in their activities calendar here.

 

Aug. 25-27: GreenBiz Circularity 20

The GreenBiz Circularity 20 Conference will now be held as a free online event featuring plenaries, breakouts, tours, networking opportunities, and a solutions showcase all focussed on employing circular economy principles that navigate disruption, increase resilience, respond to shifting consumer demand and unlock new business opportunities. Sessions of interest for procurement professionals would include:

  • Forging a Resilient Circular Supply Chain
  • From Product to Practice: Circular Innovation from the Ground Up
  • Enabling Global Circular Supply Chains in the Electronics Industry

More info and registration found here.

 

Aug. 24-28: NIGP Forum Annual Meeting

The NIGP Annual Forum is the largest North American educational conference for individuals in public procurement. This year, the 75th anniversary, will be offered online and feature over 50 procurement-focussed sessions, keynotes, networking, virtual happy hours and more.

We would encourage you to bring a sustainability lens and ask questions to every session you attend; these sessions caught our eye as particularly relevant for sustainable procurement:

  • From Cradle to Grave: Procurement is Just the Beginning
  • Practical Steps to Move Procurement from a Back-Office Function to a Strategic Business Partner with Internal Departments
  • Social Responsibility! Why?

More info and registration found here.

 

Sept. 29-30: World Circular Economy Forum

Finland, the Netherlands, and Canada are joining forces for this year’s World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF) online. Circular economy change-makers from around the world will share practical circular economy examples that will help us rebuild our economies stronger, greener and better! The Recycling Council of Ontario is set to host a side event on circular procurement alongside WCEF. More info and registration found here.

Two additional WCEF events will be held on April 15, 2021, in the Netherlands and online as well as September 13 – 15, 2021, in Toronto, Canada.

 

Oct. 5-9: SCC National Conference

Supply Chain Canada’s (SCC) 2020 National Conference and Fellow Awards Gala will focus on visibility, transparency, and innovation. Attendees will hear from expert speakers, discuss the latest topics in supply chain, discuss best practices, and build their network. More info and registration found here.

 

Oct. 20-22: FCM Sustainable Communities Conference

Municipalities are at the forefront of Covid response and sustainable development, and the function of procurement plays a large role in enabling this. The FCM Virtual Sustainable Communities Conference theme this year is Bringing Projects to Life, where delegates will explore fundamental issues and solutions for building sustainable communities. More info and registration found here.

 

Don’t forget to grab a beverage, turn your video on, and we’ll see you all there!

A Call-to-Action this Canada Day

Photo credit: Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

 

Support Aboriginal Purchasing in Your Organization

As we celebrate Canada Day, the Reeve team is feeling extremely grateful to live in a place where people from all backgrounds can come together. However, we believe it is extremely important to recognize that our rights and freedoms came at a cost. Indigenous peoples have suffered immensely in this country and greater efforts must be made to achieve Reconciliation.

As procurement professionals, we want to show our support to Indigenous peoples by highlighting Indigenous enterprises and the institutions advancing Aboriginal procurement policies and practices across the country.

Simon Fraser University, a member of the Canadian Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement (CCSP), has put in place an Aboriginal Procurement Procedure to share its procurement opportunities with certified Aboriginal businesses. SFU is also an Aboriginal Procurement Champion, a special designation by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB), as part of its Supply Change program to encourage organizations to procure products and services from Aboriginal suppliers. Mary Aylesworth, SFU’s Director of Financial Operations, reports that this approach has worked well.  “With CCAB I found a source that was national in scope and would do the process of authenticating Aboriginal businesses, as well as offering a channel for outreach and marketing to Aboriginal suppliers. I’d like to inspire MCSP members to consider adopting a similar approach. I want to see this grow and develop, so that all public sector organizations think about how they can work with Aboriginal businesses before going out to the general market.” For more on Aboriginal Procurement at SFU, check out the CCSP’s 2019 Annual Report.

We encourage you to contact the CCAB and the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council (CAMSC) to learn more about their programs, inform yourself on Indigenous procurement best practices, and be inspired by organizations already on their journey aligning their spending with their commitments to Reconciliation such as:

  1. BC Hydro – Indigenous Contract & Procurement Policy
  2. Manitoba Hydro – Indigenous and Northern Procurement Policy
  3. Hydro One – Indigenous Relations Policy and Business Directory
  4. Province of BC – Indigenous Procurement Initiative
  5. Government of Saskatchewan – Indigenous Procurement Policy
  6. SaskPower – Aboriginal Procurement Policy

There is lots of work to be done to achieve Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples—let’s start with how we buy.

Sincerely,

The Reeve team, living and working on the traditional, unceded territory of Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueam, and Squamish Nations.

Join a Canada-wide movement to advance sustainable procurement

 

In 2020, sustainable procurement is more relevant than ever. It’s an important lever for promoting supplier diversity, fighting climate change, and increasing the circularity of our economy. It helps manages supply chain risk and increases economic efficiency by considering the total cost of products and services—above and beyond the purchase price.

Sustainable procurement also allows organizations to contribute to achieving the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. In particular, it supports Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production.

 

PARTNERING FOR THE SDGs

The Canadian Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement (CCSP) is excited to announce it’s teaming up with ECPAR and the Government of Canada’s Sustainable Development Goals Program to:

  • Bring awareness to SDG 12 and its importance;
  • Benchmark 200 private and public sector organizations through the 2020 Barometer survey; and
  • Build alignment across Canadian organizations advancing sustainable procurement.

 

TAKE THE 2020 BAROMETER SURVEY

Get involved by taking the 2020 Barometer survey by September 11, 2020. Receive a confidential, personalized report outlining the maturity of your sustainable procurement practices as compared to other respondents across Canada and recommendations for actions to advance your efforts.

 

SAVE TIME ON YOUR CCSP BENCHMARKING ASSESSMENT

CCSP members who participate in the 2020 Barometer survey will benefit from an expedited CCSP benchmarking assessment in preparation for the 2020 Annual Report on the State of Sustainable Public procurement in Canada released in January 2021.

Read the 2019 Annual Report here.

 

STAY UP TO DATE

Stay up to date with sustainable procurement news in Canada by following the CCSP on LinkedIn and signing up for the CCSP’s monthly newsletter.

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 5 tips for how procurement professionals can incorporate green building best practices and consider the embodied carbon of materials in upcoming infrastructure projects below. A special thank you to 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 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, 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 

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 1). Provide rewards for achieving higher scores over the minimum thresholds and penalties for not meeting the thresholds.

 

Figure 1: 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 food nutritional labels – 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 contribute to sustainable, resilient buildings because they:

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

 

 

Lafarge Canada 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.

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Written by: Alyssa McDonald, Program Manager at the Canadian Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement (CCSP)
Want to stay up to date with other sustainable procurement news in Canada? Follow the CCSP on LinkedIn and sign-up to the CCSP’s monthly newsletter.

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!

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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.