Social Procurement Policy

Topic: Financial and Operations
Approval Date: December 13, 2019
Effective Date: December 13, 2019

1.     Purpose

York aims to increase the number of employment, apprenticeship and training opportunities for people from the University’s local neighborhoods, other equity-seeking communities, and Aboriginal Peoples, and to broaden York’s supply chain by providing diverse vendors with equitable access to tender opportunities to foster inclusive economic growth.

2.    Scope and Application

This policy will apply to selected competitive purchases made by York, where appropriate and commercially feasible, with reference to the Social Procurement Procedures, and excludes any specific Government Procurement related set-asides.  In the event of any conflict with this Policy and Government Procurement legislation or directive, the Government’s Procurement legislation or directive will govern.

3.    Definitions

Equity-seeking Community

An equity-seeking community is a group that experiences discrimination or barriers to equal opportunity, including women, persons with disabilities, newcomers/new immigrants, LGBTQ+ people, visible minorities/racialized people, and other groups, including local community groups that York identifies as historically underrepresented.

Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous (Aboriginal Peoples) are a specific Community that has been engaged with the Canadian government requiring Constitutional recognition and opportunities for inclusion, including by way of Governmental programs and exemptions in trade treaties.

Diverse Vendor

A diverse vendor is any business or enterprise that is certified by a Vendor Certification Organization to be:

  • More than 50% (majority) owned, managed and controlled by persons belonging to an equity-seeking community, or
  • A social purpose enterprise whose primary purpose is to create social, environmental or cultural value and impact, or where more than 50% of the persons who are full-time equivalent employees are participating in or have completed transitional employment training, and experience economic disadvantage.

4. Policy

The Social Procurement Policy aims to demonstrate the University’s commitment to use its purchasing power to benefit local economies and provide fair access to its procurements by providing additional opportunities for underrepresented businesses and communities.  It establishes the framework of values and principles, listed below, for enhancing community impact and gives direction to staff in approaching procurement.

  • Provides opportunities to address economic disadvantage by promoting equal opportunity and inclusion and removing barriers to those goals experienced by equity seeking communities and others who disproportionately experience unemployment and underemployment, discrimination;
  • Aspires to build a culture of social procurement at the University;
  • Leverages the University’s purchasing to benefit local economies;
  • Establishes an effective balance between equity goals, accountability, transparency and efficiency;
  • Complies with all applicable laws, including government trade agreements and directives, laws and policies, including the Ontario Human Rights Code;
  • Achieves best value for York through the consideration of the full range of procurement formats and the adoption of commercially reasonable business practices; and
  • Integrates with York University’s vision and policies and its role as an Anchor Institution to create a responsible and sustainable supply chain process.

5. Review

This policy will be reviewed every 5 years

6. Procedures

Procedures/Guidelines under the authority of the Vice-President, Finance and Administration as developed and amended, from time to time.

Legislative History: Approved: Board of Governors December 13, 2019
Date of Next Review: December 2024
Policies Superseded by this Policy: None
Related Policies, Procedures and Guidelines: Procurement of Goods and Services (Policy)