Australia Post points to social procurement as the way forward

‘Social procurement’ can create a competitive advantage, better workforce engagement for organisations according to White Paper from Australia Post. The White Paper also found that social procurement can lead to increased economic, social and environmental value.

Social procurement is a concept where the buyer prioritises socially responsible practices over pure economics in its procurement practices.

The Australia Post White Paper is called ‘Unlocking the Value of Social Procurement and Supplier Diversity: Leading Practice Insights’, and was released at the Social Traders social procurement conference, and the paper includes case studies on organisations such as Salvos Legal, Fortescue Metals, ARA Indigenous Services and Westpac.

Jangle Hopkins, Australia Post’s CFO said that changing social needs, government policy, competitive advantages and workforce engagement made up the four key factors behind social procurement’s momentum in recent years.

“Choosing a social enterprise as a supplier can make a positive impact to the community. It creates work for minority groups by leveraging money that would have been spent elsewhere,” said Ms Hopkins.

“For example, Indigenous businesses offer 70 times the average rate of employment opportunities for Indigenous jobseekers. This means that your choice of supplier can have a huge impact in changing the community you operate in.

“Social enterprises don’t just offer employment opportunities to otherwise marginalised groups, they also provide economic value for our country. For example, there are nearly 12,000 Indigenous businesses contributing around $6.5 billion to the Australian economy every year.

“That’s not to say there aren’t challenges, but we hope this paper will provoke discussion around how social procurement can be a regular fixture in business activity.”