The State of Sustainable Purchasing in Canada

Municipalities, post-secondary institutions, and others that buy for their communities across Canada continue to push for wide-spread adoption of a more strategic and holistic way of purchasing. The following report highlights the trends and challenges for 2017 in the world of Canadian sustainable public procurement.

Reeve Consulting and the Municipal Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement (MCSP) are pleased to release our eighth annual MCSP State of the Nation Report. The report highlights MCSP achievements this year, as well as the latest trends and current sustainable purchasing (SP) experience of Canadian municipalities, educational institutions and an airport authority.

MCSP is a member-based network of Canadian public-sector institutions working together to deliver better services and achieve better value through sustainable purchasing. Our member organizations meet virtually several times per year to share information, collaborate on tool development, and exchange lessons learned related to mitigating risks and improving social and environmental outcomes by considering sustainability risks in the procurement process.

Over 2017, MCSP Working Groups collaborated to create supplier engagement and monitoring and evaluation tools, while members individually advanced sustainable purchasing in their organizations. Read the report for stories on how members are making an impact by greening laboratories, reducing packaging materials, using energy more efficiently, buying sustainable swag, enhancing job security, implementing a Living Wage Policy and achieving Fair Trade Town certification.

Major Sustainable Purchasing Trends

  1. Social purchasing is gaining ground to complement environmental purchasing as more public organizations are considering how their procurement can positively impact the social wellbeing of their communities
  2. Organizations are striving to align and integrate SP from corporate strategy to SP policies and tools
  3. Organizations are investing in training and communication towards building cultures of embedding sustainability thinking into purchasing decisions for all staff, as the default way to buy
  4. Organizations are using certification systems and developing partnerships with universities, social enterprises and other organizations to achieve SP impact
  5. More organizations are creating dedicated Sustainable Purchasing roles to realize their SP goals

Download the full report here if you are interested in learning how you can join the Municipal Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement (MCSP).

This article first appeared on the Reeve Consulting website.