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 19 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 circular and sustainable 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 programs. 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. And 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 (p. 14) and success stories (p. 18-30) to inspire new initiatives for the upcoming year.

     

    3. Connect with other members

    Compare your benchmarking results (p. 12) 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 (p. 10) 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. Read the article here.

     

    Want to learn more?

    Download the full report here and contact Tim Reeve at tim@reeveconsulting.com 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.

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    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.

     

     

    9 ways to get the most out of your MCSP membership

    MCSP provides a peer-based forum to share information, resources, technical expertise and best practices in social, environmental and ethical procurement for the public and higher education sectors. Find below how to maximize bang for your buck as a member.

     

    1. Grow your network 

    Figure out who’s who in sustainable procurement in Canada and have direct access to their contact information.

     

    2. Benchmark your programs and track progress

    Benefit from benchmarking sessions at the beginning and end of the year to help compare your program to other members’ and evaluate the effectiveness of your efforts throughout the year.

     

    3. Receive customized consulting support

    Have a 1-on-1 action planning session with Reeve Consulting, MCSP’s secretariat and Vancouver-based sustainability strategy consultancy specializing in social and environmental procurement programs.

     

    4. Profile your learnings, successes and leadership

    Highlight your organization in our Peer Exchange Webinars and year-end National Best Practices Report published in Municipal World and B2B Purchasing Magazine, as well as feature your CPO in our annual CPO Panel. Raise the profile of your programs and build a greater business case for your work. Bonus Tip: We can also help you with award submissions (e.g. the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council Leadership Award).

     

    5. Offer training and professional development for your staff

    Access professional development credits for purchasing staff (CDP for SCMA) and access past webinars.

     

    6. Collaborate across departments

    Break down siloes between sustainability, procurement, and other departments. Invite marketing, fleet management, facilities, training and development, and other relevant departments to topic-specific Peer Exchanges Webinars to start conversations and develop integrative strategies. Bonus Tip: Split the cost across procurement, sustainability, and training budgets if budgets are tight!

     

    7. Invite all relevant staff

    Your MCSP membership includes access for your entire organization meaning there’s no limit to how many employees can benefit from our program and resources. Take advantage and build an internal culture of best value procurement. Bonus Tip: Book a meeting room and enjoy Peer Exchange Webinars together for best results!

     

    8. Leverage resources from our online resource bank

    Your membership includes access to checklists, questionnaires, templates, training materials such as supplier self-assessment questionnaires, a green events checklist, how-to guides for developing and implementing strategic priorities, and more.

     

    9. Get involved 

    Really committed to sustainable procurement? Join our Steering Committee to set strategic directions for the program and/or one of our Working Groups to co-create tools and resources with other leaders in the MCSP network.

     

    For more information contact Alyssa McDonald at alyssa@reeveconsulting.com or (514) 772-6318.

    Now Available: State of Sustainable Purchasing in Canada 2017 Report

    Reeve Consulting and the Municipal Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement (MCSP) are pleased to release our eighth annual MCSP State of the Nation Report. The report highlights MCSP achievements this year, as well as the latest trends and current sustainable purchasing (SP) experience of Canadian municipalities, educational institutions and an airport authority.

    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 risks in the procurement process.

    Over 2017, MCSP Working Groups collaborated to create supplier engagement and monitoring and evaluation tools, while members individually advanced sustainable purchasing in their organizations. Read the report for stories on how members are making an impact by greening laboratories, reducing packaging materials, using energy more efficiently, buying sustainable swag, enhancing job security, implementing a Living Wage Policy and achieving Fair Trade Town certification.

    Major Sustainable Purchasing Trends

    • Social purchasing is gaining ground to complement environmental purchasing as more public organizations are considering how their procurement can positively impact the social wellbeing of their communities
    • Organizations are striving to align and integrate SP from corporate strategy to SP policies and tools
    • Organizations are investing in training and communication towards building cultures of embedding sustainability thinking into purchasing decisions for all staff, as the default way to buy
    • Organizations are using certification systems and developing partnerships with universities, social enterprises and other organizations to achieve SP impact
    • More organizations are creating dedicated Sustainable Purchasing roles to realize their SP goals

    Download the full report here, and contact us if you are interested in learning how you can join the Municipal Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement (MCSP).

    Where We’ll Be in May: SPLC’s 2016 Summit

    Reeve is heading to Washington DC in May to attend and run a session at the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council’s 2016 Summit. The Summit runs from May 24th to 26th, but there are also pre-summit short courses that will happen on May 23rd.

    What’s the 2016 Summit? Following up on the Council’s well-reviewed 2015 Summit, the 2016 Summit will bring together 300 leading sustainable purchasing experts and practitioners from a wide variety of sectors and regions for two days of best practice sharing, training, and relationship building. This year’s Summit features 100+ speakers, 45+ interactive workshops, and a Leadership Awards banquet.

    What are some of the things we’re excited about at the 2016 Summit?

    Our roundtable, “Wider Training for Improved Results: Engaging P-Card Holders in Sustainable Purchasing” at the Innovation Accelerator session: The Innovation Accelerator session takes place from 10:40 AM – 12:10 PM, on Thursday, May 26, and features thirty roundtable presentations and discussions about innovative projects and concepts that are ready to be launched, joined, expanded, replicated, or shared for thoughtful feedback! Reeve will be running a roundtable to share the benefits of eLearning as a tool for engaging employees across the organization in sustainable purchasing activities, how to roll out this training, and the initial results of a pilot project we have been conducting with the Green Learning Centre. The best possible results of sustainable purchasing initiatives come from employees across the organization who are engaged and informed – our roundtable will help participants learn how to make this happen in their own workplaces. (Learn more about the Innovation Accelerator’s purpose and format)

    Pre-Summit Short Courses: Short Courses will give participants an opportunity to go in-depth on a number of topics: Fostering Sustainable Purchasing Behavior, Supply Chain & Climate, Spend Analysis for Sustainability Leadership, Evaluating the Credibility of Sustainable Product/Services Claims, and Building a Renewable Energy Purchasing Strategy. (Summit registration is not a requirement for participating in the short courses, which take place on Monday, May 23rd).

    We think the Summit will be a valuable networking and educational experience for us, and we think you’d benefit from attending too! In the hope that we’ll see you there, we’d like to extend a discount code for your use: input the MCSP2016 discount code to get 10% off when registering as a non-member.

     

    Presenting the 2015 State of the Nation Report on Municipal Sustainable Purchasing in Canada

    Reeve Consulting and the Municipal Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement (MCSP) are pleased to release their sixth annual MCSP State of the Nation Report. Each year the report has provided the most comprehensive and up-to-date discussion of the latest trends, best practices, examples and case studies in municipal sustainable purchasing in Canada.

    The report offers a national snapshot of how Canadian municipalities are implementing sustainable purchasing programs and is an invaluable resource for municipal decision-makers looking to implement impactful sustainable procurement programming.

    View the full report at http://blog.reeveconsulting.com/resources/

     The release of the report also marks the kick-off of the 2016 programming for the Municipal Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement. This year, the MCSP welcomed post-secondary institution members alongside municipalities to its Canada-wide network of professionals engaged in developing and leading the charge in best practice sustainable procurement at the local community level. Through its collaboration and resource sharing programs, the MCSP will help participating municipalities and post-secondary institutions address challenges and priorities raised in the 2015 State of the Nation report.

    For more information on the collaboration, visit the MCSP website.

    Media Contact:

    Tim Reeve

    President, Reeve Consulting

    Phone: 604-763-6829

    Email: tim@reeveconsulting.com

    Now Released: Report on the State of Municipal Sustainable Procurement in Canada

    The fourth annual report on the State of Municipal Sustainable Procurement in Canada from Reeve Consulting, co-authored with the representatives from the Municipal Collaboration for Sustainable Purchasing (MCSP), is now available for public distribution. This latest report documents current trends, best practices and the major challenges faced by municipalities as they implement sustainable and ethical procurement. It presents a best practices framework for sustainable purchasing leadership and a snapshot of how major Canadian municipalities are progressing at implementing their programs
     
    If you are an MCSP participant, make the most of your report by sharing it with your City Council as an example of the value of peer-to-peer collaborations.
     
    >> Download the full 2013 report [PDF]
     
    Please note that preparation of the 2014 annual report will be starting in September 2014 and will be using an enhanced self-evaluation framework that allows for more precise self-reporting.

    2012 – A Turning Point in Municipal Sustainable Purchasing in Canada

    Sustainable purchasing is gaining ground in the Canadian municipal sector as municipalities realize its contribution to existing ‘green’ objectives, such as zero waste and climate neutrality, and corporate ones, such as risk management or operational efficiency. As a relatively new practice within the Canadian public sector, many municipalities are reaching out to their peers to share resources on sustainable purchasing. A cross-country peer network that is a front-runner in setting new benchmarks and best practices in sustainable purchasing in Canada is the Municipal Collaboration on Sustainable Purchasing (MCSP).

    The MCSP, for which Reeve Consulting serves as secretariat and technical expert, allows municipalities to share sustainable purchasing lessons, best practices, “tricks of the trade”, and other resources to fast-track their individual programs. The group recently launched a publication co-authored by Reeve on, ‘The State of Municipal Sustainable Procurement in Canada’. Through consultations with MCSP participants and extensive literature review, the study reports on the current state of municipal sustainable procurement in Canada.

    The study found that 2012 was an important year for municipalities with many strategically approaching their programs:

    • In response to increased staffing and resource constraints, municipalities enhanced their collaboration with MCSP peer and other agencies and strategically leveraged existing relationships and shared resources
    • Inter-departmental collaborations were also strengthened especially between Procurement and Sustainability. Other departments were also engaged via, for example the formation of inter-department green teams, to increase program buy-in and instill behavioural change on municipal spending
    • Greater focus on implementation. Recognizing that it takes 2 to 5 years to form a comprehensive program, many municipalities took a dual-track approach, dividing resources between building program elements and targeting key contracts such as copy paper (that has a mature sustainability market)

    Overall, 2012 is considered to be a turning point in municipal sustainable procurement in Canada due to the focus on collaboration. Next year, municipalities have reported that they will be implementing their programs more widely and developing measurement and reporting frameworks. With insufficient levels in their resource pools, forming stronger and wider collaborations for sustainable purchasing will be more important than ever.

    >> Download a full copy of the 2012 State of Municipal Sustainable Purchasing report from the Resources page.

    To learn more about the MCSP, contact Tim Reeve @:                           tim@reeveconsulting.com or by phone at 604-763-6829.

    Sustainable Purchasing Supports Municipalities Green Strategies and Helps Manage their Bottom Line

    Sustainable purchasing and supply chains are on municipal agendas across Canada. Increasingly, decision-makers are recognizing that sustainable procurement practices add value to their carbon neutral programs, zero waste goals, economic development opportunities, risk management, leadership, efficiency and innovation while positively engaging their staff and the communities they serve. Sustainable procurement practice is relatively new to municipal governance.

    To efficiently manage the learning curve, municipalities are joining together. One successful example is the Municipal Collaboration for Sustainable Purchasing (MCSP).  A newly released report from Reeve Consulting, The State of Municipal Sustainable Procurement in Canada is co-authored with representatives of the MCSP. This report details the current state of sustainable purchasing practices in Canada including ratings and rankings of municipal programs from the MCSP’s member cities such as Halifax, Vancouver, Whitehorse, Grand Prairie, Guelph and Saskatoon.

    The MCSP pilot project was formed in 2010 and currently members represent fourteen Canadian municipalities. By leveraging their collective experiences, knowledge and resources, they are strengthening their respective sustainable purchasing programs. The steering committee includes representatives from Whitehorse, Ottawa, Edmonton, London and Victoria. Five new members were welcomed in 2011.

    The 2012 report, authored by Reeve Consulting and the MCSP, details their investigation into the depth of policy development and implementation across the country. Further, where there is under leveraging, what is holding municipalities back?  There are useful insights for municipal decision-makers, discussion of the top five emerging trends in this sector, and an overview of the main challenges and top priorities for 2012.

    10 Key Program Areas for Successful Sustainable Purchasing

    Municipalities fast tracking their efforts will find great value in the 10 Key Program Areas for Successful Sustainable Purchasing, which includes the ingredients for a comprehensive sustainable procurement program. One key element is developing a Supplier Code of Conduct. The City of Edmonton advanced the verification framework for their Supplier Code by providing public disclosure of their apparel factory locations. Training sessions were held in 2011 for staff of the City of Halifax introducing them to sustainable procurement concepts.

    A clear demonstration of leadership is the collaboration between the City of Whitehorse and the Yukon Intergovernmental Committee on Environmental Sustainability. These, and other key program areas for successful sustainable purchasing, are presented in this report along with tangible examples of implementation.

    Top 5 Emerging Trends in Municipal Sustainable Procurement

    The State of Municipal Sustainable Procurement in Canada features a detailed discussion of the Top Five Emerging Trends in Municipal Sustainable Procurement including supplier innovations, emerging social programming and collaboration building. Findings show that policy development is advancing and most municipalities are in the early stages of their strategic program development.

    However, current resource levels, in comparison with expectations of the programs, are miss-matched. Sustainable purchasing programs have insufficient resources to capitalize on many opportunities. As a result, implementation of the majority of programs is still a challenge.

    On the positive side, Finance and Sustainability Departments are increasingly realizing synergies between their financial objectives and sustainable procurement programs and are building powerful teams at the senior management and executive levels.

    Despite solid progress in these areas, a major finding in The State of Municipal Sustainable Procurement in Canada, is the disproportionate amount of time spent creating policies, procedures, tools and the capacity to implement sustainable procurement practices compared to the actual application. Another area where gains should be made is de-constructing robust measurement and reporting frameworks.

    2012 Program for the Municipal Collaboration for Sustainable Purchasing: join us!

    All local governments are encouraged to participate in the MCSP no matter the size of the community they serve. Current member municipalities send representatives such as a Director of Supply Management, Procurement Manager, Senior Environment or a Sustainability Manager.

    All members participate in networking teleconferences, webinars and action planning sessions held over the course of each calendar year. They share sustainable procurement lessons, best practices and tools enabling them to streamline implementation of their municipal program development. A sustainable procurement expert facilitates each discussion, the training sessions and provides project secretariat services to the collaboration.

    If you would like to join this project or require more information, contact Tim Reeve by email at tim@reeveconsulting.com or by phone at 604-763-6829.

    How are Municipalities Benefiting from Sustainable Supply Chain Collaboration?

    Flickr / toolstop

    It has nearly been a year since a group of Canadian municipalities came together to create the Municipal Collaboration for Sustainable Purchasing (MCSP), a project aimed at leveraging the collective experience of municipalities to advance their sustainable purchasing initiatives.

    So, is the idea of sharing best practices and collaborating on special projects really paying off?

    Reeve Consulting is facilitating the MCSP which is governed by a Steering Committee comprised of the cities of Ottawa, Victoria, Edmonton, London and Whitehorse. This year there are fifteen municipalities from across Canada (a number of which recently ranked highly in the U.S. and Canada Green City Index) participating in the program. A handful more, including a few from the United States, are participating on a limited basis.

    Together, municipalities in the MCSP are advancing their broader sustainability agendas. Through the strategic purchase of goods and services, they’re addressing municipal targets around zero waste, climate leadership, local economic development, staff engagement and more.

    Webinar: the value of municipal sustainable purchasing programs
    And the work is getting noticed. Reeve Consulting, on behalf of the MCSP, was recently invited to deliver a webinar to the Clean Air Council, a group of municipalities in South Western Ontario focused on greenhouse gas reduction.

    Examining the value of sustainable purchasing programs, the webinar gave participants a closer look at ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through purchasing. For example, buying energy efficient equipment or looking at transportation contracts with reduced emissions.

    We’ve included the presentation in its entirety below.

    [vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/29971115 w=400&h=300]

    Building on the good reception from this webinar, the MCSP will be presenting another webinar October 20. Delivered by Reeve Consulting, the session will be focused on emerging green product specifications for common municipal purchases including cleaning products, paper products, electronics and more.

    Next Steps for the MCSP
    Municipalities participating in the MCSP are currently measuring their 2011 progress and sustainable purchasing achievements, using the results to develop Action Plans for 2012.

    At the same time research is being conducted for the 2011 Municipal Trends Report on Sustainable Purchasing, which is scheduled for release in December 2011 and will build on the 2010 report to provide an updated national snapshot on the state of sustainable purchasing across Canadian municipalities.

    Planning is also underway for the 2012 program with several new special projects under consideration to help municipalities deepen the impact of their sustainable purchasing efforts including new staff education and training tools, collaborative verification programs, group subscription benefits to key ecolabeling resources and more.

    Looking for more information?
    Contact Tim Reeve via email or at 604.763.6829 to get a complimentary pass to an upcoming webinar or to learn more about the program.