December 11, 2020
Last updated on December 22, 2020
Westpac and John Holland among the big names taking social enterprise closer to the mainstream
Corporate Australia’s acceptance of social procurement as a legitimate means of driving effective social change continues to gather momentum, with both Westpac and John Holland taking out major gongs at this year’s Social Traders Awards.
The annual awards acknowledge outstanding contributions to social procurement – the act of buying goods and services from social enterprises – from both private sector and Government buyers, and social enterprise suppliers.
Early adopters Westpac and John Holland were recognised for their commitment to embedding social procurement into day to day business practice, through setting targets, and introducing policy designed to encourage the use of social enterprise suppliers.
The determination of social enterprises to adapt and innovate in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic was also recognised, with Melbourne’s Fruit2Work and Brisbane’s Nundah Community Enterprises Cooperative taking out major awards.
Across eight categories, from a pool of more than 70 nominations, the winners were:
- Social Enterprise of the Year (Small) – Fruit2Work
- Social Enterprise of the Year (Large) – Nundah Community Enterprises Cooperative
- Social Enterprise Champion of the Year Award – Rebecca Scott (STREAT)
- Social Procurement Partnership of the Year Award – Ability Works & Transurban
- Social Procurement Big Spender Award – John Holland
- Social Procurement Game Changer of the Year Award – Victorian Government
- Social Procurement Champion of the Year Award – Joanne Kennett (Westpac)
- Business and Government Agency of the Year – CPB Contractors
Social Traders CEO Mike McKinstry congratulated the award winners, and the entire industry, for their unwavering commitment to advancing social procurement amid unprecedented disruption in 2020.
“Many businesses have been heavily impacted by COVID-19, but a lot of vital work has still been done. That makes it even more important to celebrate and recognise this commitment to keep social impact flowing through the Social Traders marketplace,” Mr McKinstry said.
“Some of our award winners this year had demonstrated brilliant dedication before the pandemic, and they have gone up another level in terms of their commitment to keep delivering.
“Equally, some of the work done by our buyers to promote social procurement internally within their business and enshrine it into policy is really important as we look to take social procurement closer to the mainstream economy over the next decade.
“That work is particularly important, as it sets a standard we can only hope the private sector more broadly will follow.
“There is an increasing expectation that businesses in all industries contribute to the communities they operate in and there is a growing awareness that social procurement represents a means of achieving that through every-day commercial activity.
“Social Traders goal is to see social procurement functioning as part of the mainstream economy by 2030 and we’ve seen encouraging steps towards that over the past few years, and again in 2020.
“We had a lot of brilliant examples of innovation and adaptation amid the 70 nominations, and that is very encouraging. While not all can win, the work done by all nominees is vital in driving social enterprise growth and impacting the lives of everyday Australians.”
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