It's often said that people can vote with their wallets. They can use their purchases to support local businesses, advance worthwhile causes like the fair trade movement, express approval or disapproval of certain labour practices, or otherwise ensure that their purchases reflect their values. But it's not just people who can do this; the same is true of governments and large organizations. A good social procurement policy directs government spending to create a positive social impact in the community.
The City of Edmonton was recently looking to design a social procurement policy and asked Buy Social Canada, a key partner of Qatalyst, to assist in designing and piloting such a policy. The goal was to use the City's purchasing power to advance its poverty reduction goals.
Qatalyst's role in the project was to assist Buy Social Canada by consulting with representatives of the construction industry regarding the development of a social procurement policy. The primary focus of the consultation was to obtain input on their familiarity and experience with social procurement and Community Benefits Agreements; perceptions about social procurement, the objectives of the policy and its appropriateness for Edmonton; the key characteristics that should be incorporated into any system; and how it might be structured or introduced, including how the industry could be involved in that process.
Click the below link to read more about the procurement guidelines that Edmonton adopted following our project.