The social value of procurement

25 June 2013
Researchers from the Columbia Institute think tank, business group LOCO BC and the ISIS Research Centre at the UBC Sauder School of Business have analysed office supply companies in the Canadian province of British Columbia to determine whether there was an economic difference when buying locally or from the multinationals, reports Helen Gilbert. They discovered that the local office supply company, re-circulated 33.1 per cent of its revenue directly to residents and businesses in British Columbia, compared with between 16.6 and 18.7 per cent for their multinational counterparts. Joanna Buczkowska, the managing director at the ISIS Research Centre, said: “When local purchasing dollars are re-circulated in the local economy they create good jobs and build local business. It is a very meaningful way of growing local economies while supporting our communities.” The Social Value Act 2012 confirms the above and it is also fair to say that we always knew about it. In the contemporary world however, the dilemma is whether we are responsible for what is happening outside our own communities in our own country or abroad, or is it too difficult a topic to tackle with local residents and therefore we are forfeiting this approach altogether. With Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and many other social media mediums, we no longer remain unaware of global socio-economic hardships. I believe the EU's legal approach to distinguish measures that prohibit or actively disadvantage foreigners (unlawful) from steps that encourage local participation/benefits to the local economy is more than adequate to present global demands. In my private philosophy of procurement I see it as tool facilitating fairness, transparency and consideration of non-local economies and would welcome broader research determining a meaningful way of growing all under-developed economies through procurement.
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