Quality and Productivity Database

Descriptive Title of Proposal: McGill's Sustainable Procurement Planning - A Holistic and Strategic Approach
Year Submitted 2016
Person(s) Responsible for the Idea
Name Title
Kathy Zendehbad Associate Director, Procurement Services
Caroline Begg Faculty Lecturer (Dept. of Plant Science)
Christian Bouchard Manager (University Safety)
Jerome Conraud Energy Manager (Facilities Operations and Development)
Graham Currie Lead Buyer - CFI (Procurement Services)
Nancy Duplessis Lead Buyer - Scientific (Procurement Services)
Stephanie Leclerc Ph.D. Student, McGill School of Urban Planning (Sustainable Procurement Project Manager, Procurement
Mathieu Laperle Director of Food and Hospitality Services
Kathleen, Ng Environmental Officer (Office of Sustainability- University Services)
Marianna Newkirk Associate Dean (Research- Dept. of Medicine- now retired)
Ronald Pau Manager, Systems Administration (Network and Communication Services)
Jo-Ann Sciampacone Parking Coordinator (Ancillary Services)
Crystal Yu Procurement Training Consultant (Procurement Services)
Name of Institution McGill University
Office Address Procurement Services, 3465 Durocher
Montréal, Quebec H2X 0A8
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Telephone: 514-398-4608
Email Address: Email hidden; Javascript is required.
Name (Senior Administrative Office of the Institution) Michael Di Grappa
Title (Senior Administrative Office of the Institution) Vice-Principal, Administration and Finance
Office Address James Administration Building
845 Sherbrooke Street West, Room 531
Montréal, Quebec H3A 0G4
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Telephone: 514-398-6037
Email Address: Email hidden; Javascript is required.

McGill University's Procurement Services launched a unique planning initiative, engaging a wide variety of University stakeholders to develop its first 5-Year Sustainable Procurement Strategic Plan (the "Plan"). Aligned with the University's Sustainability Strategy (Vision 2020) and the Procurement Policy, the Plan aims at embedding sustainability into the University's supply chain.

Prior to 2012 only a handful of procurement sustainability initiatives were delivered with a minimum level of follow up and performance measurement. Given the slow and irregular progress, it was clear that positive and lasting changes would only come from a more structured and comprehensive approach to sustainable procurement. Procurement administrators found that sustainable procurement needed to be articulated, explained, and encouraged through adequate procedures, methods, tools and networks. Additionally, such a strategy had to be developed and clearly set-up from the onset in collaboration with the wider McGill community. In spring 2012 Procurement Services officially launched the planning process by conducting an Environmental Scan and S.W.O.T. analysis with input from the Procurement team and key partners from the McGill Office of Sustainability, and Utilities and Energy Management. This exercise led to identification of key stakeholders and creation of a Sustainable Procurement Core Team (the Core Team).

The Core Team started its work by developing a vision for Sustainable Procurement at McGill and identifying Procurement Services' leadership role in advancing this initiative. Over the course of the next year, through multiple reflection workshops, the Core Team identified five main goals, while establishing and prioritizing objectives under each goal (Appendix A-Sustainable Procurement Vision, Goals and Objectives). The planning exercise was completed when Core Team identified ten projects for delivery within the first two years (Appendix B-l'ear 1 & 2 Sustainable Procurement Projects Post-planning). This cycle is repeated every two years in order to determine a series of projects for the next period. Procurement Services, in close collaboration with the Core Team, has developed and adopted individual project charters, with specific deliverables, timelines, key performance indicators and results-based measurement schemes. The Core Team receives periodical progress reports and its expert members provide ad hoc guidance on an "as and when needed" basis (Appendix C-Samples Project Charters).

Ambitious but realistic, this Plan which is founded on triple bottom line (social, economic, environmental) principles, addresses various behavioral, structural and procedural challenges & opportunities related to sustainable procurement. Many factors contribute to the success of this Plan, including but not limited to:

1. Solid governance and policy framework

2. Creation of Applied Student Research projects (living lab)

3. Recognizing the need for adequate skilled resources to deliver on the projects in a timely manner and providing the funding for the needed resources

4. Documentation, monitoring and impact measurement efforts

Attachment File Names:

  • Appendix A_ Sustainable Sustainability planning process_ Vision_ Goals_ Objectives.pptx
  • Appendix B Procurement_ Sustainability_ YR12 Projects_PostPlanning.docx
  • Appendix C Sample SustainableProcurement_ProjectCharters.docx
Criteria Please submit one paragraph describing how the proposal fulfills each of the evaluation criteria.

The process that led to McGill's Sustainable Procurement Strategic Plan is highly transferable and sufficiently flexible so that other Institutions can follow a similar path. The process itself can be driven by a variety of actors (depending on the availability of resources and level of expertise) and does not require particular funding, a subject matter expert or external guidance. Once the planning is done, and because implementation is project based, the pace and magnitude of deliverables can be matched to any university's specific resources, challenges or opportunities. McGill's documentation specific to its planning process can be made available upon request. This includes results of McGill's Procurement Environmental and S.W.O.T. analysis, workshop materials used for planning, survey templates, project charter template, available social and environmental criteria developed to date for specific call for tenders and summary of McGill's sustainable procurement goals, objectives and actions.

Quality Impact

Ongoing, at the strategic/institutional level:

a) Endorsement of Procurement Services' leadership role in Sustainable Procurement by the McGill Board of Governors through the approval of the Procurement Policy in 2013 (Refer to Section 3.3 of the McGill Procurement Policy) as per following link: http://www.mcgill.ca/procurement/regulation/policies/purchasingpolicy

b) With each project, an ever greater number of students, staff and faculty members become familiar with Sustainable Procurement and become empowered to question and improve their purchasing behaviours and decisions.

c) Procurement Services' sustainability initiatives are expected to generate positive impacts across campus as well as with procurement operations of other universities and institutions at Provincial and National levels, because of regular communications, collaboration on joint calls for tenders, and through sharing training material, for example.

d) Projects and actions under the Sustainable Procurement Strategic Plan result in increased AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) ST AR ratings.

e) Engagement of a McGill PhD. Student focusing on Environmental Policy and Planning as a permanent subject matter expert to work with Procurement Services in the capacity of the Sustainable Procurement Project Manager. Contribution of the University Sustainable Project Fund to subsidize the funding for the required resources.

f) Continuous involvement of the Core Team. The fact that a subset of the Core Team membership is replaced every 2 years by new members provides the opportunity to other members of the community to contribute and experience.

g) As the Strategy is being communicated through different means (Internet page, guest lectures, internal newsletter), community members are expressing their pride and satisfaction with McGill's efforts in Sustainable Procurement. Student groups have been following the lead and adopting their own sustainable purchasing policies. See published article in McGill Reporter at this link: http ://publications.mcgill.ca/reporter/2015/05/mcgill-embraces-sustainable-procurement/

h) Core Team members' involvement is celebrated and recognised, which supports community building and connectivity across functions (students, staff, and faculty). Refer to the McGill Procurement Services Sustainability website for more information: http://www.mcgill.ca/procurement/sustainability/core-team-members

i) Already, thanks to this strategy, a clear signal has been sent to multiple suppliers in diversified markets regarding McGill's expectations in terms of ethical business relations, the respect of human rights, labour rights, animal welfare and environmental compliance.

Ongoing, at the project level:

j) During the first two years since the inception of the Plan, all Procurement Services' staff and administrators have been trained to incorporate life cycle thinking and triple bottom line (social, economic and environmental) principles into their decisionmaking.

k) Buyers' new perspective on their work is said to be stimulating and enabling. They have a better understanding of how their work relates to the University's broader sustainability objectives.

l) Social and environmental criteria are gradually incorporated in calls for tenders. This customization for each call for tender is ongoing as new calls for tenders are targeted to be launched.

m) The University's first IT Asset Management Regulation which provides a framework for the sound life cycle management of its IT assets has been drafted and presently under the final review for adoption and roll-out to the community.

n) A Supplier Code of Conduct is developed and it is under review for adoption and roll-out as integral part of the purchase orders issued to McGill vendors.

o) Total cost of ownership calculations for certain types of appliances such as printing devices and fridges and freezers have been developed.

p) Participation by students and faculty members in the planning and the resulting projects has led to joint learning and building a sense of community. 10 Faculty members, 6 Different departments and 40 students have been involved either with the planning and/or the resulting Applied Student Research projects (living lab initiatives).

q) Used computers which can't be reused at McGill are handed down to a certified local non-profit organisation which runs a social reinsertion program (supports drop-outs, and at-risk youth).

Productivity Impact

We have planned to measure the positive, social, economic and environmental impacts that flow from our strategy, and this will be done, through specific indicators, for each individual project. Here are a few examples (and projections) of what we have started to measure:

Operational measures:

• Number of Call for Tenders (per annum) with customized sustainability criteria. To-date: JO Calls for Tenders (Office Furniture-Chairs, Card Payment Services, Pallet Management, Office Supplies, Course Pack Printing Services, Cleaning Products, Computers, Televisions, Vending Machines, Fridges for Residences)

• Number of group-buy Call for Tenders (jointly with other institutions) with customized sustainability criteria. Todate: 5 Calls for Tenders (Vehicle Rentals, Tires, Lab Fridges and Freezers, Furniture, Paper)

• Value of new McGill contracts with sustainability criteria $8M over the terms of contracts

• Value of contracts with vendors which have a sustainability policy or corporate social responsibility policy: Under


• Value of fair trade sales through vending machines-To date: $20,000

• Number of contracts with non-profit social economy partners - To date: 1

• Number of people trained for Sustainable Procurement -To date: 26

• Number of Applied Student Research projects: 8 projects;

• Number of presentations, guest lectures, trainings and workshops delivered - To date: 12

• Number of newsletter articles published pertaining to Sustainable Procurement at McGill-To date: 2 Articles

Output measures:

• Number of computers purchased according to new Minimum Standard Requirements and associated energy savings. 2015: 1280 computers

• Cost savings from reusing IT Equipment across units and departments. 2015: $16, 120 (1 server, 1 keyboard, 15 monitors, 47 computers; based on used equipment market prices)

• Cost savings from the purchase of energy efficient appliances and equipment (computers, displays, fridges and freezers: Under Assessment

• Contribution to foreign economies through fair trade purchases (from vending machines) -An applied Student Research Project is being developed to assess this.

• Contribution to local reinsertion program via certified refurbishing of McGill's old computers. 2015: 248 hours of labor

• Cost savings from extending the life cycle of McGill network printing devices. Projected savings: $JM over 3 years

• Revenues generated from the sale of sorted recyclables, instead of landfilling and scrapping. Projected savings for 2014-2015: $12 000

• Reduced costs from streamlining hazardous waste management pick-up of used computers: Under Assessment


This planning initiative is innovative for many reasons:

a) The Core Team (representing the broader McGill community) articulated Procurement Services' legitimacy to move forward. Their vision (see below) has been incorporated into the University's Procurement Policy.

" .... Procurement Services promotes and leads the way in establishing a culture of Sustainable procurement practices at McGill and in its wider community"

b) The Plan highlights Procurement Services' unique position to influence the University's supply chain, as well as downstream operations and logistics, and steering them towards greater sustainability. The impact is broad, deep and significant.

c) The holistic change management perspective that has been used to communicate and implement McGill's advancement in Sustainable Procurement. Central buyers, local buyers and other McGill community members (in so far as they are involved in defining specifications, selecting, buying, using and decommissioning goods and services) are gradually being encouraged to think of the University as a "metabolism" (with inflows, stocks and outflows of materials) and supported in their efforts to make this "metabolism" more sustainable.

d) The level of engagement and continued involvement of multiple University stakeholders (administrative staff, faculty members and students).

e) The carefully planned effort to institutionalise the sustainable procurement vision throughout the University.

f) The wide scope of projects that are developed and the snow ball effect created over time.

g) An evolving set of indicators which track progress, from goal setting to outputs.