“Social Procurement has the opportunity to change the face of business in a really significant way and opening up those procurement channels to social enterprise offers a huge opportunity for business to create social impact in our economy and in our communities” – David Brookes, Managing Director of Social Traders.
Certified social enterprise Bedford Group employs over 1300 people with disabilities across their sites. They provide a workplace offering commercially relevant training and development opportunities and they deliver a commercial standard to their clients. Bedford changes the lives of people with disability by building capacity, independence and wellbeing. Bedford has been building its service offering for over 65 years and offers exceptional tailored services to meet individual goals, in the workplace and community.
Bedford provide co-packing services to Coca Cola Amatil and they consistently deliver with competitive pricing, adherence to quality requirements, a proactive approach to customer service and flexibility.
In the words of Michael Haynes – Senior Procurement Category Manager & Sustainable Procurement at Coca Cola Amatil: “Social procurement can change the way business is done by again helping businesses understand that you can get a good commercial outcome and a good outcome for society and people and the two are not separate.”
TRY Australia is one of Australia’s oldest social enterprises. They work with disadvantaged young people to provide them with opportunities to transform their lives through the dignity of work. TRY Australia deliver access to early learning, mentoring for the vulnerable and those at-risk, and training and employment opportunities for those wanting to try, but have not had the chance. TRY have developed a group of allied social enterprises including TRY Build and Uncontained. Uncontained converts shipping containers into site sheds and utilities blocks.
TRY Australia’s CEO, Julia Cambage says that the relationship with Social Traders has “allowed us to access clients and buyers that we would never have thought imaginable.”
A meeting with Social Traders resulted in TRY Australia working with John Holland to build site sheds on major construction projects. Increasingly, John Holland’s clients have been pushing the need to get in to social outcomes as well as commercial outcomes. The success of this initial deal has led to other projects with buyers such as Boral.
“We already see organisations shifting the way they actually want to engage with organisations that are outside their normal supplier channels, embracing organisations like ours and looking at projects that they can do with us that will enable the vulnerable to actually be entering the workforce.” Julia Cambage – CEO, Try Australia.
Outlook is about providing opportunities, direct employment and supports for people with disability. They work with customers to deliver environmental and social outcomes through the diversion of waste. Around half of Outlook Environmental staff have a disability or come from a disadvantaged background and for every 150 tonnes of recyclable materials collected, one job is created at Outlook Environmental.
John Holland Group worked with Outlook on the Mernda rail project which was an 8km construction zone where Outlook recycled upwards of 90% of the waste.
Greg Rafferty – Industry Capability & Inclusion Manager, John Holland “I think the key for a social enterprise is that they need to be commercially competitive – so their quality has to be on par, and their price has to be on par. Outlook Environmental ticked those boxes absolutely.”
People with disability have received fantastic opportunities through contracts like the Mernda Rail Extension Project.
Paul Stevens, Environmental Operations Manager of Outlook says “The more contracts we pick up the more people we employ.” Outlook Environmental now have multiple contracts with another buyer member McConnell Dowell – a relationship that first began at a Social Traders networking event.
Jigsaw is a document and data management company who assist their clients to turn paperless. Through that work they revolutionise the way people with disability receive job training, employment opportunities and the ability to transition into mainstream employment. Their social mission is attached to the commercial activity – they focus on business and winning contracts. Every time they have a new contract it creates employment opportunities and enables growth.
Through their relationship with Social Traders as a buyer member, AMP were testing different opportunity areas. In 2017 AMP Capital contracted with Jigsaw to prepare and scan a large volume of documents at their Bridge St Sydney office. Jigsaw were able to directly employ around 20 people with a disability as a result of the AMP contract, thus helping 20 individuals gain valuable work experience.
Senior Workplace Sustainability Manager of AMP, Tom Treffry says “What won it over for Jigsaw was the quality of the work they do. Having Jigsaw on-site exposed AMP staff to what a social enterprise is and what a social enterprise does. I think the main challenge is breaking down that initial held belief that social enterprises are charities. They’re competitive businesses, we just need to give them the opportunity and a seat at the table.”