Thompson Rivers University

Sustainable Purchasing Guide, High Impact Procurement Opportunities List, Sustainability Factsheets, and Training Sessions

Over the years 2019 – 2021, Reeve Consulting worked with Thompson River University (TRU) on several occasions to help them take initial steps in integrating their sustainability values into procurement practices and establishing a sustainable procurement program.

Reeve worked closely with both the Sustainability and Procurement teams to develop a Sustainable Purchasing Guide, a High Impact Procurement Opportunities (HIPO) List, a series of product sustainability factsheets, and deliver training to key stakeholders.

The Sustainable Procurement Guide directly supports TRU’s Campus Strategic Sustainability Plan by providing staff with guidance on how to include sustainability within standard procurement processes. The Guide is organized by procurement type, providing a simple set of steps for each, from p-card purchases to requests for proposals (RFPs). It also contains the following mini tools:

  • Risk and Opportunity Assessment Checklist
  • Supplier Leadership Questionnaire
  • Life Cycle Analysis Assessment Checklist
  • Total Cost of Ownership Worksheet

Reeve also brought together stakeholders from multiple departments, via interviews and a workshop, to identify where sustainable procurement could be best applied and have the highest impact on TRU’s supply chain. The resulting High Impact Procurement Opportunities (HIPO) List identified:

  • Categories with high spend and/or high potential for environmental and social impact
  • Categories in which contracts are up for tendering, renewal, or renegotiation in the near term
  • Categories where there is market readiness to provide more sustainable alternatives

Later, Reeve delivered Training Sessions for representatives from various internal client departments. The training sessions helped staff better understand TRU’s current sustainable procurement practices and available resources, shared previous examples and success stories, and provided tips on how to implement sustainability for various types of purchases.

Finally, Reeve developed 10 Sustainability Factsheets to help staff clearly and quickly identify issues, criteria, and recommendations for purchasing specific product categories – like professional services, office supplies, catering, and more. These Factsheets were distributed to the Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee and staff across the university to support more sustainable decentralized purchasing.

“This project has generated more focus and momentum for the next level of sustainable procurement across all departments of TRU. This was a very significant opportunity to come together to learn what each other has done and what they aspire to implement next. We came out of the project with clear successes to share and tools to engage the campus to take action in key categories.” – Jim Gudjonson, Director of the Office of Environment and Sustainability