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Sustainable procurement improving among Canadian municipalities, report finds

21 August 2014

2013 saw Canadian municipalities reach new levels of procurement professionalism in terms of setting goals and measuring progress, interacting with suppliers, and working within budgetary constraints, according to a new report on municipal sustainable procurement in Canada. The report notes that “green” procurement is now mainstream in the North American country, while “local” and “ethical” procurement is on the rise.

The authors argue that although progress was incremental rather than rapid in 2013, this does not diminish the gains made throughout the year. For example, many Canadian municipalities have started to develop key performance indicators to set targets and evaluate the progress of their sustainable purchasing programs and activities. Additionally, communication towards staff has improved, as has purchasing processes and tools used to evaluate supplier and product information.

Barriers to procurement progress included resource constraints (including funding and staff capacity), a high turnover in procurement staff leading to a loss of knowledge and lower morale, and a lack of strategic goals attributable primarily to the habit of goal setting not being fully formed. The report is the fourth in an annual series published by Reeve Consulting, co-authored with the representatives from the Municipal Collaboration for Sustainable Purchasing (MCSP).

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