Companies should tap into social procurement’s endless opportunities

OPINION MITCHELL COHEN CONTRIBUTED TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL JUNE 14, 2017JUNE 14, 2017 Mitchell Cohen is President of the Daniels Corporation. Daniels, in partnership with Toronto Community Housing and local social service agencies, implemented social procurement strategies over the past 11 years within the Regent Park Revitalization. It's time for the private sector to climb aboard the "social procurement" train. Investing in local economies has long been a business imperative for not-for-profit organizations from coast to coast. These organizations understand how their purchasing power can be leveraged to build social capital and create positive social outcomes in their home communities.  In recent years, for-profit businesses have begun implementing "giving back" strategies that go deeper than simply writing cheques to worthy causes. In fact, engagement philanthropy is becoming an important tool for corporations intent on attracting and keeping the absolute best and the brightest. The fact is, the best and the brightest are looking for more than a paycheque. They don't want their employer to just talk the...
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How Toronto is using its purchasing power to drive inclusive growth

FLAVIE HALAIS APRIL 7, 2017 TORONTO, Canada — Every year, the city of Toronto spends about CAD 1.8 billion (USD 1.35 billion) on goods and services, from large construction projects to one-off catering contracts. Now, the city wants to harness that procurement power to help raise minorities, aboriginal people, recent immigrants and people with disabilities out of poverty. Since 1 January, Toronto has been implementing a new Social Procurement Policy. The policy establishes clear guidelines and tools to ensure that businesses owned by members of disadvantaged groups participate in the bidding process for public contracts. It also aims to ensure that businesses contracting with the city hire and train a diverse workforce. Vendors working on large city contracts are encouraged to participate in workforce development programmes with vulnerable groups, such as youth. Supplier diversity programmes for minorities and women are already well established in the United States. And procurement schemes focusing on social goals are multiplying in other countries, notably in the United Kingdom and Australia. Requirements that...
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