On February 1, 2021, the City approved a Sustainable Procurement Policy which defines the City of Nanaimo’s commitment to meaningfully consider sustainability priorities in the City’s purchasing decisions and outlines Nanaimo’s approach to sustainable procurement.
By considering the impacts of our purchases and seeking more environmentally and socially responsible goods and services, sustainable procurement contributes to Nanaimo’s efforts toward the recently adopted Doughnut Economic Model. This model places emphasis on working within the planet’s ecological boundaries to support life while maintaining social and economic conditions where society can thrive.
The Sustainable Procurement Policy asks city staff to consider and integrate relevant sustainability considerations into the procurement process, from the creation of solicitation documents through to evaluation and vendor selection. This means that in addition to price, quality and service, the City will be looking for more sustainable goods and services, asking vendors to provide information on how they are reducing negative impacts and creating positive outcomes for the planet, people, and communities.
While the City works to refine its sustainable procurement processes, it will begin to actively incorporate sustainability into a select number of procurements, which will increase over time. In addition, staff will engage with the vendor community for feedback when an upcoming solicitation contains sustainability considerations that may not have been requested in the past. This positive feedback loop will be essential to drive continuous program improvement.
What This Means for Vendors
Depending on the type of procurement, vendors may be asked to provide information on how their goods, services or in-house corporate practices can meet some of the following sustainable procurement priorities:
- Environmental Priorities – goods and services that have been produced, delivered, used and ultimately disposed of in ways that reduce environmental impacts and seek innovations that drive positive outcomes. This may include GHG emissions reductions, waste minimization, pollution prevention, and other relevant environmental issues.
- Social Priorities – create social value and enhance community health and well-being by advancing reconciliation, inclusion, equity and diversity. This may include contracting diverse vendors, and/or and creating opportunities of employment and/or skills training for equity-seeking groups.
- Ethical Priorities – striving to ensure that contractors and their sub-contractors meet internationally recognized minimum ethical supply chain standards. This may include meeting fair labour standards such as no forced labour, upholding health and safety, fair wages, and other relevant ethical issues.
The City of Nanaimo recognizes that its procurement and supply chain practices can have significant impacts on the environment and community. As such, the City aims to foster shared growth, development, and innovation to help achieve better long-term value and outcomes for our Vendors and the community.