Benefit Driven Procurement supporting the Calgary community

Building new infrastructure, maintaining what already exists and continuing to grow our city is part of what The City of Calgary does. But how do we ensure that not only do we continue to offer our services but to support and enhance our communities? That is where Benefit Driven Procurement sometimes known as Social Procurement comes in.

Benefit Driven Procurement (BDP) was operationalized in May 2021. It is used as a way for The City to leverage its dollars by encouraging suppliers to help and support the community we live in. The City has been including what is known as the BDP questionnaire into Requests For Proposals. This questionnaire is about 5% of the evaluation total and influences which supplier receives the contract.

The questionnaire inquires on things such as does the business employ underrepresented groups? Do they offer a living wage to their staff? etc.

Partnering with suppliers who score high on these questionnaires, such as Chandos and Commercial Truck Equipment, helps The City to continue providing services at the same high quality and value, while identifying business who are also committed to improving the community at large.

“The actions we take as a company impact the communities in which we live. We can make real change with the partnerships we have developed and the investments we have made back into our communities. We saw how much value we could provide our clients through simple changes which in turn resulted in a huge impact,” said Jeneth Pelletier, Proposal Manager at Chandos.

“We support organizations that assist marginalized communities and people facing barriers to employment, like those with prior incarcerations, substance abuse, homelessness, and mental illness,” continues Pelletier, “Through our social procurement policies, we are helping to provide people who need a second chance, or a helping hand the opportunity to secure a path to employment. By doing so, we’re also taking strain off a social system that often provides income support but doesn’t help people get out of the cycle of poverty.”

Being a socially conscious business means that not only do these suppliers help the community they work in, but it also ensures that they have a workforce that is engaged, loyal and driven.

General Manager Morgan MacKay with Commercial Truck Equipment says, “Our company culture is more diverse, allowing us to do business with a greater diversity of clients and projects. Our staff are happier and safer in their employment environment.”

“Our goals have impacted our company on an individual level. Employees are more likely to stay and engage with their employer when their goals and values are aligned with the work being done,” said Pelletier. “Our employees have seen firsthand the positive impact that we have created through social procurement.”

BDP is a way to make a positive and lasting effect on the world around us and in our communities.

“We look at all the ways we can use our business to make a positive impact on the world. This drives us to create opportunities for everyone,” said Pelletier, “We can leave lasting impressions on the people and places where we build. Our work follows the philosophy of community benefit agreements. This ensures that a portion of project investments is put back into the community we’re building in.”

While there is still a lot more that can be done, these businesses are able to showcase the positive impacts participating and committing to these changes can have not just on our communities and societies but also within their businesses and with their employees. The City’s decision to move forward on this initiative shows a commitment to ensure that our communities not only survive but thrive!

When asked if they would encourage other businesses to follow in the BDP route, MacKay had this to say, “We can recruit and retain more staff than our industry competitors. We are awarded more business with clients who have similar principles to our company culture, which is good for business and staff.”

For more information on BDP please visit: