City of Winnipeg Approves the Sustainable Procurement Action Plan

July 21, 2022

This Thursday, July 21, the We Want to Work coalition including CCEDNet members and social enterprises in Winnipeg are celebrating long-awaited public policy success!

After many months of deliberation, conversation, and discussion, the coalition and CCEDNet are thrilled to see the Sustainable Procurement Action Plan (SPAP) unanimously approved for implementation by Winnipeg’s City Council. This means the City of Winnipeg will now work to integrate social, economic, and environmental value for the community while achieving its purchasing needs.

Members involved can recall many steps along this journey, with a briefing note explaining the concept of social procurement going to Mayor Brian Bowman’s office in 2015. And, even before that, CCEDNet staff and members were meeting with staff at the city’s Materials Management office, where they started to learn about the procurement process. The public service has been a helpful partner, working together with the community to understand our recommendations and move forward.

A lot of different people have contributed energy and organizing during the nearly 10 years of advocacy and sector building leading up to this action plan – demonstrating both the persistence needed for policy change and how certain the Network has been that this is the right choice.

Most recently, the We Want to Work coalition of social enterprises supported by CCEDNet-Manitoba, found a wonderful partner and ally in Manitoba Building Trades. Together they’ve worked hard to engage with City Council and the public service, industry stakeholders, and others to make sure this was on the right track. Along the way, Buy Social Canada has also been an instrumental advisor and contractor to the city, bringing expertise and examples from other jurisdictions to strengthen the plan.

We Want to Work has noted they appreciate the phased-in and iterative nature of the SPAP, which they believe will allow for innovation, partnership development, and refinement of policy over the next three years. In particular, they support the inclusion of a dedicated staff person to serve as a Sustainable Procurement liaison and the integrated thinking across all four pillars of Sustainable Procurement: environmental, ethical, social, and Indigenous.

With this important policy change, it is exciting to watch as the City of Winnipeg becomes a stronger partner in CCEDNet’s collective vision of a world where sustainable and inclusive communities are directing their own futures!

Find media coverage on this initiative leading up to the council vote at CBC, the Winnipeg Free Press, and the Winnipeg Sun.