5 Steps to Delivering Positive Social Impact through Procurement

30 September 2021

Procurement is a powerful tool to effect social change. As we move from a “do no harm” to a “do good” attitude it can be a challenge to know where to start. Below are 5 Steps to consider  when seeking to deliver positive social impact through procurement.

1. Establish connections between suppliers and the end user

Networking with suppliers and the collection of feedback from end users can help create a multi-dimensional view of the general procurement process. By analysing and acquiring a better understanding of each component and stage in the procurement system, the most effective, realistic, social value options can be determined and evaluated.

2. Placing Social value at the core of your procurement

Organisations who achieve positive social impact in their procurement base their purchasing processes around this principle. Conversely, organisations that fail to acknowledge positive social impact as a foundational element of their procurement process structure, deliver limited, if any, social value.

3. Company support and promotion

For social procurement to be successful, it must receive support internally from members of the procurement team and the management. The presence of staff members who champion the need for social impact will foster a culture of social awareness that will guarantee the organisation is invested in attaining this end.

4. Clarify what social impact you are going to have

In an age of often meaningless gestures portrayed as important contributions to society, it is imperative that an organisation identifies what impact it’s social procurement will have. Government policies, namely, the Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs) set out sustainable, positive procurement options and practices from which businesses can seek guidance. It is important to make sure that your organisation is selecting distinct options that are free from ambiguity whilst also maximising the social benefit. By committing to certain initiatives, an organisation will be able to ensure social value is delivered.

5. Record the results

Analysing the impact that your procurement has is vital in evaluating its social impact. Concomitantly, it is essential to understand that social impact can be measured both quantitatively and qualitatively. This is because the impact cannot always be determined by monetary concepts. Marking successes and positive impacts will provide the procurement team and indeed the entire organisation with inspiration to remain committed to achieving constructive social change.