Sustainable Procurement

Over the past year, Supply Management has been working on various transformational activities including process improvements, new outreach and engagement strategies and building category management capabilities to enable the campus to purchases goods and services more effectively. 

Underlining this transformation is the changing of the traditional 3-point procurement approach (the triangle) of balancing cost, quality and risk to adopting a 4-point approach (the diamond) of balancing cost, quality, risk and sustainability.  

Building on the previous accomplishments, on December 17, 2011, a number of internal and external stakeholders met to identify new sustainable purchasing strategies, processes and systems to support UBC’s Place & Promise vision, including UBC Supply Management, UBC Student Housing & Hospitality Services, UBC Campus Sustainability, Rogers, Xerox, Fisher Scientific and the City of Vancouver.  Workshop facilitation was provided by Reeve Consulting.

The following key themes were identified:

1.    Develop and deploy strategies and plan that will embed sustainability within operations and support while achieving increased contract compliance within the next three years linking to Place & Promise as a method to advance sustainable supply management practices (including a review of UBC’s Climate Action Plan (CAP), Inspirations/Aspirations, STAR benchmarking).

2.    Increase engagement with the community through advisory councils to align the vision in support of the strategy and plan.   

3.    Partner with Campus Sustainability to secure support for the creation of the strategy/plan and implementation, as well as to secure direct or indirect access to subject matter expertise.

4.    Develop a communication, engagement and training program to support the strategy/plan by identifying key audiences, messages and identifying training and capacity building needs

5.    Review, optimize and standardize procedures for procurement so that sustainability is integrated to purchases conducted via RFP, PO, PCard, etc.  Foundational to this is the ongoing work on the purchasing to pay simplification project which will deliver paperless, online ordering and paper systems over the next two years.

6.    Develop and update a reference library of sustainability specifications for each of the major category and commodity areas, and for specialized capital equipment where relevant.

Over the next several months, we will update our progress and invite your feedback as we continue our transformation.

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