Social Purchasing Policy
Related Documents: Purchasing Policy, Purchasing Procedure, Purchasing Code of Ethics, Conflict of Interest Policy
Owner: Financial Services
Approver: Chief Financial Officer
Approval Dates: October 2023
‘Buying with impact’ involves the promotion of Social Procurement by enabling individuals and organizations to create social value by turning their purchases into powerful instruments to create social, sustainable, and economic value for the broader community.
A commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and Indigenous values and experience is a core value of the University. The University maintains a visible presence for equity, diversity and inclusion and Indigenous values and experience as integral components across administrative functions of the University, while addressing the range of systemic barriers.
The purpose of this policy is to outline the commitment of and framework under which the University will ‘buy with impact’, to leverage its purchasing power to further its commitments to equity, diversity and inclusion and Indigenous values and experience by broadening the opportunities to Diverse Suppliers into the University’s supply chain.
II. Scope and Application
This Policy applies to the purchase of all goods and services, where appropriate, purchased by the University from all funding sources.
This Policy is to be read in conjunction with the University’s Purchasing Policy and Procedure, and applicable laws, trade agreements and procurement directives. In the event of any conflict with this Policy and the applicable laws, the University’s Purchasing Policy and Procedure, trade agreements, or procurement directives, those applicable laws, agreements, policies and directives will take precedence.
For the purposes of this Policy:
“Diverse Supplier” means a Supplier that is either certified by a Supplier Certification Organization, or self identified to be more than 51% (majority) owned, managed and controlled by persons belonging to an Equity-deserving Community or Indigenous Peoples.
“Equity-deserving Community” means a group that experiences discrimination or barriers to equal opportunity, including women, persons with disabilities, newcomers/new immigrants, 2SLGBTQ+ people, visible minorities/racialized people, and other groups deemed appropriate by the University.
“Indigenous Peoples” refers to First Nations (Status and non-Status), Métis and Inuit Peoples in Canada and Native/Indigenous Peoples in the United States.
“Small Sized Business” means a business that has 1 to 99 paid employees, which may be a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation.
“Social Procurement” means the practice of using existing investments in infrastructure and the purchase of goods and services to generate social and economic value, such as the creation of decent work opportunities for jobseekers experiencing employment barriers, and equitable opportunities for Diverse Suppliers to do business with the University.
“Supplier” means an individual or entity that provides goods and/or services to the University.
“Supplier Certification Organization” means a third-party organization recognized by the University that certifies businesses and enterprises as being more than 51% (majority) owned, managed and controlled by persons belonging to an Equity-deserving Community or Indigenous Peoples by assessing them using established, consistent criteria.
1. The University aims to leverage more value from its purchasing decisions by providing more opportunities for Diverse Suppliers.
2. The University aims to provide Diverse Suppliers with experience working with a public sector organization by reducing barriers to entry such as restrictive evaluation criteria during a competitive procurement process by giving appropriate consideration, within reason, in the evaluation process for Diverse Suppliers.
3. The University will give evaluation/selection preference to Diverse Suppliers who are Small Sized Businesses, within reason. For complete clarity, price does not have to be the deciding factor.
4. The University will attempt to offer favorable commercial terms where appropriate, such as faster payments, for Diverse Suppliers who are also considered to be a Small Sized Business.
5. The University shall make all purchases of goods or services in accordance with applicable law, including but not limited to trade agreements, procurement directives, contract law, procurement law, privacy legislation, accessibility legislation, Ontario Human Rights Code, and any other legislation as may be applicable.
6. All purchases of goods or services made by or on behalf of the University are subject to approval by the respective University authority in accordance with the Approval Authority Schedule Policy.
7. All purchases of goods or services made by or on behalf of the University shall be undertaken in accordance with the Conflict of Interest Policy and Procedure.
V. Roles and Responsibilities
1. University faculty and staff are responsible:
a. For purchases under $100,000 CAD:
i. ensure the proper procurement method is met. Purchasing Services can be used as an advisor. Additionally, see Purchasing Procedure for complete details.
ii. to attempt to source at least one (1) quotation from a Diverse Supplier.
iii. to, where appropriate, incorporate selection criteria and/or goods or services specifications (i.e. sustainability product labels, diversity of project team members). For complete clarity, price does not have to be the deciding factor.
iv. contact Payment Services for consideration of more supportable payment terms, such as expedited payment, other than the University’s standard thirty (30) days.
b. For purchases equal to or greater than $100,000 CAD:
i. when appropriate, work with Purchasing Services to develop a procurement strategy that provides opportunity for Diverse Suppliers.
ii. when appropriate, incorporate selection criteria and/or good or services specifications (i.e. sustainability product labels, diversity of project team members).
2. Purchasing Services is responsible:
a. to provide assistance to the University community to source Diverse Suppliers.
b. provide or facilitate approval to favorable commercial business terms, such as but not limited to payment terms and various contractual terms for Diverse Suppliers.
c. when appropriate, develop a procurement strategy for the purchase of specific goods or services that provides opportunity for Diverse Suppliers including through the incorporation of selection criteria or good or services specifications (i.e. sustainable product labels, diversity of project team members)
d. identify spend categories that may provide more opportunities for Diverse Suppliers.
e. Develop tools and mechanisms for the community to incorporate Social Procurement for purchasing decisions.
f. Develop a mechanism to track spend with Diverse Suppliers.
g. Ensure that goods and services are procured in a manner that is consistent with this Policy as well as any other applicable University policies, laws, trade agreements and procurement directives.
This Policy falls under the jurisdiction of the Chief Financial Officer.
The Director of the Procurement Department is responsible for the interpretation and application of this Policy, and the creation and promulgation of such procedures and guidelines as necessary or desirable to give effect to this Policy.
VI. Policy Review
The University will continuously review this Policy to ensure that opportunities for Diverse Suppliers are being optimized, including a review of the self identification review processes.
This Policy is subject to review every three (3) years.