Social procurement is the achievement of strategic social, economic and workforce development goals using an organization's process of purchasing goods and services.
In May 2016, City Council adopted the City of Toronto Social Procurement Program, an initiative aimed at creating jobs and driving economic growth by:
- Increasing the diversity of companies the City does business with by providing businesses owned by diverse suppliers and non-profit companies with equal opportunity to compete for City contracts
- Encouraging companies already doing business with the City to work with diverse suppliers and suppliers who provide community benefits
- Increasing the number of employment, apprenticeship and training opportunities for those living in poverty, newcomers and youth
About the Program
The City's Social Procurement Program has two components - Supply Chain Diversity and Workforce Development.
Supply Chain Diversity:
- City staff who are purchasing goods and services between $3,000 and $100,000 will be required to invite at least one certified diverse supplier to submit quotations.
- For formal competitive purchases over $100,000, suppliers will be encouraged to develop their own supplier diversity programs, and may be awarded points in the Request for Proposal (RFP) process for achieving this.
- Workforce development requirements will apply to all contracts over $5 million in value.
- City staff will identify opportunities for workforce development in planned procurements over $5 million.
- Bidders will be required to provide a commitment to engage in workforce development if their bid is successful. This includes designating a liaison, committing to regular meetings with the City to review workforce development activities, maintaining records to monitor progress, and making public a workforce development plan. Points may be awarded in the RFP process to suppliers who achieve this.
Requests for Proposals will either outline specific social procurement requirements or will ask vendors to propose how they would incorporate social procurement into their work.
The City aims to meet the following targets by 2018:
- 33% of competitive procurement over $5 million will include workforce development and/or supply chain diversity requirements
- 25% of direct suppliers with the City will have a supply chain diversity requirement