Sustainable Purchasing

The MLB Hits a Homerun for Sustainability

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Tuesday Night Mariano Rivera was named MVP of the 84th Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star Game. While Rivera’s performance pitching a perfect eighth inning and leading the American League All-Stars to a 3-0 victory over the National League was undoubtedly impressive, the real winner of the night was the environment. As part of an ongoing collaboration between the MLB and the National Resource Defense Council called the MLB Greening Program, the league went above and beyond the already impressive sustainability programs in place at Citi Field to ensure that the 2013 All-Star game featured progressive environmental features.

Since the 2008 All-Star Game, the MLB has been a shining example of the types of sustainability initiatives that can be accomplished by members of the Green Sports Alliance. This year, however, the MLB stepped up their sustainability efforts in a number of key areas. First, certified suppliers offset the 2013 All-Star games full water and energy use. In addition, the MLB incorporated a 1:1 recycling to trash bin ratio as well as a team of Green Team volunteers to ensure that waste was kept to a minimum. To create a lasting impact, the MLB made a point of connecting fans with environmental messages as well as demonstrating ways that they can reduce their own footprints.

Reeve Consulting is doing its part to help make the games that we all know and love more sustainable. This spring we were in contact with the Dallas Cowboys and in late August we will be taking part in the 2013 Green Sports Alliance Summit in New York. If you would like more information about the greening of sport, please feel free to contact us.

Buying Local Pays Dividends

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LOCO, in cooperation with Columbia Institute and ISIS Research Center at the Sauder School of Business recently released a report titled The Power of Purchasing that outlines the economic impacts of local procurement. This is a landmark study in the Canadian market conducted by Sauder MBA Alumni Anthony Pringle. While most would agree that purchasing locally has a positive economic effect, Pringle sought to quantify the effect by studying the economic effect that B.C. businesses could have by simply purchasing office supplies locally. Without getting into too much detail (read the report, it’s really well written), Pringle compared the economic effect of purchasing office supplies from a local supply company, Mills Basics, to that of purchasing from a national chain. He found that by employing the former, buyers were able to provide nearly double the economic benefit to the local B.C. community in the form of greater employment as well as higher tax revenue for the local government.

 

Although many companies still make purchasing decisions based on price alone, there are a growing number of values based organizations willing to look at the greater economic impact that buying can have. With reports like Pringle’s as ammunition for the fight, purchasing managers in Canada will undoubtedly have a greater opportunity to make the case for local buying.

Reeve’s on the Road at the PMAC National Conference!

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Reeve Consulting has once again hit the road to attend the PMAC National Conference: Capitalizing on Supply Chain Solutions. It’s great to be back in Ottawa and to have the opportunity to lend our expertise to creating the sustainable supply chain solutions that will take us into a greener future.

Big things are in the works here as well. On Wednesday, June 12th, the Purchasing Management Association of Canada (PMAC) and Supply Chain and Logistics Association Canada (SCL) members voted to merge the two associations to form the Supply Chain Management Association (SCMA). The new association is set to launch September 3rd and will retain the high standards set by both associations. We at Reeve would like to congratulate the SCMA and look forward to their continued dedication to Canadian Supply Chain professionals.

New Report Highlights Role of Supply Chain in Driving Corporate Strategy and Sustainability Initiatives

As a strategic advisor in the field of ethical and sustainable business practices for over 20 years, I have been fortunate to have been a part of a legacy of “firsts” that have helped shape sustainability and supply chain management awareness in Canada.  I find that the companies which achieve the greatest success in sustainability terms, such as Nature’s Path, Mountain Equipment Co-op or RBC are those that can integrate sustainability deep into their corporate culture and into their supply chains.

That’s what makes the recent release of OfficeMax Grand&Toy’s Insights Report on supply chain and procurement so timely. It presents a strong case that Canadian and global organizations are becoming more responsive to the fact that supply chain is one of the most significant organizational lever points for driving corporate sustainability. I couldn’t agree more, and I fully expect the report’s findings will continue to drive the conversation at the C-suite level regarding new opportunities and efficiencies to be gained via sustainable supply chains.

Overall, the findings are very positive about the depth of sustainability practices in Canadian business.

Canadian results are benchmarked with global findings and Canada compares quite favourably.  For example, 46% of Canadian enterprise-level organizations have a chief sustainability officer, compared to 26% globally, and 47% of respondents reported having one person in each department responsible for sustainability, compared to 22% globally. It further reveals that the number one driver of sustainability in Canadian business is cost-reduction.  Globally, the top three drivers of sustainability are fairly evenly distributed between cost, reputation, and alignment with values.

Are we over-emphasizing cost as the key driver of sustainability?

Operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness are generally an easy sell to business executives.  In Canada, sustainability initiatives have leveraged this easy buy-in and continue to do so.  But this singular focus on the bottom-line comes with risks. In our experience, high performing sustainable supply chain programs deliver more than just financial savings; they help reduce risk, build corporate brand, drive innovation and build stronger engagement with employees and suppliers.

However, as the report points out, this strategy leaves businesses at risk of stalling their sustainability programs as cost-reductions become “maxed” out.  Our work has shown that the most successful sustainability programs integrate sustainability into the corporate culture.  Growth must come from the bottom, but without C-Suite buy-in, the company culture will not change and current strategies will continue to rule.  This explains the rapid adoption of sustainability initiatives by Canadian business – they fit into reigning corporate models – and it also explains why they run the risk of stalling when the cost savings run out – precisely because the models have not changed.

Collaboration within and between all stakeholders is the key to driving the next wave of innovation.

OfficeMax Grand&Toy’s Insight Report found that collaboration between sustainability departments and supply chain & procurement is still quite limited. We expect this to change and foresee an increasing role for collaboration in promoting sustainability, both within an organization as well as up and down the supply chain.  As companies are forced to dig deeper for sustainability and supply chain cost-savings their internal and external communications and collaboration in their supply chain surrounding sustainability will increase.  These types of collaboration will result in better programs and improved impacts and, in fact, I see this playing out right now within the Municipal sector, where 20 large municipalities across the country are participating in regular networking webinars and teleconferences to share sustainable procurement best practices and product specifications. When Finance and Sustainability are allies at the executive table they can be a powerful force for change and innovation within an organization.

With the release of this Insights Report, OfficeMax Grand&Toy is making a significant contribution to the sustainability and supply chain movement.  Check out the full report at www.officemaxcanada.com/insights and stay tuned for future postings on more of the findings, as well as reaction from our contacts and stakeholders in the sustainable supply chain sector.

Back by Popular Demand: Buy Smart Network Workshop – June 19, Vancouver

Back by popular demand, the next half-day session of Maximizing the Impact of Sustainable Purchasing will be held Wednesday, June 19 at the Tides Canada building in Vancouver.

Are you committed to sustainability but unsure of how it can be realized within procurement? Take away practical tools, approaches and learn of real-world case examples in sustainable purchasing during this practical and inspiring half-day session on sustainable purchasing!

Who is this workshop meant for?

The BuySmart workshops have been designed for staff in public, private and non-profit organizations who are responsible for purchasing, sustainability or corporate responsibility in their organizations — and anyone else with an interest in sustainable purchasing and its associated social, environmental and financial benefits.

Why is this workshop useful to you and your organization?

This BuySmart workshop will show you how to leverage your purchasing power using simple tools such as scorecards and product guidelines. It can provide you with the knowledge and resources to:

  • Maximize the strategic impact of your sustainable purchasing program
  • Send clear sustainability performance signals to the market and enhance relationships with your suppliers
  • Refine your procurement process to:
  1. Integrate sustainability into bid documents
  2. Introduce supplier sustainability performance scorecards
  3. Consider the different methods of evaluating supplier proposals
  4. Establish sustainability standards and clauses for different commodity groups
  • Use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure sustainable purchasing program impacts.

Have your questions answered first-hand by people with a wealth of experience in sustainable purchasing. The workshop is facilitated by Tim Reeve, co-founder of the BuySmart network and President of Reeve Consulting, along with Cora Strandberg. They will be joined by guest speakers Shelley Morrison, MBA, SCMP, CMP who is the Strategic Procurement Programs Manager at BC Hydro.

Where can I sign up?

To register, please visit maximizingimpactjun2013.eventbrite.ca.

A 20% discount is offered for organizations sending two or more participants (email bpurdy@fraserbasin.bc.ca for details).

For more details, feel free to call Bob Purdy at 604-488-5355.

Register soon as spaces are limited!

View the full workshop flier. [PDF]

We’re Heading to Dallas: ISM Conference 2013

This week Reeve Consulting will be in Dallas, Texas presenting at the 98th Annual Institute for Supply Management Conference. The theme for this year’s conference is “Be the Solution”. Reeve’s presentation will be providing insight on some of our strategies and leading work on building innovative supply chains to add value to a company’s brand and strengthen its bottom line.

Professional sports organizations are establishing emerging trends and industry standards with regards to incorporating sustainable principles within their business model. Reeve will be highlighting leading players in sustainability in sports. For example, NASCAR is in its 5th year of conducting substantial green campaign called NASCAR GREEN. Through this initiative NASCAR is changing the way that the sport interacts with the environment; by leading one of the largest recycling programs in the United States, leading tree planting campaigns to capture all the carbon produced on race day, and running all race vehicles on renewable fuel. Not only have these initiatives added value to the brand of NASCAR, they have also helped increase the sport’s popularity; capturing lucrative television contracts and sponsorship deals.

Reeve Consulting looks forward to the opportunity to facilitate more companies in bolstering their supply chains through sustainability.

Introduction to Sustainable Purchasing Seminar – Nov. 2, Vancouver

Are you interested in sustainable purchasing but not sure where to start? Struggling with developing the business case? Wondering where to focus resources?

Acquire the knowledge and confidence to embrace sustainable purchasing practices in your organization by joining the BuySmart Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing sustainability in BC and beyond, November 2nd for the Introduction to Sustainable Purchasing seminar. This half-day seminar will focus on the fundamentals of sustainable purchasing featuring practical insights and lessons learned from professionals in the field.

Designed for purchasing, sustainability and corporate responsibility staff in public, private and non-profit organizations, seminar topics will include:

  • How to integrate environmental, social and ethical factors in the procurement process
  • Key components of a sustainable purchasing tendering toolkit
  • What’s needed to overcome barriers and recognize the best opportunities for sustainable purchasing in you own organization

Tim Reeve, a Co-Founder of the BuySmart Network and President of Reeve Consulting with Coro Strandberg will lead the session, joined by guest speakers Tracey Husoy, Manager of Purchasing and Risk Management, Metro Vancouver

Event Details

  • When: November 2, 2012, 8:30 am – noon
  • Where: TIDES Canada, Hollyhock Room 304, 163 West Hastings St. Vancouver
  • Cost: $125 + HST
  • Register: www.buysmartintro.eventbrite.ca

Full details of the Introduction to Sustainable Purchasing seminar can be found in the event brochure [PDF].

For more information about the seminar, contact Bob Purdy by email at bpurdy@fraserbasin.bc.caor phone at (604) 488-5355.

 

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.

Due North: Strengthening Green & Sustainable Purchasing in the Yukon

Flickr / Arthur Chapman

Various orders of government in the Yukon are committed to reducing the environmental impact of their operations by designing and implementing customized environmental and sustainability policies, projects and programs.

To this end, the Yukon Intergovernmental Committee on Environmental Sustainability (YICES) is focused on identifying opportunities for collaboration to advance a collective sustainability agenda and strengthen individual programs. Recently Reeve Consulting worked with YICES to plan, organize and facilitate a sustainable purchasing workshop in Whitehorse.

Held on October 27th the full-day workshop attracted more than 50 participants, including government staff from four orders of government (federal, territorial, municipal and First Nations) as well as participants from other major organizations in the North such as NorthwesTel, Yukon Energy Corporation and Yukon College.

With a focus on increasing support and skills for green and sustainable purchasing, as well as catalyzing a network between various levels of government to strengthen sustainability initiatives, a key outcome of the event was the high degree of enthusiasm that participants demonstrated for collaboration.

Workshop Highlights

The day kicked-off with a welcoming address from Mike Johnson, Deputy Minister, Highways and Public Works for the Yukon Government who highlighted the importance of sustainable purchasing to the Territories strategic objectives of reducing costs, improving services and infrastructure. Johnson contextualized his remarks with the effects of climate change on the North and the millions being spent to repair highways and roads as a result of permafrost break-up.

Key drivers for sustainable purchasing were highlighted in the first session of the day, with a clear overview of the business case and level of support required to develop a successful sustainable purchasing program. Speakers David Knight, Manager, Procurement Services for Highways and Public Works in the Yukon and Melissa Hall, Procurement Advisor, Corporate Services for Aboriginal Affairs  & Northern Development Canada, made compelling cases around how sustainable purchasing is helping to take advantage of eco-efficiencies associated with reduced packaging, product take-back and reduced greenhouse gas emissions – issues critical to northern communities were transportation costs can be at a premium.

To walk the talk, Reeve Consulting worked with organizers to have Madelaine Plouffe, Green Procurement Team Leader with Public Works Government Services Canada in Gatineau, Quebec provide a lunchtime keynote address via video conferencing technology that allowed for a live and interactive presentation.

A preliminary review of the evaluations shows that participants were very pleased with the event. To build on this momentum, YICES is now working on outlining future workshops.

Environment Yukon has linked to many of the presentations from the day on their homepage. Slides from Reeve Consulting’s presentations [PDF] are also available online.

Talking strategy with City of Whitehorse & the Arctic Winter Games

While in Whitehorse, Tim Reeve also took the opportunity to continue some strategic planning with the City of Whitehorse on the development of their environmental sustainable purchasing policy.

Tim also had the opportunity to stop by the offices of the Arctic Winter Games to meet with organizers and offer some thoughts on how they can achieve zero waste goals for the Games in March 2012.

PMAC Symposium bridges the gap for Global Supply Chain Solutions

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What are the key supply chain issues and challenges that are keeping practitioners and academics up at night? This year’s International Symposium on Supply Chain Management brought together a unique blend of professionals from around the world to discuss key issues at the forefront of supply chains and business strategy.

An important aim of the event was to both allow companies to leverage emerging research for supply chain challenges, and provide academics with perspective on the practical application of knowledge in the field.

There was plenty of quality discussion and insights on the evolving field of supply chain management. We picked up on a number of key themes during the event, including the

  1. Responsiveness of supply chains: We heard both from presenters concerned with how to recover from sudden shocks to the supply chain, like those caused by the recent earthquake in Japan, and how to effectively react to pressing humanitarian issues, like famine, by quickly assembling supply chains.
  1. Value in integrating sustainability:  Cynthia Shanahan, Director of Purchasing Resources at McMaster University shared some impressive results and valuable success factors from a recent purchasing initiative with Grand & Toy. The program reduced the delivery frequency from five visits to once per week and replaced cardboard boxes with reusable tote bags (reducing cardboard packaging by as much as 20,000 boxes per year).
  1. Current innovations and strategic issues in Canada: A presentation of particular interest to us was delivered by Bob Armstrong, President of Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada, regarding an industry-academia-government partnership that produced a complete profile of logistics innovation and global business strategies in Canada.

Bringing together themes of responsiveness and sustainability, our own Tim Reeve presented on his role in the rapid implementation of a sustainable supply chain for Sochi 2014. In the short video below, Tim and Rick Fitch from Fleetwood Metal share why they attended the International Symposium on SCM.

Attendees agreed on the strategic relevance and competitive advantage offered by focusing on sustainable supply chain management. Another message repeated by delegates was the value of collaboration up and down the supply chain for mutual benefit, which we feel particularly applies to sustainability measures.