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Building a Sustainable Future Together Through Our Procurement Decisions

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our collective journey towards sustainability.

At BCNET, we recognize the far-reaching impact of our procurement decisions on the world we inhabit. With this understanding and awareness, we have embarked on a transformative journey to harness the collective strength of B.C.’s post-secondary institutions to create a strategy that meets the new sustainability standards while building on the collaborative spirit of the community we serve. 

The imperative to ensure a sustainable planet for future generations is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Responding to this urgency, many of British Columbia’s higher education institutions have initiated action. By harnessing these individual efforts through collective action, we believe we can amplify our efforts and achieve more, playing a pivotal role in accelerating positive change.  

It is incumbent on us to work collectively in reimagining environmentally sustainable and responsibly sourced solutions that are compliant with the trade treaties that guide our shared procurement actions.  

A Collaborative Sustainable Procurement Strategy

BCNET has a proud legacy of bringing members together to take collective action. As we embark on tackling this challenge of our times, we invite each and every one of you to join us on this journey towards a future where procurement and sustainability seamlessly coexist.

“We are thrilled to announce the launch of our collective journey towards sustainability. Today, we proudly unveil our collaborative procurement sustainability strategy—an innovative roadmap designed to harmonize our efforts, elevate our impact, and forge a path toward a more environmentally and socially responsible future,” says Dennis Silva, chief procurement officer at BCNET.

Institutions in British Columbia spend $134 million annually on BCNET’s catalogue of procurement agreements and services, and each dollar can bring environmental, social, ethical and Indigenous impacts.

“B.C.’s public post-secondary institutions can advance global sustainability goals by making responsible procurement decisions. By choosing products with minimal environmental impact, institutions play a part in addressing global challenges such as climate change and resource depletion.”
Curtis Morcom
CFO & VP Corporate Services

Okanagan College

A Catalyst for Change

BCNET is committed to driving positive change by fostering collaboration to inspire sustainable procurement practices. The Sustainable Procurement Strategy signals our commitment to advance purchasing decisions that consider climate, social, ethical and indigenous tenets to enhance the environment and wellbeing of people.  

The plan aims to gain a deeper understanding of how we can integrate sustainability into our procurement activities for our 25 public sector institutions in British Columbia. Each institution has its own sustainability goals, but BCNET strives to support every one of them by focusing our collective efforts as it pertains to our shared procurement of goods and services.  

“We have a unique role to play to deliver service to members and have the power to influence the marketplace,” says Silva. “This is an exceptional opportunity to utilize our extensive purchasing power to support the diverse sustainability goals of our members, giving them access to appropriate vendors as well as tool and best practices, improved sustainability reporting, supplier visibility and risk reduction.”


Sustainable Procurement Strategy – Putting Commitment into Action 

Our three-year strategy offers a bold vision for action on sustainability that guides how we are activating our mission: We are dedicated to driving positive change by fostering collaboration to promote sustainable procurement practices. 

BCNET released its plan for the Sustainable Procurement Strategy in September 2023. The program is our commitment to catalyze change by building a high-performing program with clear goals, key priorities tactics and a three-year roadmap. 

The plan’s key priorities centre on the four pillars of environmental, social, ethics and Indigenous. By focusing on a sustainable procurement program that prioritizes these pillars, we can develop capacity to meet our member’s sustainability objectives. 

Sustainable Procurement Goals 

The plan will build a long-lasting, high-impact program based on best practices that regularly incorporate sustainability into procurement decisions and foster collaboration with members. It will also report on program outcomes and measure meaningful, positive impact. Together, we can build a legacy of responsible and ethical procurement that reflects our shared values and aspirations. 

“BCNET’s commitment to the initiative will bring incredible value to its members by enhancing its service offerings to address their needs. Sustainable procurement is critical for higher education institutions to fulfill their environmental and social responsibilities, achieve long-term cost savings, and meet the expectations of stakeholders and Indigenous partners.”

Dan Ryan
Associate Professor of Mathematics and Statistics

University of Northern British Columbia