Sustainable procurement

How Increasing Our Budget Got Us Best Value Promo Tees

 

Are you purchasing promotional merchandise for your staff or your next event? Do you ever think about the life cycle of a product and the emissions created from cradle-to-grave before making a purchase? Read on to see how the Reeve team made their decision in purchasing the most sustainable tees for their annual beach clean-up.

Sustainability is increasingly becoming more of a standard for our day to day lives. Customers are demanding that corporations do better. Rather than looking for the lowest price item, consumers are willing to pay more to purchase items with the best value, whether that be repurposed or sustainably sourced materials or avoiding fast fashion and unethical labor practices. With the state of our environment, it has become evident that corporations and individuals need to do their part to ensure our planet is healthy and sustainable for generations to come.

How we decided on a sustainable option for Reeve merchandise

Recently, the Reeve Team was on the market for promotional t-shirts to host our annual beach clean-up with It’s Your Time. With sustainability constantly on top of our minds, it was our priority to ensure the tees met our 4 pillars of sustainable procurement; qualities such as supporting ethical labor, sustainably sourced cotton, and supporting local businesses were important to us. After doing some initial research online, it was clear that the lowest price shirts would be travelling thousands of miles, made with toxins harmful for the planet and workers, and put together by children working 16+ hours a day. With Reeve supporting clients daily to achieve their own sustainable procurement goals, these features were not something we could put ourselves behind.

This was when we reached out to our friend Denise Taschereau, co-founder of Fairware, for advice on sustainable promotional merchandise that was still cost-friendly for a small business. At Reeve, we have a limited budget for marketing and promotional products, but it was important to make sure the product was aligned with our values. We could have purchased similar products for half the price, but with the exciting features of these tees mentioned below, we stuck to our decision to purchase the most sustainable (and extremely comfy) tees.

3 reasons why we chose eco-friendly products

After learning about the risks and opportunities involved with purchasing eco-friendly promotional products, Denise’s team pointed us to their Tentree products.

“Made with 100% Fairtrade certified, 100% organic cotton and Cradle to Cradle Certified® at the gold level, these tees are some of the best, highest quality tees we could have sourced” – Denise Taschereau, Fairware co-founder.

1. Climate Friendly

Not only is Tentree a a B-Corp and Climate Neutral Certified company but we were also highly impressed with their Climate Action Plan. Their Action Plan includes important aspects such as reducing their carbon emissions, offsetting emissions that are created through projects outside their value chain, and of course measuring their emissions to ensure progress.

2. Ethical Manufacturing and Sourcing

Through their production process, Tentree has focused on reducing water and the use of hazardous chemicals. They have also committed to using only sustainable materials in their products such as organic cotton, recycled polyester and hemp, which have a much lower environmental impact than traditional materials. Like Reeve’s recommendations for suppliers to post factory locations publicly, we were impressed with Tentree’s transparency about the manufacturers and suppliers they choose to work with. It is important to us that they ensure manufacturers are complying with their Code of Conduct and International Labor Standards.

3. Local support

Along with all the fancy features, Tentree and Fairware are local to Vancouver, which means that they don’t need to travel thousands of miles to get to us. In fact, we were able to pick up and transport the tees via bicycle panniers to Reeve’s office in Gastown, Vancouver within 20 minutes.

 

No purchase is too small to make a difference. We need to do better to create a green economy marketplace that reflects the true social and environmental cost of manufacturing the product. Low prices will typically have a negative impact, such as unethical or child labor, and emission intensive manufacturing. When deciding on promotional merchandise to represent your brand, this is not the time to miss out on the opportunity to purchase sustainably. Next time, think about the neat features your products can have to ensure they are aligned with your company’s sustainability goals and values.

The Race to Zero: Procurement for Low-carbon Construction

The CCSP settled in for its November Peer Exchange in anticipation of the upcoming infrastructure planning busy season. Read on to learn about new Federal government procurement standards for low-carbon construction and validation from EllisDon that the market is ready to provide solutions.

Construction and infrastructure development contribute significantly to the world’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with 13% of global annual emissions coming solely from the embodied carbon of cement, steel, and aluminum, which are just a few of the many materials used to construct buildings and other infrastructure (1).

In Canada, we use about 25 million tonnes of cement, steel, and aluminum each year resulting in nearly 28 million tonnes of GHG emissions (making up half of all electricity generated emissions) – the public sector alone is responsible for 8 million of those tonnes, roughly equal to the pollution caused by 2 million gas cars (1). Additionally, when looking at any individual organization, construction and maintenance is consistently the largest single source of GHG emissions compared to other purchasing categories, ranging from 38% – 56% of total supply chain emissions (2).

All public infrastructure spending in Canada totaled a sizable $62.5 billion in 2018 (1). Though, Federal purchasing makes up only 4% of this, so the largest influence sits with provinces, municipalities, education, and Crown corporations (1). While demand for construction materials is projected to rise, the public sector has major purchasing power to drive demand for low-carbon products on the market to reduce the associated rise of GHG emissions.

The CCSP’s November Peer Exchange, focussed on this topic of procurement strategies for low-carbon construction, where members heard from Ryley Picken, Policy Analyst from the Centre for Greening Government at the Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada and supporting industry representative Jolene McLaughlin, Director of Corporate Sustainability at EllisDon Corporation.

Federal Standard on Embodied Carbon in Construction

The Federal Government is already activating on this, under its Greening Government Strategy, which includes targets to achieve 40% reduction of real property and conventional fleet emissions by 2025, and overall net zero emissions by 2050.

Commitments specifically related to Real Property include:

  1. By 2022, disclosing the amount of embodied carbon in the structural materials of major construction projects.
  2. By 2025, conducting whole building (or asset) life cycle assessments for major buildings and infrastructure projects.
  3. Starting in 2025, reducing the embodied carbon in the structural materials of major construction projects by 30%.

The strong focus on structural materials is because they are the largest contributor to the embodied carbon footprint of a building. For example, approximately 50% of an office tower’s emissions are concrete, 42% steel and metals, then 2% glass, and 6% other.

To meet the first commitment listed above, the Federal Government has released a new Standard on Embodied Carbon in Construction with specification requirements to be included in construction contracts that:

For Design Services

  • Must disclose embodied footprint of structural material (e.g. concrete) used on a project
  • Must reduce embodied carbon footprint of concrete on the project by at least 10% (compared to the Regional Benchmark)
  • Must review construction services compliance with the above requirements

For Construction Services

  • Must disclose the embodied carbon of materials used on the project
  • Must provide evidence (Environmental Product Declarations (EDP’s)) to support the carbon footprint of materials used on the project

Public sector organizations at all levels are encouraged to adopt these specifications in their own procurement and can look for additional guidance and reporting template resources to be available in the coming months.

An Industry Perspective

EllisDon Corporation, a leading construction services provider in this sector, and supporting partner of this session, shared how they are addressing low-carbon solutions in their projects and insights on what is available in the market.

EllisDon started by completing an inventory of their corporate emissions, including both direct and indirect sources, to identify how they can best clean up their own practices while supporting broader industry advancement. They found that 96% of the emissions came from their supply chain, including building materials and building operations. Based on this, they identified the greatest impact would be to work with their clients and other industry stakeholders like designers, engineers, and sub-contractors. With an aim of becoming net zero by 2050, EllisDon has committed to a Science-based Target (SBT), which offers third-party verification and accountability.

Jolene went on to discuss strategies for lowering carbon in construction projects, like using recycled and lower-carbon materials, pursuing material efficiency, and using performance-based design standards. With particular focus on key structural materials:

  • Mass Timber. Wood is inherently a lower carbon option because it requires fewer emissions to produce and can sequester (i.e. store) carbon. Responsible forest management is a key consideration if using this material.
  • Concrete. Emissions can be reduced through efficient material use and replacing cement content with Portland Limestone Cement (PLC) and Supplementary Cementitious Materials (SCM).
  • Steel. Emissions from steel come from deeper in the supply chain at the production stage, which can be more difficult to influence from the buyer’s perspective. Current strategies include using recycled steel content and switching to electric arc furnaces.

 

Based on its experience, EllisDon’s key tips for buying institutions to lower the emissions of construction and infrastructure projects include:

  • Ensure strategies for lowering emissions are discussed very early in the project phase; and work collaboratively with project stakeholders, especially structural engineers and designers.
  • Evaluate carbon reductions along with cost and schedule impacts to ensure project needs are met.
  • Provide a clear whole building embodied carbon performance-based target. At least 10%, though 20% is consistently achievable, while 40% is aspirational.
  • Request Product Specific EPDs as part of bid documents, which provide information about the embodied carbon of the material. Most products have industry benchmark data available for comparison.

Low-Carbon Concrete Solutions

Both speakers placed great emphasis on concrete as a material that has significant risk and opportunity for lowering emissions. Recommendations for getting market-ready low-carbon concrete solutions included:

  • Design for material efficiency to reduce the overall volume of concrete needed
  • Reduce the Portland Cement content in concrete
    • Replace with Portland Limestone Cement (PLC)
    • Partially replace with Supplementary Cementitious Materials (SCMs)
    • Use real-time monitoring during the curing process
  • Use recycled aggregates
  • Utilization of storage of sequestered carbon in concrete

EllisDon has seen projects achieving 20% emissions reduction from concrete alone, with no cost or schedule impacts; demonstrating a clear call to action that carbon reductions must be considered at the front end of a project.

Overall, there is clear direction setting and validation from both the Federal government and industry that low-carbon construction solutions do exist, and that public sector organizations at all levels hold great potential to take this even further through their purchasing practices.

Sources:

  1. Clean Energy Canada, Money Talks (https://cleanenergycanada.org/report/money-talks/)
  2. West Coast Climate Forum (https://westcoastclimateforum.com/cfpt/trendsanalysisintro)

 

WRITTEN BY: AMANDA CHOUINARD, 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.

The ‘How-To’ Guide You Always Knew You Needed

Are you passionate about fighting climate change, reducing waste, and improving the lives of your community members? Read the CCSP’s Sustainable Procurement Guide to find out what your role is in creating a greener, more ethically and socially responsible community with procurement.

 

Sustainable Procurement Guide

Cities across Canada are launching new commitments to fight climate change and build thriving, inclusive communities. Procurement is an emerging leverage point to meet those goals by integrating sustainability into city purchasing. Local government and public sector leaders are aware of the potential of sustainable procurement but aren’t sure where to get started. The Canadian Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement (CCSP) has released the ‘Sustainable Procurement Guide for Local Government and Public Sector Leaders’ to engage community members, city councillors, and sustainable procurement champions in discussions of the role they can play. It can be used as a starting point to get the conversation underway in your city to enact sustainable procurement programs, remove confusion, and help integrate existing sustainability initiatives.

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About the Guide:

The purpose of this guide is to enable government officials and community champions to not only better understand what sustainable procurement is, but also to drive sustainable procurement pilot projects and programs in their city. The guide was created by CCSP, a member network of Canadian public sector institutions who commit to aligning organizational spend with sustainable values. Through a partnership with the UBC Scholars program, CCSP curated the shared experiences of their members’ journeys for getting started on sustainable procurement at their institutions. The guide outlines key sustainable procurement terms to help you integrate language into your day-to-day conversations, definitions for the 4 pillars of sustainable procurement to elucidate the importance of each, a best practice framework that takes the guesswork out of getting started and more. The guide also debunks the most common myths that sow doubt into the power of sustainable procurement.

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Sustainable Procurement MythBusters:

“Sustainable goods and services are more expensive.”

Purchasing sustainable products or services now generally costs the same as buying traditional or less environmentally preferable products. When higher upfront costs exist, often overall benefits of sustainable products or services will create a valuable investment.

“Sustainable options are either not available or not as effective.”

The market for sustainable products has exploded in the last decade. Some product categories have a significant number of sustainable options, increasing the likelihood of receiving competitive bids if sustainable attributes are required.

“Implementing sustainable procurement will take too much time.”

Initially, sustainable purchasing does require some time investment to develop a policy framework, integrate sustainability into procurement processes, and to train staff, but tools are available to help integrate sustainability into all types of procurement practices.

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Join the Movement

There’s more where that came from! The Canadian Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement (CCSP) is a member-based network of Canadian public-sector institutions working together to align their spending with their values and commitments on sustainability. Our members meet virtually to network, share information, and co-create tools to better address green, social and ethical opportunities and risks in their supply chain. At 40 members strong, our network provides support and opportunities for collaboration across the nation. There’s no need to go this route alone; reach out to CCSP for support in getting started on your sustainable procurement journey. We all get started somewhere!

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Download the Guide Here

CPO’s Talk Sustainable Procurement Value and Common Myths

Would you like to know what Canadian CPO’s think about the value of sustainable procurement? Interested in the truth about costly myths for moving forward with impactful programs? Read on to find out!

 

The Annual CCSP CPO Panel Peer Exchange was held on June 10th to an audience of over 80 individuals from organizations across Canada. Each year the CCSP is privileged to have Canadian leadership join us for an hour-long webinar to get an annual outlook on the status of Canadian sustainable procurement in the public sector and how CPOs are framing the value of sustainable procurement.

Our expert panelists this year were Karen Jensen, Director of Corporate Procurement at BCLC, Alexander Ralph, Chief Procurement Officer and Director of Supply Chain Management at the City of Vancouver, and Stefane Belleau, Executive and Head of Supply Chain, Strategic Sourcing and Procurement at CBC Radio Canada. And just in case you missed it, we’ve summarized the entire discussion into a quick 3-minute read!

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How does your CFO value sustainable procurement?

For organizations that have been developing their sustainable procurement programs for some time, purchasing sustainably is about seizing opportunities as much as addressing potential risks in their supply chains. Our CPO Panelists all agreed that the value behind sustainable procurement doesn’t just come from the money saved, but the value added through long-term return on investment. Alex Ralph pointed out that while purchasing sustainably is the morally correct thing to do, research* has shown that every dollar invested into sustainable procurements is stretched and multiplied. Other reasons CFOs are backing sustainable procurement include:

      1. The opportunity to work internally with other departments with similar goals.
      2. Visualize broader areas of impact through a positive ripple effect.
      3. Avoid risks in the supply chain.
      4. Align spending with corporate mandate.

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“As we are trying more and more to understand priorities and see how we can resonate with our communities, we want to have those success stories of how procurement can resonate in our communities as well.”Karen Jensen

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Sustainable Procurement Myth-busters

Myth: Sustainable procurement is more costly.

In fact, panelists agreed that through total cost of ownership (including maintenance costs, end of life disposal etc.), it is possible to save money through sustainable procurement. By using TCO, the pricing evaluation is changed, and you are able to see the total cost of a product or service throughout its lifecycle. The evolution of technology has also made green products more affordable and more widely used, so products that were once prohibitively expensive are becoming more reasonable through TCO and initial cost.

Similarly, Stefane Belleau has found that many existing suppliers meet the sustainability criteria without added RFP specifications. When it was once difficult to obtain sustainable options from suppliers, now it is becoming ready-baked into services without an added cost.

Myth: Sustainable procurement increases the length of the procurement process.

In fact, including sustainable procurement specifications into the process is simply adding a few new questions into the research that is already being done at BCLC. For Karen Jensen looking at sustainable requirements doesn’t add any new steps, just new questions. The process of conducting market research, engaging suppliers, and encouraging suppliers to innovate takes the same amount of time with sustainable specifications added in.

 

Our panelists agreed on a key message; sustainable procurement is worth the effort. The ripple effect caused by strong sustainable procurement programs can create valuable ROI and meaningful outcomes for communities. And it doesn’t need to be difficult! Sustainable procurement is quickly becoming standard for procurement processes and can be less costly in the long run. There’s no excuses now; go forth and integrate sustainability into your everyday procurements.

 

*Research to support procurement has strong ROI

https://www.mhlnews.com/global-supply-chain/article/22044397/sustainable-procurement-can-lead-to-cost-savings

https://resources.ecovadis.com/whitepapers/roi-sustainability-responsible-business-practices

 

 

 

5 Factors for High-Impact Sustainable Procurement

 Are you aiming to get more meaningful change and positive social impact through your procurement? We’ve heard from over 40 organizations that these 5 success factors are key contributors to sustainable procurement that drives positive change in the supply chain.

Over the last 24 months Reeve Consulting has interviewed over 40 supply chain and sustainability representatives from governments, crown corporations and private sector organizations on the essential elements of sustainable procurement and what it takes to move beyond Policy to actual action and impact on the ground.

We’ve summarized the results of these practitioner interviews and collated the 5 success factors that are most commonly cited for creating high-impact sustainable procurement program.

 

1. Put your priorities into policy and spread the word

Utilize sustainable procurement to align organizational practices with values. The priorities identified within a sustainable procurement policy and program should cascade down and align with the priorities in your top-level sustainability plans and corporate strategies. Creating a policy defines sustainable procurement priorities and provides guidance to staff and suppliers on how sustainability will ‘show up’ within different forms of procurements.

 

2. Follow a two track program of building and doing

Policy is important; but policy alone does not drive action and it takes time to approve and begin to implement. Follow a two-track program that simultaneously works on ‘high impact procurement opportunities’ (HIPOs) while also taking the time to intentionally put in place the 10 elements of a high performing program. Do not wait for a policy to be perfected before integrating some social or environmental considerations into some of the products and services you are buying right now.

 

3. Form your fantasy sustainable procurement team

The partnership between the Procurement and Sustainability groups is especially important for the development of a high impact program, to drive more sustainability thinking into the planning and needs assessment stages of the procurement process. This powerful partnership can deliver a compelling message by communicating in internal working groups and sharing cross-developmental goals. When sustainable and procurement groups champion common values to the organization, leadership listens.

 

4. Set your staff up for success with tools and training

Deploy simple tools that can enable staff to begin to self-identify the sustainable risks and opportunities that might be relevant to their purchasing decisions. Engage a robust training  plan that encourages staff to be resourceful and facilitates discussion. Leverage early wins and repeat as required until a culture evolves that looks for opportunities.

 

5. Have a chat with your supplier over the garden wall

Working directly with suppliers is an approach to achieve impact without a formal program in place. Collaborate with vendors to address sustainability opportunities in your supply chain outside of traditional RFx processes. Consider asking suppliers if they have environmentally preferable options available, especially with more mature markets, where there is a less noticeable disparity in costs.

 

Realize your program’s full potential

Consider the benefits you could see by asking your supplier to engage with a social value business, or the increased efficiency of staff if they were trained to identify procurement opportunities and are supported by a cross-organizational working group. While policy can align your values and provide guidance when purchasing it is important to remember that policy by itself rarely gets the job done alone. Stay focused on a few program elements that will create an impact in the next six months.

 

Use the CCSP Benchmarking Framework or have your program maturity assessed by groups like Reeve Consulting to learn how to focus your efforts to higher impact quicker.

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.

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

 

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.

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 

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.

A Retrospective on the 2018 USA Special Olympics Games

It was great to see Lew Blaustein’s GreenSportsBlog post today that tells the story of our work to bring sustainability for the first time ever to a Special Olympics USA Games last July. It’s a nice prompt to share some lessons learned, now that the adrenaline rush of the Games is behind us. For this blog, I interviewed Tim Reeve to share some of his reflections.

The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games Sustainability Impact Report was released last December. It shares the sustainability vision and achievements of this incredible 11 day event that brought over a hundred thousand people to Seattle to cheer on athletes with intellectual disabilities (ID). The report showcases the thoughtful and integrated approach to sustainability that amplified the social goals of the Special Olympics as well as reduced its environmental footprint. We were particularly impressed with how the Games hardwired inclusion into its operations and procurement by providing training and work opportunities and hosting a Job Fair for athletes and others with ID.

The biggest lesson learned for the organizing team was to reach out to stakeholders early to build a relationship and enlist them in the in the Sustainability Program. According to Tim Reeve, “The Special Olympics is a natural platform for progressive brands. The trick to being successful is to build the sustainability brand into the DNA of the event early on in the process, so sponsors see the opportunities to showcase their sustainability performance.” In Tim’s experience, partners and Sponsors are looking for platforms that allow them to communicate positive messages about their brand and their social purpose. Many are willing to contribute financial and technical resources to help the Games’ Organizing Committee activate, implement, and expand their sustainability goals. At the 2018 USA Games, both Coca Cola and SourceAmerica delivered major social impact in providing employment opportunities for individuals with ID at the Games and promoting inclusive hiring through the Job Fair.

Finally, encouraging a focus on responsible sourcing by the Games’ Organizing Committee, partners and sponsors can make a huge impact on the overall sustainability of the event. “Engage vendors and suppliers as early as possible on your sustainability goals and get some firm commitments,” Tim advises. “Planning for sustainability too late in the Games’ cycle means lost opportunities with sponsors, suppliers, staff, and volunteers.”

Reeve Consulting is a sustainability strategy firm that has worked with a wide variety of organizations to design and implement sustainable procurement strategies and programs, including the Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Canada Winter Games and the recent 2018 Special Olympics USA Games. We help our clients create winning Sustainability Strategies with clear impact goals and sourcing strategy that brings on side the creative solutions and full potential of their supply chain partners.