Corporate Legal

Policies and Corporate Legal

M4 – Sustainable and Socially Responsible Procurement

Originator: Vice President, Finance and Administration
Approver: President
Next Review Date: September 2028

1. Purpose  

The purpose of this Sustainable and Socially Responsible Procurement Policy is to define RRC Polytech’s (RRC Polytech) commitment to considering sustainability and social responsibility in its procurement decisions and outlines the overall approach, scope, and responsibilities for the institution.

2. Definitions  

Defined (capitalized) terms and acronyms used but not defined within this Policy have the meaning attributed to them within the Policy Glossary.

  • Diverse Supplier: Must be at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled by equity-deserving people, including Indigenous persons, women, visible minorities (racialized persons), persons with disabilities (as defined in the Employment Equity Act and the Federal contractor’s Program) or persons of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. 
  • Fiscal Responsibility: Meeting cost and quality requirements and applicable trade agreement requirements.
  • Indigenous Business: Must be at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled by Indigenous people. An Indigenous business would also be considered a diverse supplier.
  • Quality: Means performance, reliability, durability, and suitability for the intended purpose.
  • Suppliers: Companies that have a direct business relationship with RRC Polytech, supplying goods, services, or construction. 
  • Sustainability: Encompasses social, economic, and environmental sustainability factors by being able to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. 
  • Social Impact Organization: Social impact suppliers include diverse suppliers, employee-owned enterprises, and social enterprises. 
  • Social Enterprise: A business that sells goods and services, has an embedded social, cultural, or environmental purpose, and reinvests the majority of its profits into its social, cultural or environmental purpose.
  • Social Responsibility: The continuing commitment to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of local communities and society at large.
  • Total Cost of Ownership: A determination of the direct financial costs and benefits to RRC Polytech of goods, services, and construction throughout their acquisition, use and end-of-life phases including factors such as transportation costs, training, energy consumption, maintenance, recycling and disposal, and other related costs.  

3. Scope/Application    

This Policy applies to all procurement activities, including the purchase of goods, services, and capital projects. The Policy applies to all employees involved in the procurement of goods and services on RRC Polytech’s behalf and at all spending levels. The Policy doesn’t apply to other organizations (separate legal entities) that may operate on RRC Polytech campus sites or work in partnership with RRC Polytech, unless otherwise stipulated in agreements with those entities.

The requirements listed in this Policy may be waived by the Director, Procurement and Logistics, in the circumstances set out in the M1 Purchasing Policy.

4. Policy Statement     

RRC Polytech is committed to leveraging its procurement to strengthen Manitoba’s cultural, social, environmental, and economic prosperity. RRC Polytech will implement sustainable and socially responsible procurement practices to support an inclusive and equitable economy now and for generations to come while maintaining fiscal responsibility and respecting trade agreements.

Throughout the process of procuring goods and services, RRC Polytech staff must:

  1. Identify the impacts of a good or service and/or a supplier’s corporate practices within sourcing strategies to prioritize the most relevant Indigenous, social, environmental and/or ethical issues or opportunities applicable to a given procurement.
  2. Incorporate sustainability and social responsibility considerations into the procurement process. This can be done by:
    1. Undertaking proactive engagement/advertising with Indigenous, social impact suppliers before competitive procurement,
    2. Integrating applicable sustainability and social responsibility requirements into competitive solicitation processes to elicit relevant responses from suppliers,
    3. Determining appropriate weighting for sustainability and social responsibility alongside other business and technical criteria in competitive bid evaluations.
    4. Creating competitions exclusive to Indigenous businesses or social impact organizations.
  3. Ensure that suppliers and their subcontractors adhere to RRC Polytech’s Supplier Code of Conduct at all stages of the procurement process.
  4. Communicate RRC Polytech’s sustainable and socially responsible procurement practices to suppliers and engage them when opportunities arise to help them improve their performance.
  5. Incorporate sustainability and social responsibility considerations into supplier performance management and contract management practices, where appropriate, to help suppliers understand RRC Polytech’s objectives and ultimately improve their service provision. 
  6. Measure sustainable and socially responsible procurement processes and outcomes to monitor and improve performance.

The extent to which sustainability and social responsibility will be considered for any procurement will depend on the value, the potential for impact and/or the market readiness of the supplier(s). Employees should reference RRC Polytech’s Sustainable Procurement Toolkit for guidance on incorporating sustainability considerations into competitive solicitations and low-value purchases.

5. Principles

RRC Polytech’s sustainable and socially responsible procurement decisions will be guided by the following four principles:

  • Indigenous Reconciliation: Promote reconciliation through commercial partnerships with Indigenous businesses; increasing employment and skills development opportunities for Indigenous peoples; and otherwise engaging Indigenous leaders and communities in public spending in alignment with the Government of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action 92 Business and Reconciliation, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.Address barriers to and increase the participation of Indigenous-owned businesses in RRC Polytech’s procurement processes. This will create pathways for Indigenous businesses and the Indigenous community-at-large to realize social and economic benefits through RRC Polytech’s existing purchasing needs. 
  • Social Responsibility: Foster social benefit and local community economic resilience through advancing equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility practices of suppliers and within service delivery. This may include assessing accessibility features of products or services, awarding contracts to local small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), contracting social impact organizations, and creating opportunities for employment and/or skills development for equity-deserving groups (including but not limited to women, visible minorities (racialized persons), persons with disabilities and 2SLGBTQIA+ persons).
  • Environmental Stewardship: Consider the full lifecycle impacts of goods and services and total cost of ownership. Seek goods or services that have been produced, delivered, used, and disposed of in ways that prioritize the health of the environment and the well-being of communities. Seek goods and services that are energy efficient, minimize greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, generate minimal waste, conserve and improve water quality, and protect biodiversity.
  • Ethical Compliance: Expect suppliers and their subcontractors to adhere to the minimum standards of ethical business practices. These ethical standards encompass minimum requirements set in national and international law including but not limited to fair labour, employee treatment, wages and benefits, working conditions, and anti-corruption/bribery.

6. Roles and Responsibilities

The Executive Team is responsible for:

  • Setting strategic direction around sustainable and socially responsible procurement priorities and goals; and
  • Receiving regular updates and reports from Procurement to set future priorities.

Procurement is responsible for:

  • Developing and maintaining sustainable and socially responsible procurement procedures, tools, resources, and training to ensure procurement processes adhere to this Policy; 
  • Assisting Departmental Units with incorporating sustainable and socially responsible considerations into sourcing strategies, specifications, and procurement processes;
  • Participating in other RRC Polytech initiatives that align with sustainable and socially responsible procurement activities and collaborating with staff to improve Sustainable Procurement Toolkit and processes;
  • Collaborating with RRC Polytech’s suppliers, where opportunities arise, to improve the sustainable and socially responsible elements of the goods or services they are providing, within the parameters of their contract with RRC Polytech; 
  • Leading data collection, compliance, and program monitoring for reporting on sustainable and socially responsible procurement to leadership; and
  • Collaborating with Indigenous Strategy, Environmental Stewardship and other key stakeholders to ensure that the sustainable and socially responsible procurement processes aligns with broader reconciliation, environmental stewardship and inclusion, diversity, equity, diversity and accessibility  programming and activities.

Indigenous Strategy, Environmental Stewardship, the EDI Strategy Team, and Accessibility Services are responsible for:

  • Providing sustainability and socially responsible related expertise and advice, when needed, to support market research, supplier engagement, solicitation content creation, and bid evaluation; and
  • Support with the development and delivery of sustainable and socially responsible procurement communications and training activities and ensuring key messages align with corporate communications.

Deans, Associate Deans and Directors are responsible for:

  • Demonstrating support for sustainable and socially responsible procurement through promotion and communication of the Policy requirements and principles within their Departmental Units; and
  • Reviewing and managing staff resourcing if/when needed and as appropriate to maintain compliance with this Policy.

Departmental Units, Budget Managers, and Project Managers are responsible for:

  • Identifying sustainability and socially responsibility issues and opportunities in planning purchases, with support from Procurement, and use of Sustainable Procurement Toolkit;
  • Incorporating sustainability and socially responsibility considerations into project planning, specifications development and evaluation decisions by using RRC Polytech’s established Sustainable Procurement Tools and resources;
  • Participating in sustainable and socially responsible procurement training activities;
  • Supporting internal collaboration that leads to the improvement of the Sustainable Procurement Toolkit and processes; and
  • Supporting sustainable and socially responsible procurement reporting by providing Departmental Unit data, if relevant.

7. Compliance and Review Period

RRC Polytech will monitor progress and report performance against sustainable and socially responsible procurement program metrics as defined in procedures and guidelines. This Policy will be reviewed within five years.

Related Documents:

RRC Polytech campuses are located on the lands of Anishinaabe, Ininiwak, Anishininew, Dakota, and Dené, and the National Homeland of the Red River Métis.

We recognize and honour Treaty 3 Territory Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, the source of Winnipeg’s clean drinking water. In addition, we acknowledge Treaty Territories which provide us with access to electricity we use in both our personal and professional lives.

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