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Two Cents Worth – a podcast: Social Procurement: A match made in heaven?


Two Cents Nikki Mandow looks into the concept of ‘social procurement’

In 2017, two companies started the business equivalent of an “opposite side of the tracks” dating process.

On one side – New Zealand Post, a 180-year-old, 7000-worker corporate.

On the other side – Fresh Desk, an SME commercial cleaner, which pays the living wage to all its staff and uses only environmentally-friendly products.

Fresh Desk was founded by two former health workers and self-described activists who used the business to pull themselves – and their staff – out of poverty MORE AT LINK

Whilst I have sympathy with the concept, I am not convinced that overall it is necessarily a good idea. Many of my concerns are encapsulated in this comment at the close of the website article

without tight scrutiny, targets and – critically – measurement of the impacts, social procurement could turn out to be another method of greenwashing

“In a worst-case scenario, it’s just tokenistic. Words but no substance. If you are going to ask the questions around this in procurement, you have to have people fronting up with evidence as well.

“The worst case isn’t that we don’t do this at all, it’s we do this really badly so we end up with a company going ‘Yeh, we’re really good and we are going to employ lots of people and they don’t. And then people will go: ‘See, nothing has changed. What a waste of time.’ And everyone becomes a bit cynical about the whole thing.”

There you have it

About Two Cents’ Worth

Two Cents’ Worth has been launched by Newsroom in a co-production with RNZ. It is the country’s first weekly business podcast and will be broadcast just after the midday news on Sundays on RNZ National, will be available on both RNZ and Newsroom’s websites and can also be found on iTunes and other podcast apps.

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