Update

June 2021 newsletter

Jun 4th, 2021

Here’s the latest in social enterprise and social procurement news

From the Buy Social Canada team


We are deeply saddened by the ongoing trauma that has been highlighted by the deaths of 215 children at Kamloops Residential School and the many other Indigenous children that have never been identified. Our hearts and thoughts go out to Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc nation and all of those who have lost loved ones, childhoods, families, community, and culture to residential schools and the colonial systems that created and supported them. 
We would like to share these recommendations from the Indian Residential School Survivors Society Facebook post for ways to help and support.
– David, Liz, Tori, Maham, Niamh, and Mariana


Special segment: Buy with Impact

Purpose businesses buy with impact

Social procurement is emerging as a necessity for every purpose-driven business. As all businesses have a supply chain, social procurement allows you to leverage your existing spend to create additional community benefits. It is also being asked for by many purchasers, likely the ones you sell to, and will make you more competitive in the market. Keep reading in the Buy Social Canada blog

“Businesses can help. They can be a force for good in the world. Corporate leaders can do more than just create profit; we have a collective responsibility to leverage our combined power and influence to help solve some of our greatest social problems. You can hire anyone for an entry-level position—office staff or labourers—for $19 an hour. But being thoughtful about who you’re hiring and why can make a significant impact.” – Tim Coldwell from Building a Better Future Through Social Procurement

“As the research clearly shows, it is a responsibility that extends beyond your own business to the organizations with which you choose to partner. While it can only be seen as a positive step that many businesses are becoming more demanding in areas such as environment and diversity, it is even more heartening to see how many are taking it upon themselves to help their suppliers do better. Business must be purpose-led and capable of directly improving the communities they serve.”- Sean Haley, Sodexo UK and Ireland from Think like us – and you can trade with us

The collective movement to buy with impact is growing. There is so much potential. “If just a small fraction, for example 5%, of what the public and private sectors currently spend on procuring goods and services was directed to social enterprise businesses, that collective buying power will build dynamic local economies and create more inclusive communities.” Elizabeth Chick-Blount, Executive Director of Buy Social Canada.

Find out how you can build your Buy Social Journey here


Revolutionary thought of the week


If you have privilege in your life and success in your business, what does that look like to you? Is it just about individual wealth? Or do you want to contribute to building community capital in your work?


PCL contracts Buy Social Canada to assist with St Paul’s Hospital Community Benefit Agreement implementation

Buy Social Canada is proud to announce that we have been selected by PCLConstructors Westcoast Inc. as their independent Third Party Monitor contractor, to support them in meeting the City of Vancouver Community Benefit Agreement (CBA)rezoning condition requirements for the construction of the New St. Paul’s Hospital Phase 1a. The new hospital is being built a few blocks away from the Downtown Eastside, sometimes referred to as one of Canada’s poorest postal codes.

The $2.174 billion construction project is committed to work toward goals of 10% hiring of local individuals from equity-seeking groups and 10% local and 10% social purchasing.

Read more


Federal government will include Community Benefits Agreements in $26.8 billion GTA transit projects


Largest public transit investment in GTA history will create jobs and kickstart the economy

The federal government understands that every taxpayer dollar invested in public transit must have multiple benefits including creating good jobs, building more equitable and inclusive communities, and tackling climate change. That is why the federal government’s funding is dependent on satisfying conditions including demonstrating how the investments will drive down emissions and build resilience, substantive environmental reviews, ensuring affordable housing along the line, incorporating accessibility, mitigating local concerns, maximizing benefits for communities including through Community Benefit Agreements, and meeting employment thresholds for underrepresented communities including Black, Indigenous and people of colour, and women.

Read the full release


Community Wealth Building Wednesdays — Social Procurement Webinar Series

Community Wealth Building – Social Procurement Webinar Series

Community wealth and community capital is being created throughout Ontario via Social Procurement. Buy Social Canada has partnered with the Ontario Nonprofit NetworkCanadian CED NetworkOntario Trillium Foundation and AnchorTO to invite you to a webinar series designed to strengthen and connect the social procurement and social enterprise ecosystems across Ontario.

Join us to enhance organizational and individual capacity, strengthen awareness, share public policy models, identify and explore future of social procurement ecosystem opportunities.

June 2 – Building Demand Side through Social Procurement
June 9 — Building Demand Side through Construction Projects
June 16 — Building Community Wealth and Community Capital
June 23 — (Wrap Up Dialogue) Social Procurement Ecosystem: Building Community Wealth

Wednesdays @ 1:00-2:30 pm ET

Register here


Buy with Impact: Build social procurement into your next construction project

Join Buy Social Canada and Chandos Construction, for a hands-on learning session on how to implement social procurement in your next construction project.

Bringing purpose to purchasing is growing as corporations, governments and institutions recognize the power they have to leverage their existing spend to create positive impact in their communities. Based upon Canada-wide experience, you’ll learn innovative industry best practice examples, how to use available tools, and the next steps you can take to buy with impact on your next commercial renovation or new build.

Thursday June 3, 202
110:00 – 11:30am PT / 1:00 – 2:30pm ET

Register here


Webinar: Understanding Social Procurement and the Potential Social Enterprises Have to Support Tourism Sector Recovery


Tourism Vancouver and Buy Social Canada look forward to hosting this webinar. As we work to rebuild the tourism sector, social procurement is a tool that can help to meet labour needs and create positive impact in your community. This webinar will explore how you can look to your supply chain for opportunities to include social enterprises: purpose-driven business with diverse and inclusive hiring practices. By working with a social enterprise, you help create impact and you will be able to access new avenues for employees.

Thursday June 10, 2021
9:00 – 10:30am PT / 12:00 – 1:30pm ET

Register here


From the archives:
Explore the Social Purchasing Portal


Measuring success and telling stories of impact are critical components of social procurement. In this session we’ll explore ways to measure social value outcomes using the Buy Social Canada Social Value Menu templates. The goal of measurable outcomes is to create community impact. Learn about how social procurement can amplify the work of social enterprises across Canada to achieve their social, environmental and cultural missions.

Thursday June 3, 2021
6:45 – 8:30am PT / 9:45 – 10:30am ET

Register here


From the archives:
Explore the Social Purchasing Portal


This 2006 article by David LePage is part of the foundations of social procurement in Canada and globally.

Steve Case, a businessman, and Jed Emerson, an academic, are leading the discussion about a new definition of return on investment. They have identified the need to blend the financial return on investment and the social impact of purchasing and procurement decisions, values that have traditionally been held as separate and non-intersecting.

This concept is helping to inform an emerging change in the procurement and purchasing practices of businesses. Several key factors push this shift, ranging from ethical concerns relating to corporate globalization to local efforts to build sustainable communities. At the same time, the growth of interest in corporate social responsibility (CSR) has brought with it the challenge of how to implement a broader multiple bottom line (financial/environmental/social) without damaging or eroding the traditional single bot- tom line of financial return on investment. The CSR activities of businesses frequently still hold to bottom lines in silos, either separating any interest in the environment or social issues from basic business practices or continuing a charitable contributions (grants, etc.) mandate totally separate from the core business operations.

Read the full article (p 35)


Alberta Garment stays the course as co-owner makes slow recovery from COVID


Social Procurement Champion Award Winner, City of Calgary shows that the power of procurement to support community goes beyond how you award contracts. Local relationships with suppliers have the potential to create huge impact. Calgary’s social procurement goal of supporting local, and diverse owned businesses goes beyond just the bid process. In this story, flexibility to support a local supplier, local jobs, and the local supply chain made COVID-19 recovery possible this local business.

Read more


East Van Roasters shows off their Social Enterprise Badge

East Van Roasters makes delicious bean to bar chocolate and coffee. Now they’re showing off their impact with the new Buy Social Canada Certified Social Enterprise Badge. Look out for the Badge to know that the social enterprise is focused on selling with impact and part of the growing movement of community capital creators.

If you spot the Badge in the wild, send us a photo to share!


Congratulations to social enterprise leaders!


HAVE Cafe and Catering Co-Founder and Executive Director Chef Amber Anderson has been awarded a 2021 BC Achievement Community Award! She was also recognized with the 2021 Mitchell Award for her leadership. Her empathy and generosity have helped people in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside by offering culinary training and nutritious meals to marginalized people.
EMBERS Staffing Solutions CEO Marcia Nozick has been awarded the 2021 BC Achievement Community Award. Under Marcia’s leadership EMBERS continues to grow its economic and social impact: in 2020, EMBERS employed 2,500 individuals, paid over $12 M in wages/benefits, and provided skills training to more than 400 people.


Procurement for Social Value Suppliers May Cohort

Congratulations to our first cohort for completing Procurement for Social Value Suppliers! We had a fantastic group who brought great perspectives and contributed to our collective learning experience. We wish them all the best as they continue to their social procurement journey to sell with impact.
Here is some of the feedback from participants:
“Great learning resource!”
“A great way to identify yourself in competitive markets and pitch it to leverage your business.”
We are now accepting applications for the next Procurement cohort in July.


Persons Community Solutions

PCS is an organization with a social vocation specializing in community safety and well-being.
They offer innovative and sustainable solutions for community safety and well-being.


PCS assists government institutions, community organizations, social enterprises and private companies to improve their ability to solve community, safety, and security issues.

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