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Social Procurement

What is Social Procurement?

Social procurement involves organisations and individuals choosing to purchase a social outcome when they buy a good or service. Social procurement is a key plank in the development of social enterprise because it recognises and places value on the benefits that social enterprises provide, in so doing it increases the amount of work available to social enterprises.

Social Traders social procurement activities
Social procurement News
Case studies

What is Social Traders doing?

Expert Support Program: Social Procurement in Practice (concluded in October 2011)
Following the launch of Social Procurement: A Guide for Victorian Local Government in mid October 2010, Social Traders partnered with DPCD and DHS in undertaking social procurement pilots with 8 local councils for 10 months beginning in January 2011. 

The councils included the metropolitan councils of Brimbank, Darebin, Hume, Maribyrnong, Moonee Valley and Whittlesea. In regional Victoria, Benalla Rural City Council and Glenelg Shire Council. Regular updates on the pilots are available at and the Procurement eHub.

At the conclusion of this program, the participating councils have all socially procured and/or identified upcoming contracts to socially procure, and/or have put policy in place to support social procurement. 


What's news in this field?

  • Social Procurement Linked In Group. Join now
  • The Social Procurement Toolkit for Local Government in Victoria has now been launched and is available at This resource is publicly availbale at no cost and provides detailed guidance on how to socially procure. 
  • The Centre for Social Impact together with Social Traders, Foresters Community Finance, the Victorian Government, Parramatta City Council and Brisbane City Council have released a national Social Procurement report based on a national research project into social procurement across government, corporate and the Not for Profit sectors.
  • News article -'Path to a responsible approach', The Weekend Australian, November 13-14, 2010. CSR in the construction industry and how contracting and supply chains are becoming the next frontier for CSR development.

Case studies 

Social Procurement case study: Mornington Peninsula Council's Waste Management Contract
The Mornington Peninsula Shire successfully tendered its waste management contract to include social enterprise.

Social Procurement case study: Yarra City Council's Street Cleaning Contract
The Yarra City Council partnered with the Brotherhood of St Laurence to support its municipality through the delivery of a contract that included positive social impacts as key deliverables.

Social Procurement Case Study: Department of Human Services Security and Concerige Services
Through innovative thinking and a partnership with the Brotherhood of St Laurence, the Department of Human Services created an opportunity to increase employment rates within the municipality of the City of Yarra and increase the safety of local residents.

Social Procurement Case Study: Brisbane City Council Social Procurement Policy
The Brisbane City Council is committed supporting social procurement within its organisation through the development of a social procurement policy.


A Case for Social Procurement

A research report on the Kensington Cleaning social enterprise – a partnership between AMES and Urban Communities to establish a cleaning enterprise on the Kensington Redevelopment, a public-private housing development.

Social Procurement Toolkit for Local Government in Victoria

Made publicly available in October 2011, this resource is available at no cost and provides detailed guidance on how to socially procure. 

Social Procurement in Australia

This national report (released December 2010) examines how Australian Not for Profit organisations, governments and corporations can use their purchasing power and procurement processes to generate positive social impacts in addition to acquiring quality goods, services and works. 

Social Procurement: A Guide for Victorian Local Government
This guide has been developed to support Victorian councils in their desire to deliver stronger social outcomes through procurement. The guide is closely aligned with Social Procurement in Australia, an overarching national paper commissioned by the Centre for Social Impact.

Social Procurement in Australia - Ning
A Ning page set up to support networking around the social procurement in Australia research project.

Social Procurement: Opportunities and Challenges for Social Enterprise by Ingrid Burkett, Social Innovations Manager, Foresters Community Finance

...the Victorian Government released the report ‘Social Procurement: A Guide for Victorian Local Government’. While the focus of the Victorian guide is very much on what local government could do to encourage and engage with social procurement, there are also lessons for social enterprises... these need to be addressed if they are to become suppliers to government and corporations or, for that matter, large not-for-profit organisations.

Social procurement and its implications for social enterprise : a literature review
Produced by the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies. A working paper by Jo Barraket and Janelle Weissman that reviews the available academic and policy literature to identify the possibilities and limitations of social procurement, and the factors that enable its implementation.

DTI Toolkit for Social Enterprise
Produced by the UK’s Department of Trade and Industry. Aims to help social enterprises navigate public procurement processes.

More for Your Money: A guide to procuring from Social Enterprises
Produced by the Social Enterprise Coalition and the New Economics Foundation.

Social Enterprise Purchasing Toolkit
Produced by enterprising non-profits. This Toolkit helps businesses, organizations and governments encorporate social enterprise purchasing into their procurment practices to assist them in meeting their CSR objectives.

Using Public Procurement to Achieve Social Outcomes
By Christopher McCrudden. This article provides a historical overview as well as a current snapshot of government contracting as a tool to produce desired social policy outcomes.


If you're interested in more information please contact Mark Daniels


Attached Documents

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