We recently highlighted the City of Seattle's policy on digital equity, but the city is also dedicated to engaging in socially responsible procurement and fostering social equity through public procurement. Let's dive into the meaning of socially responsible procurement, explore how social equity can be possible through public procurement, and share Seattle's achievements.
Social equity recognizes that certain groups, such as marginalized communities, racial and ethnic minorities, women, the disabled, and the economically disadvantaged, have historically faced systemic discrimination. It aims to address these disparities by promoting policies, practices, and programs that strive for equal access to resources, opportunities, and rights for all individuals, regardless of their background or circumstances.
4 key aspects of social equity
📌 Equality: By promoting equal treatment, opportunities, and benefits for all members of society, regardless of their socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or other characteristics.
📌 Reducing disparities: By identifying and addressing the systemic barriers and inequalities that perpetuate social and economic gaps among different groups.
📌 Inclusive decision-making: By including diverse perspectives and voices in the decisions that shape policies, programs, and resource allocation.
📌 Access to essential services: By ensuring that all individuals have equal access to essential services such as healthcare, education, housing, employment, transportation, and legal representation.
Similarly, being committed to socially responsible procurement means incorporating ethical, sustainable, and socially-conscious considerations into the procurement process. When making purchasing decisions, governments need to take into account not only the cost and quality of goods and services but also their impact on society and the environment.
4 key aspects of a socially-responsible procurement policy
📌 Ethical sourcing: Goods and services must be sourced and provided with a strong focus on fair labor practices, human rights, and working conditions across the entire supply chain.
📌 Environmental sustainability: Socially-responsible procurement takes into account the environmental impact of the goods and services being procured. It involves considering factors such as resource conservation, waste reduction, carbon footprint, and the use of renewable materials.
📌 Diversity and inclusion: The promotion of diversity and inclusion in the supply chain could be done by supporting businesses owned by minority groups, women, and other underrepresented communities, or actively seeking to create opportunities for a diverse range of suppliers.
📌 Local sourcing: Prioritizing local and small businesses can contribute to the economic development of the local community. It can help create jobs, support local industries, and reduce the environmental impact associated with long-distance transportation.
How is Seattle demonstrating its commitment to socially responsible procurement?
The key to Seattle is to actively strive for open and equitable procurement procedures, fair and competitive pricing, environmentally sustainable solutions, adherence to best labor practices, equal access to benefits, and the inclusion of Women-owned and Minority-owned Businesses in the city's public procurement process.
4 key aspects of Seattle's socially responsible procurement policy
📌 Increase the participation of Women and Minority-owned Businesses (WMBEs) in public procurement processes.
📌 Implement a 'Racial Equity Toolkit' to facilitate full and fair participation in public decision-making processes.
📌 Identify and address disproportionate and adverse impacts on human health, the environment, and socio-economic factors affecting minority and low-income populations in programs, services, or activities.
📌 Prohibit discrimination in programs, services, employment, and procurement.
At GLASS, we are wholeheartedly committed to social equity and socially responsible procurement, channeling our efforts towards facilitating connections between governments and local, diverse, and small businesses. We firmly believe that our endeavors play a significant role in bridging societal gaps, and we encourage everyone to glean insights from our experiences and champion socially responsible procurement in all its facets.