How to use the MCSP’s latest report to improve your sustainable procurement program

    This spring, the Municipal Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement (MCSP), a group of 19 leading Canadian public institutions, launched its latest Annual Report on the State of Sustainable Public Procurement in Canada.

    The report outlines the latest trends in circular and sustainable public procurement, benchmarks members progress at implementing the MCSP best practices framework and offers member updates and success stories. Not only is it a great read, but it’s also useful when improving your sustainable procurement programs. Find 5 tips on how you can leverage the report below.

     

    1. Share it with leadership

    Send the report to your senior leadership team and/or council. If you’re just getting started, it can inspire your leaders to see what’s possible and share with them that you are part of a movement across the country. And if your organization is featured as a success story, it showcases that you’re leading sustainable public procurement in Canada. The good PR can help justify more resources and support for your initiatives.

     

    2. Get inspired

    Check out the member program development section (p. 14) and success stories (p. 18-30) to inspire new initiatives for the upcoming year.

     

    3. Connect with other members

    Compare your benchmarking results (p. 12) to those of other organizations and reach out to members who rank high on areas you’re looking to improve in.

     

    4. Align your program with best practices

    Review the MCSP’s 10-point Best Practice Framework (p. 10) with your team and internal stakeholders. Discuss gaps and opportunities to further embed sustainable purchasing across your organization.

     

    5. Publicize your successes

    If you have a success story, share the report with your marketing and communications team as well as local publications to have your initiatives shared broadly to your stakeholders. Communicating successes is key to generating more buy-in for your work!

    Shout-out to The City of Winnipeg who had their success story mentioned in The Winnipeg Free Press. Read the article here.

     

    Want to learn more?

    Download the full report here and contact Tim Reeve at tim@reeveconsulting.com if you are interested in learning more about the MCSP.

    New UN Report Showcases Sustainable Public Procurement Practices Around the Globe

    Version 2The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) recently released the 2017 Global Review of Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP), which provides and in-depth look at how governments and public institutions around the world are improving the sustainability of their supply chains and procurement practices.

    Building on the first Global Review, published in 2013, this report draws on research conducted in 2015 and 2016 to present a comprehensive picture of global progress in advancing SPP and to elucidate the opportunities, needs, challenges, and innovations in SPP in the last five years.

    The 2017 Global Review is unique in its breadth of coverage on SPP, incorporating thoughts, opinions, and data from more than 200 stakeholders across 41 countries. The report found that, although there continue to be significant challenges, awareness and implementation of SPP principles continues to grow around the world. Countries are working toward implementing SPP mainly through capacity-building activities for staff and stakeholders, and through integrating SPP principles and practices into existing procurement and management-related processes, procedures, and tools.

    The report also discusses persistent challenges related to SPP implementation, including the perception that sustainable products are more expensive and a lack of expertise on sustainable purchasing. Countries are actively working to overcome these challenges, particularly through awareness-raising and knowledge-sharing activities.

    Reeve is proud to have been a part of this project, which will be a useful source of information and experience on SPP, and can contribute to greater implementation and ultimately greater impacts through sustainable procurement activities.

    The 2017 Global Review was published as part of UNEP’s 10YFP Programme on Sustainable Public Procurement, a “global multi- stakeholder platform that supports the implementation of SPP around the world. The Programme builds synergies between diverse partners to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) target on SPP, i.e. to promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities. The United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) leads the 10YFP SPP Programme with ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) and the Korea Environmental Industry & Technology Institute (KEITI) as co-leads.”

    Impact Sourcing Means Going All In

    Funding

    In sustainable purchasing, there is often talk of “market readiness” for sustainable products and services. The idea is that sometimes organizations or consumers wish to purchase a more environmentally, ethically, or socially sustainable option, but the market has not yet produced this option, or does not produce it at scale. In these cases, purchasers can leverage their collective power to help influence the market to develop in a sustainable direction, through advocacy, or even direct investment. When it comes to sustainable services, sometimes the commodity that needs developing is the available labour itself.

    Help develop a market-ready young person in Uganda

    A few weeks ago we posted about a new trend in sustainable procurement and global economic development called impact sourcing. Driven by initiatives from organizations such as the Rockefeller Foundation, “‘Impact sourcing’ is an inclusive employment practice through which companies intentionally connect high-potential, disadvantaged youth to available jobs.” The practice is taking off, with tech giants such as Microsoft beginning to capitalize on a win-win opportunity.

    However, the jobs created when companies are practicing impact sourcing are only one half of the equation: these high-potential youth still need the education and training required to successfully perform at their jobs. Impact sourcing requires capacity-building. In order to develop this market of young and promising employees, we must find ways to invest in their education.

    The African continent is a place where there is an abundance of high-potential youth who are desperately in need of sustainable employment. In many African countries, such as Uganda, education is prohibitively expensive for much of the population, and youth cannot access loans to defray the costs. As a result, even if jobs appear through impact sourcing employment creation, many prospective applicants would find themselves under-prepared to fill the positions.

    So what can be done? Reeve believes in grassroots capacity-building, which is why we are helping to support a young and promising Ugandan student to fulfil her higher education dreams. Please check out Rosemary Nakasiita’s story here, and consider how you too might help push toward market readiness for impact sourcing.

    Help Rosemary Nakasiita Get Her University Degree on Indiegogo

    BuySmart Workshop: Maximizing the impact of sustainable purchasing, Nov 30

    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
    5. 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 Victoria Wakefield of UBC and Jason Boyce of Nature’s Path Foods.

    Where can I sign up?

    To register, please visit buysmartbc.com.

    A 20% discount is offered for organizations sending two or more participants.

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

    Register soon as spaces are limited!

    We’re hiring! (Vancouver) – update

    Flickr / quinet

    We’re excited to announce a new position with Reeve Consulting in Vancouver, BC.

    Click on the link below for full job postings and application details.

    The deadline for applications is September 30, 2012.

    Reeve Consulting is a boutique consultancy based in Vancouver, BC specializing in the development and implementation of ethical and sustainable purchasing programming for business, government and non-profit organizations in BC and across North America.

    We’re hiring! (Vancouver) – updated

    UPDATE – We are no longer hiring for the positions outlined below. However we are happy to accept resumes and are always interested in meeting exceptional candidates. If you’re interested in working with Reeve Consulting, please send your resume with a cover letter to info@reeveconsulting.com.

    Flickr / quinet

    We’re excited to announce two new positions with Reeve Consulting in Vancouver, BC.

    Click on the links below for full job postings and application details.

    The deadline for applications is June 1, 2012.

    Reeve Consulting is a boutique consultancy based in Vancouver, BC specializing in the development and implementation of ethical and sustainable purchasing programming for business, government and non-profit organizations in BC and across North America.

    Maximize the Impact of Sustainable Purchasing – join us for the next BuySmart Learning Event

    Are you familiar with the basics of sustainable purchasing? Would you like to customize your organization’s procurement process to align with sustainability principles? An upcoming BuySmart learning event focused on Maximizing the Impact of Sustainable Purchasing will put you on the right track.

    Designed for staff in public, private and non-profit organizations responsible for purchasing, sustainability or corporate responsibility, workshop topics will include how to integrate sustainability into bid documents, create performance scorecards for suppliers, evaluate proposals and more. Presenters will additionally profile product guidelines and specifications among other helpful tools.

    Presented by the BuySmart Network, a non-profit dedicated to advancing sustainability in BC and beyond, the event will feature new workshops lead by BuySmart Co-Founders Tim Reeve and Coro Strandberg, whose last co-facilitated session in February sold out with very positive reviews.

    Guest speaker Vicki Wakefield, Purchasing Manager for Student Housing, Hospitality and Food Services at the University of British Columbia (UBC), will show participants how UBC is applying these tools within the request for proposals (RFP) process.

    Pre-registration is recommended, as space is limited. Sign-up through the BuySmart Network’s Eventbrite site and join us for a morning of strategy, practical insights and useful tools that will help your organization leverage its purchasing power for social, environmental and financial benefits.

    Sustainable Purchasing Learning Event offered by BuySmart Network

    Are you struggling to figure out where to start with sustainable purchasing? Or not sure how to build the business case? Perhaps you’re wondering where to focus resources?

    Gain practical knowledge and the 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, February 24th 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.

    Flickr / AMagill

    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 Amanda Pitre-Hayes and Kevin Ducharme.

    Event Details

    • When: February 24, 2012, 9:00 am – noon
    • Where: TIDES Canada, Hollyhock Room 304, 163 West Hastings St. Vancouver
    • Cost: $75

    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.ca or phone at (604) 488-5355.

    How are Municipalities Benefiting from Sustainable Supply Chain Collaboration?

    Flickr / toolstop

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

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

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

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

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

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

    We’ve included the presentation in its entirety below.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Key tips & resources for effectively measuring sustainable purchasing programs

    Flickr / Pink Sherbert

    How many times have we heard it, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure”? It’s  a management consulting mantra that is repeated so often you could almost tune it out.

    “Yes, of course” we affirm to our peers and colleagues. But inwardly most of us would agree that developing good key performance indicators (KPI’s) and accurate tracking mechanisms are generally underdeveloped across the triple bottom line, and definitely in their infancy when it comes to sustainable purchasing.

    Yet the reality is that metrics are a key success factor in building out a solid sustainable purchasing program, providing a clear indication of program strengths, weaknesses, and by extension, areas for future development and improvement.

    Nonetheless, at Reeve Consulting our experience has been that the development and measurement of quality metrics is often overlooked or identified as a future priority.

    We know clients face organizational challenges to implementing quality measurement systems, such as a prioritization of policy and procedure at the expense of performance tracking, or difficulty measuring the ‘green-ess’ of products and suppliers, which can be time intensive and confusing. Further, traditional accounting systems often don’t consider sustainability measures.

    While we won’t attempt to address all these issues in a single blog post, some of our recent work has us compiling a set of useful resources for developing customized metrics for sustainable purchasing reporting and management systems, both for measuring overall program performance and specific aspects – such as purchasing categories (e.g. vehicles). We’ve shared a collection of these below.

    To get started, we’ve also created a short list of key tips for developing effective metrics, which we encourage our clients to consider at the outset.

    Key Tips for Developing Effective Metrics:


    1. Link to corporate sustainability initiatives – An important step in customizing a set of metrics is to ensure they are linked to corporate sustainability objectives and reporting systems. For example, if your corporation is concerned with minimizing waste, then sustainable purchasing metrics should include performance measures related to the amount of waste diverted by buying products with reusable or reduced packaging.
    1. Realistic to measure – Also, ensure that you will be able to realistically measure the outcomes of all metrics overtime. Building on the earlier example, if waste reduction is measured at the corporate level, set a metric that requires measurement of packaging reduction in a few product categories, rather than all product categories, the latter being more time consuming and difficult to measure.
    1. Plan to expand – Don’t get bogged down in the development stage by trying to define a comprehensive set of metrics and reporting processes. Plan to expand your metrics and performance reporting with time. Start with realistic metrics to ensure early success in reporting.

     Helpful Resources for Developing Customized Metrics


       Metrics for tracking at the Sustainable Purchasing Program Level

    • The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) provides high-level performance indicators that have been adopted by many corporations across the globe. You can also view the GRI Product Responsibility Indicator guide HERE. You may want to align your tracking and reporting systems with relevant GRI metrics.
    • Kaiser Permanente, a USA-based healthcare organization that Reeve Consulting has interviewed on a few occasions around their best practices, has recently developed the PS Annual EPP Success Story Achievements document that outlines the metrics they’re tracking and reporting with regards to EPP (environmental preferable purchasing). This includes metrics for vehicles and office IT equipment.

       Metrics for tracking impacts at the Product Level

    • Third-party Ecolabel standards can also be used to identify metrics. For example, the key environmental attributes (e.g. toxicity, material utilization) of the individual standards developed by Canada’s EcoLogo program for different products could be used to determine what you track for specific product categories, such as office equipment, furniture, etc. The Responsible Purchasing Network has outlined a detailed list of other third-party ecolabel standards that you may want to consider.
    • The Responsible Purchasing Network also has a wide variety of calculators that can be used to measure the impacts of your sustainable purchasing practices. They are product specific. It is recommended that you try using existing online calculators to help you measure the impacts of specific product categories as a starting point. For example, they have an Office Electronics Calculator, so you may want to develop metrics for this product category, knowing there is a calculator in place to help you assess outcomes.
    • E3 Fleet Rating is designed to evaluate and recognize performance, and allows fleets to be rated at the Bronze, Silver or Gold level of performance. E3 Fleet Rating uses a point-based Rating System Checklist for rating fleet performance, with points for fleet management practices and energy/emissions performance.
    • Look to your suppliers to help develop reasonable metrics. Many of your suppliers may already be tracking the environmental impacts of their products. Consult them to learn what data they can provide and then set metrics related to this data. For example, Cascades is tracking valuable data related to their paper products (e.g. tissue) that could be used to measure the impacts of buying more green cleaning products. As the following link shows, Cascades can provide data for water usage, recycled content in packaging, reduction in the use of trees, etc. that is related to the products they manufacture. Click HERE for details.