York University’s new procurement policy to benefit local communities


TORONTO, January 16, 2020 – York University has adopted a Social Procurement Policy designed to increase equity in the university’s procurement processes and positively impact local communities.

The new policy, approved by the Board of Governors late last year, makes York one of the first universities in Canada to have a Social Procurement Policy. York’s policy is particularly comprehensive.

Social procurement considers how procurement – the process of buying goods and services – can improve the wellbeing of communities, help to reduce poverty, support local economic development and social enterprise and promote economic and social inclusion. It embeds supply chain diversity and workforce development initiatives within procurement processes to promote economic growth that is inclusive.

The policy supports York’s foundational pillars of accessibility, connectedness, excellence and impact.

“York’s Social Procurement Policy reflects our values as a university,” said Carol McAulay, vice-president finance and administration. “We have established a framework of values and principles to advance the long-term health and vitality of our communities and to recognize that our procurement processes can have positive social impact.”

The policy provides opportunities to address economic disadvantage by promoting equal opportunity and inclusion, removing barriers experienced by equity seeking communities and others who disproportionately experience unemployment or underemployment and discrimination. It leverages York’s purchasing processes to benefit local economies while complying with all applicable laws, government trade agreements and directives, laws and policies, including the Ontario Human Rights Code.

York’s social procurement principles are already being implemented in several renovation projects. For example, mechanical and electrical upgrades are planned for the Hilliard Residence and Wood Residence on Glendon campus. The successful contractor must commit to no less than four apprentices from the local area, selected from equity-seeking communities and social enterprises within specified postal codes.

All Social Procurement bidders will be required to produce and deliver on project-specific procurement plans that must include an approach to maximizing apprenticeship and supplier development opportunities for the duration of the projects.

To learn more about the Social Procurement Policy, visit the Procurement website. 

York University champions new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Our students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Meaningful and sometimes unexpected careers result from cross-disciplinary programming, innovative course design and diverse experiential learning opportunities. York students and graduates push limits, achieve goals and find solutions to the world’s most pressing social challenges, empowered by a strong community that opens minds. York U is an internationally recognized research university – our 11 faculties and 25 research centres have partnerships with 200+ leading universities worldwide. Located in Toronto, York is the third largest university in Canada, with a strong community of 53,000 students, 7,000 faculty and administrative staff, and more than 300,000 alumni.
York U's fully bilingual Glendon Campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education.

Media Contact: Janice Walls, York University Media Relations, 416 455 4710,  wallsj@yorku.ca