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Socially Responsible Procurement

Posted 4/3/2017

Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach a person … you know the rest.

Procurement continues to evolve:

Lowest Price → Best Value → Sustainability → Social Responsibility and will continue to evolve in response to social, economic, environmental and other factors. Public Sector organizations are leading the evolution in response to public demands. Non-profit organizations are often leaders in the application of social responsibility to their businesses.

Governments maintain bureaucracies charged with distributing welfare, policing, supportive housing, education, substance use treatment and many more social programs. Government also spends billions annually to procure goods and services. Let’s consider how procurement can contribute to creating better lives for citizens and reduce the total cost of government.

  • Prepare for governance to request a social procurement policy/strategy;
  • Do a spend analysis identifying products and suppliers that could respond to a social procurement strategy; examples include:
  •     o   Construction, food services, cleaning services, local non-profits, small businesses/local start-ups, social enterprises, etc.;
  • Prepare and engage your supplier community, advise them on your intentions to implement and engage them by asking for their ideas and assistance to implement a social procurement strategy.

What to ask and evaluate in your procurement request:

  • On the job skills training and support for hard to employ individuals;
  • Local hiring practices particularly youth and disadvantaged individuals;
  • Community benefits;
  • Innovative small manufacturers/makers;
  • Non-profit enterprises engaged in social/personal/community development;

Recognize that the change will be incremental and take time; however those that stay the course will help to create healthier communities and better value government.

For more on this topic please visit: and or drop me a line.

Nothing in this message is intended to convey legal advice.