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.

    2014 Annual Report Reveals Current Trends & Best Practices in Municipal Sustainable Purchasing in Canada

    MCSP 2014 Report Cover PageReeve Consulting and the Municipal Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement (MCSP) recently released the fifth annual MCSP State of the Nation Report, summarizing the latest trends, best practices, examples and case studies of Municipal Sustainable Procurement in Canada. The report provides a wealth of information on how municipalities across Canada are progressing at implementing the practice of sustainable procurement and is a valuable 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 2015 programming for the Municipal Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement, which through its collaboration and resource sharing programs will help participating municipalities address challenges and priorities raised in the 2014 State of the Nation report. In addition, the report specifically profiles success stories from each MCSP member municipality. By joining the MCSP in 2015, you can ensure that your municipality’s important sustainable purchasing work will be showcased in the next report, allowing you to highlight your great sustainable purchasing work, both internally and to your city council.

    The Municipal Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement is led by a steering committee comprised of the cities of Calgary, Edmonton, Kelowna, Ottawa, Saskatoon, and Vancouver, and is being facilitated by Reeve Consulting. Currently the Collaboration includes 13 municipalities from across Canada. Local governments of all sizes are invited to participate.

    For more information about this national network, visit the MCSP website

    Media Contact:

    Tim Reeve

    President, Reeve Consulting

    Phone: 604-763-6829

    Email: tim@reeveconsulting.com

    Reeve Consulting attending the Green Sport Summit 2012, Seattle

    This week, Amanda Mungal from Reeve Consulting will be attending the Green Sport Alliance Summit in Seattle. Designed for leaders from the sports community, this three-day executive summit will use a mixture of formats to introduce attendees to sustainability best practices that produce bottom line benefits while demonstrating responsible corporate and community citizenship.

    Building off our work with the 2010 Bid Committee, VANOC and Sochi2014, Reeve Consulting recognizes the impact of large-scale sporting initiatives.

    We’re looking forward to hearing firsthand how teams and venues are saving money and improving their environmental performance.  We hope to see you there.

    View the video below for the 2011 Green Sports Alliance Summit Highlights:

     

    To Buy Local or Not? That is the question on October 27th

    Buy Local sign

    Flickr / alicia.pimental

    It’s the $64,000 dollar question. Can municipalities and other public agencies adopt “Buying Local” policies or initiatives without running afoul of trade agreements? How can governments encourage economic development and promote minority and diversity suppliers, and at the same time stay onside with the legal department. After all, buying locally produced goods and services is one of the most effective ways to implement targeted economic development work.

    If you’ve wondered about how to support more local businesses through your purchasing decisions, we encourage you to join us in Vancouver, October 27 for the Think Global, Buy Local learning event organized by the Fraser Basin BuySmart Network in partnership with LOCO BC.

    Topics of discussion will include defining local purchasing, sample policies and practices, regulatory considerations, success stories, lessons learned and more.

    The event will be led by a powerhouse collection of local purchasing experts who will be on hand to share their experience and expertise, including many of the founding members of the BuySmart Program – Amy Robinson of LOCO BC, Coro Stradberg of Strandberg Consulting, Bob Purdy of the BuySmart Network, Vicki Wakefield, Purchasing Manager at UBC and Tim Reeve of Reeve Consulting.

    Think Global, Buy Local will be a high value learning and networking event and a great opportunity to come together with thought leaders in local purchasing. Reeve Consulting is looking forward to participating and we hope you’re able to join us.

    Visit the event website for full details and ticket sales.

    On the Air: using sport to accelerate sustainability

    Flickr / woolennium

    This week’s Green with Envy radio show focused on using sport to accelerate sustainability. As described by host Peter ter Weeme:

    “We all know that sports and physical activity are important to maintaining good health, developing teamwork skills, and fostering relationships and understanding between people and cultures. But there’s a new benefit that’s emerging – a global movement around sport and sustainability. From baseball diamonds to major sporting events, action is being taken to gain a better understanding of the impact sporting events have on the environment, provide inspiration and tools for teams and venues to make changes to reduce that impact, and engage more people in the benefits of sport. Tune into this week’s edition of Green With Envy to hear more about the people making it happen.”

    The show started with a topical discussion between host Peter ter Weeme, Tim Reeve and Ann Duffy focused on their experiences integrating sustainability into the delivery of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games.

    Later in the show, Rosalyn Morrison, Chair of the Ontario Summer Games Legacy Committee, shared insights on incorporating sustainability into Toronto’s upcoming Ontario Summer Games and 2015 Pan Am Games. Allen Herschkowitz, board member of the Green Sports Alliance gave some compelling information on the enormous eco-footprint of sporting events followed by some innovative examples of green stadium operations and potential for environmental and financial savings.

    Tune in – full audio from the show can be streamed from the Green with Envy website HERE.

    New Research Helping Define the “Sustainability Consumer”

    This week we’re bringing you a re-post from our colleagues at Ecolabel Index, an online database that offers the largest global directory of ecolabels.

    With raw data showing demand for greener products staying robust in spite of a major recession, researchers are working to question old assumptions about who sustainability consumers are and how they behave. Recently, we have learned about a number of innovative studies, including researching online auction behaviour, that are helping to get a more accurate read on this audience.

    Perhaps the most comprehensive is a new primer by Dr. Remi Trudel of Boston U. and released by The Network for Business Sustainability that analysed 91 different studies to understand if consumers will pay more for sustainable products. Interestingly, the answer is yes, and the average premiums being paid are 10%. This is contrary to prevailing wisdom that consumers are not willing to pay a premium for environmental and social goods.

    Regardless, a gap continues to exist between the number of consumers with good intentions and the number who actually make greener purchases. What is behind that gap? According to this work, the main issues are:

    1. Confusion about the product’s sustainability benefits,
    2. Confusing packaging,
    3. Trade-offs required to buy the product (like a price premium), and
    4. Competition between brands.

    One of the recommendations for future research is to investigate when and how much companies should communicate their sustainability performance given the risk of being called greenwashers due to over-promoting and the abundance of information now available at people’s fingertips.

    We agree more research is needed, and are interested in what benefits consumers value most and whether those benefits match up with the sustainability needs further up the value chain.

    In the short term the sector can take action to more clearly communicate to sustainability consumers:

    1. List a product’s specific sustainability benefits (what makes it better?)
    2. State the amount that benefit costs (how much more am I paying for that? 5%? 15%?)

    Two simple steps that could help grow a market.

    Canucks’ Power Play takes aim on Sustainability

    Vancouver Canucks vs San Jose Sharks

    Flickr / pointnshoot

    What a tremendous third round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and fantastic game on Sunday. In case you missed it, our local Vancouver Canucks were victorious with a 4-2 win over the San Jose Sharks, putting them just 1 win away from the Stanley Cup Finals! It’s all people can talk about around here.

    The team at Reeve is similarly caught up in all things Canucks, so we’re focusing this week’s post on the team’s recent commitment to the Green Sports Alliance, a non-profit organization with a mission to reduce the environmental impact of professional sports while engaging fans with environmental education.

    Mass sporting events and sustainability

    The Green Sport Alliance (GSA) was started in 2010 with founding members from six different North American professional sports teams – the Vancouver Canucks (NHL), Seattle Storm (WNBA), Seattle Mariners (MLB), Seattle Seahawks (NFL), Portland Trail Blazers (NBA) and the Seattle Sounders FC (MLS). Over the past year staff from these teams and venues have been focusing on sharing experiences, lessons learned and creating practical metrics.

    Rogers Arena Vancouver Canucks warm-up

    Flickr / Dahlstrom

    At Reeve Consulting we feel the Canucks support of the GSA is great news. A main take-away from our experience working with the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games is the tremendous power of mass sporting events to engage a broad, global audience on key sustainability issues. From green building projects to the stories of sustainable athlete gifts and locally sourced victory bouquets, the sustainability initiatives of the Vancouver Olympics were a valuable side story to the 2010 Games.

    While we welcome a North American network that blends environmental responsibility with professional sport interests, the Canucks and other teams need to walk the talk and show results.

    What could sustainability success look like for the Canucks?

    We’ve seen some commendable initiatives from professional teams like the Seattle Mariners, who among other projects have dramatically increased their stadium waste diversion rate and reduced their water usage. The Philladelphia Eagles have ambitious plans to power Lincoln Financial Field solely with on-site renewable energy by September 2011.

    Building off our work with VANOC and more recently with the Organizing Committee of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, we have plenty of ideas for how the Canucks could make a real impact with their sustainability measures.

    Vancouver Canucks merchandise

    Flickr / Cindy Andrie

    From introducing a comprehensive zero waste program in Rogers Arena, to taking a closer look at food and catering services, energy and water use, there’s plenty of potential for making the team’s operations more eco-efficient.

    We would encourage the Canucks to view sustainability as more than environmental initiatives, and consider opportunities for further social investments. Canucks merchandise should be made free of child labour, and the team should be looking closely at the labour practices employed in their merchandising program supply chain. Closer to home, possible opportunities lie in structuring employment opportunities for people with disabilities, profiling local suppliers, and getting high profile Canucks to act as “green ambassadors” in the community.

    We believe in our Canucks and are confident they will triumph in the end; they already have a fantastic image in the community through their valuable sponsorship and involvement with charities that support children’s health, wellness and education.

    Green Sport Summit, Portland, August 1

    Reeve is planning to attend the GSA’s inaugural event, the Green Sport Summit being held August 1 in Portland, and looks forward to hearing more about the plans for this group. Following the event, we’ll be sharing our insights here.

    Go Canucks Go, CBC

    Flickr / roland

    While the full impact of green sport initiatives is yet to be seen, we feel there’s a lot of opportunity given the diversity of audiences sport draws.

    In parting, we’ll leave you with this thought – 26.5 million, or 80% of Canadians watched some part of the Canadian gold medal hockey game during the Vancouver Winter Olympics – imagine the potential for public engagement if Team Canada’s victory had been accompanied by a call to action for Canadians to make a simple environmental commitment!

    Go Canucks go!

    Reeve Consulting on Twitter

    Reeve Consulting is now on Twitter at @ReeveConsulting.

    Our tweets focus on sustainable supply chains, ethical sourcing, product certification programs, greenwashing, corporate social responsibility, Reeve Consulting projects and more.

    We’re having a great time in the ‘Twitterverse’ connecting with our clients and colleagues and learning a lot from advocacy and news groups in our sector. We hope you’ll join the conversation and connect with us on Twitter. We’re sharing interesting news and helpful resources for improving your sustainable sourcing efforts.

    Reeve Consulting and the Municipal Collaboration for Sustainable Purchasing

    Reeve Consulting recently initiated the Municipal Collaboration for Sustainable Purchasing (MCSP). The aim of this project is to leverage the collective experience of municipalities to advance their sustainable purchasing initiatives by sharing ethical and sustainable purchasing (ESP) resources and lessons learned.

    The value of ethical and sustainable purchasing for municipalities

    Ethical and sustainable purchasing (ESP) is becoming an increasingly important element in the sustainability sections of municipal strategic plans. Few other programs can directly contribute to multiple civic agendas around zero waste, climate leadership, local economic development, strategic sourcing and staff engagement. Among the advantages of an effective ESP program are mitigating legal and brand risks, enhancing the municipal brand as a sustainability leader, reducing costs by selecting products with less waste, energy consumption and product related health risks and building staff engagement around sustainability.

    Facilitating ESP with the Municipal Collaboration for Sustainable Purchasing

    Recognizing that ESP is a new and evolving field, Reeve Consulting understands that municipalities need access to tools and information to help them make the right decisions. Through regular conference calls, webinars, expert consultations and sharing of electronic tools, we’re facilitating the development of results-oriented ESP programs that make the best use of limited resources.

    Specific initiatives undertaken by participating municipalities include reducing municipal waste by demanding products with minimal packaging, reducing carbon emissions by selecting energy efficient certified electronics, and limiting toxins by sourcing green cleaning supplies. At the same time, participating municipalities are considering the social impacts of their procurement by demanding products that meet international labour standards for fair and safe working conditions.

    According to Jeff Byrne, Chief Procurement Officer, City of Ottawa, there are many benefits to participating in the MCSP program including increased access to information and lessons learned, developing civic partnership and leadership, and advancing sustainability performance in the public sector. Another active participant in the group, Shannon Clohosey, Sustainability Projects Manager, City of Whitehorse, has said she’s very optimistic about where the MCSP project is going and wants to remain active in 2011.

    To date nine Canadian municipalities have joined the MCSP project, which would not be possible without the lead sponsorship support of the City of Saskatoon, City of Edmonton and City of Ottawa. We are also pleased to have additional support from the following participating members: Halifax Regional Municipality, City of London, City of Guelph, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Town of Olds and City of Whitehorse.

    If you’re interested in joining the Municipal Collaboration for Sustainable Purchasing, please contact Tim Reeve, President of Reeve Consulting at 604-763-6829 or tim@reeveconsulting.com.

    Who Sets the Standards for Ecolabels?

    It is common practice to rely on third-party ecolabels to define environmental criteria for particular purchasing categories.  Ecolabels provide third-party verification of the environmental and social standards related to a particular product or service category and can be used to reduce the onus of creating environmental criteria.  By understanding how to identify a mature and credible ecolabel purchasers can rely on these pre-determined criteria and simply specify that the product or service in question carry this ecolabel, removing the burden of developing criteria.

    There are over 350 ecolabels in the global marketplace so it important to understand how to identify mature and credible ecolabel standards, as all are not created equally.  There are three main international expert sources that provide definitions of different types of ecolabels and set out parameters for developing high quality ecolabels that consumers can trust.  The following provides an introduction to these organizations and briefly describes their efforts to set international parameters for ecolabelling.

    International Parameters for Ecolabels: Key Organizations and Definitions

    The following organizations have set international definitions and parameters for ecolabels:

    1. Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN)
    2. International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
    3. ISEAL Alliance

    Global Ecolabelling Network

    GEN is a non-profit association of third-party environmental performance recognition, certification and labeling organizations founded in 1994 to improve, promote and develop the ecolabelling of products and services.  GEN defines different types of ecolabels, categorizes existing ecolabels, and sets generic environmental criteria for specific product and service categories.  As a membership based organization, GEN provides assurance that member organizations are meeting their parameters for ecolabelling.

    For more detail visit: http://www.globalecolabelling.net/whatis.html

    International Organization for Standardization

    ISO is the world’s largest developer and publisher of international standards.  It brings together a network of national standards institutes from 159 countries to build consensus of global standard setting.  In particular, they have created the ISO 14020 series of standards that define parameters for developing environmental labels and declarations.  This series includes ISO 14024, 14021 and 14025, which define the parameters for Type I, II, and III ecolabels, respectively.

    For more detail visit: http://www.iso.org/iso/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=34425

    ISEAL Alliance

    ISEAL is a global association for social and environmental standards.  It works with established and emerging voluntary standard systems to develop guidance and strengthen the effectiveness of these standards.  They also work with companies, non-profits and governments to support their referencing and use of voluntary standards.  They have developed Codes of Good Practice that are applied to leading standards systems and are an ISEAL membership requirement.  As a membership based organization, ISEAL provides assurance that member organizations are meeting their parameters for ecolabelling.

    For more detail visit: http://www.isealalliance.org/content/codes-good-practice

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