Perth and Kinross Council (PKC) have committed to working with local communities and businesses to create social impact from contracted spend.
It is part of their Sustainable Procurement Policy, for PKC to ask suppliers to work in partnership with them to support local communities in a real and sustainable way.
Historically when adding community benefits to requirements, PKC found that in terms of subsequent delivered outcomes, the benefit was not always clear. Analysis suggested that the benefits on offer from suppliers weren’t aligned with the Community’s needs. To remedy this and to try to engage better with both suppliers and communities PKC created an innovative way for local organisations to ask for what they needed – the Community Benefits Wish List.
Local communities can add to the wish list using PKC’s online community benefits wish list form, explaining what they need. This may be sponsorship, donations of material or labour, presentations, work experience placements and any other community related help.
A list of all current requests on the wish list is published on PKC’s procurement pages, alongside an interactive map showing the location of the requests. This offers suppliers an easy way to connect with communities and organisations who have a defined need and to be able to identify the type of benefits they, as a PKC supplier, could supply.
“This form of Community Benefits list is a great way to open up the opportunities for small community projects to get the assistance they really need, allowing companies to offer voluntary support along with providing equipment and financial assistance”
To date, a wide-ranging array of benefits have been delivered by suppliers, including placements for prison leavers, financial support for local charities, employment opportunities and careers workshops for young people. Some of the delivered benefits can be found on this interactive map.
PKC have worked hard to raise awareness of their approach and to share this with other organisations, working closely with the Supplier Development Programme to promote the initiative amongst SMEs.
In February 2020, PKC demonstrated their Wish List approach as part of the Community Engagement workshops at the Scottish Governments Annual National Procurement Conference to excellent feedback. Over 20 organisations were interested in learning more, with PKC providing resources and support resulting in engagements with a further 10 councils.
As a fitting recognition of their creative, community-focussed approach to procurement, PKC were winners of the “Social Value” category in this year’s GO Awards – Scotland’s leading public procurement excellence awards.
For more information on PKC’s sustainable procurement and community benefits you can visit their website. You can also find out more about some of the amazing ways in which suppliers have supported local communities in this short video.
Top image: Perth, Scotland by Robin Fernandes (CC BY-SA 2.0)