Social procurement is the achievement of strategic social, economic and workforce development goals using an organization's process of purchasing goods and services.
Every year the City awards an average of $1.8 billion of goods and services, professional services, and construction services. Reports show that if even as little as 2% of the City's procurement leads to benefits for Toronto's economically-disadvantaged residents and communities, this would amount to a $30 million investment in those communities each year.
In addition, increasing employment opportunities for disadvantaged groups who may face barriers in accessing the labour market can lead to further economic and social benefits for the city as a whole.
The Social Procurement Strategy also aims to increase supplier diversity among vendors bidding for City of Toronto contracts.
According to a recent study by the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion, benefits resulting from supplier diversity can include:
- More competition leading to more innovative products and services
- Increased flexibility and just-in-time delivery from vendors
- Building the most-qualified supplier pool
- Building economic capacity and prosperity in the community
- Improved public image for the organization
Supplier diversity also increases competition and drives innovation by including new capable suppliers in the supply chain. As well, supplier diversity encourages entrepreneurship and business involvement, which can lead to new job creation for Toronto residents.