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Socially Responsible Purchasing: Featured Stories From This Term

May 24, 2022

Last year, Drexel University reaffirmed its commitment to increasing supplier inclusion and sustainable procurement practices after a year in which both the global and local economies were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout fiscal year 2022, Accounts Payable (AP) and Procurement Services will share resources and success stories related to this initiative — from inspiring interactions with local businesses to interesting and sustainable surplus sales — to keep the momentum going and hold ourselves accountable. Below are just a few highlights from this term demonstrating the team's commitment to their goals, and to the community at large.

The Black Business Accelerator

The Black Business Accelerator Event FlyerOn Feb. 24, Drexel University and the African American Chamber of Commerce Pa-De-Snj collaborated to host a virtual Black Business Accelerator focused on successful businesses-sharing strategies and best practices that have enabled growth during the pandemic. Featured panelist included Leah Murphy, CEO of Gem’s For the Journey, Rashon Howard, CEO of Shon LLC, and Dana Herbert, owner of Deserts By Dana.

The event incorporated information related to new grants and funds available to small businesses. Kenyatta James, Business Engagement Manager of the Economy League, discussed The Hurdle Fund, a grant administered by Philadelphia Anchors for Growth and Equity (PAGE). Kenyatta described how Black and Brown owned businesses can receive up to $25,000 to help mitigate challenges in the areas of insurance, equipment, and certifications with anchors. Drexel’s Business Specialist, Kevin Williams, shared information on Drexel B-Smart cohort. Closing out the Black Business Accelerator was Marcia Wallace, Supplier Diversity Manager for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Marcia explained to the audience of entrepreneurs up coming RFP opportunities and how to go about doing business with CHOP.

Diverse Business and Inclusion Forum

Diverse Business and Inclusion ForumIn honor of Black History Month, Accounts Payable & Procurement Services attended Senator Tim Kearney and Representative Regina Curry Diverse Business Opportunities Forum at Delaware County Community College on Feb.26. The purpose of this forum was for outreach for local diverse business community. Businesses were able to learn up-and-coming purchasing needs of various large organizations. In addition, diverse advocacy organizations explained important information regarding certification, access to capital, and basics of entrepreneurship. Some of the organizations in attendance were SEPTA, Amtrak, IBX, Swarthmore College, Wawa and Crozer Keystone Health System.

Drexel Facilities and AP & Procurement Services Support Philly Clean Up Day

Philly Clean-up Day 2022Drexel Facilities and AP & Procurement Services partnered together to support the 15th annual Philly Clean Up Day. Every year, residents and various non-profits partner to kick off the spring season by cleaning Philadelphia’s neighborhoods through a city-wide effort event called Philly Spring Cleanup. This event, coordinated by Philadelphia’s Department of Streets, focuses on the importance of clean, green and sustainable neighborhoods, which have proven to be the main drivers of healthy and thriving communities.

Drexel provided supplies and assisted in removing trash on Lancaster Avenue and Market Street. Highlighted in the photo are Scott Dunham, Director of Grounds at Drexel University, and Dante Leonard, Commercial Corridor Manager for People’s Emergency Center. Both Scott and Dante played a major part in ensuring that West Philadelphia and Drexel surrounding areas received the proper supplies that were needed to orchestrate a city-wide, single-day clean-up event.

EarthFest Springs Onto Drexel's Campus

Earth Fest 2022EarthFest returned this year, bigger (and greener!) than ever. On April 19, in observance of Earth Week and in celebration of the University’s commitment to sustainability, Lancaster Walk and the Gateway Garden bloomed with student organizations, Drexel departments, and local businesses, all with a shared devotion to bettering the planet. Check out the recap and photos of the fun on the DrexelNEWS website.

Fun Items Surplus Sold

Drexel Surplus, a no-charge service that generates revenue for Drexel departments by selling or donating items that would otherwise be disposed of. Below are a few recent Surplus sale highlights.

Collage of items sold by Surplus
  • Top left: Tablet armchairs being shipped to a school in Africa
  • Top right: 30-quart Hobart mixer from Queen Lane
  • Bottom left: Free 100-year-old Philadelphia-manufactured Lester Piano
  • Bottom right: Pepsi Machine from a Fraternity House, sold to a regular Surplus buyer to be used as a garage fridge

Would you like Surplus to sell something for your department? Fill out Surplus' Qualtrics survey.

Introducing Drexel's EcoReps

EcoReps campus clean-upDrexel’s Office of Climate and Sustainability’s new EcoReps program is run by a group of dedicated student environmental leaders, who strive to increase awareness and opportunities for sustainability on campus. The EcoReps hold events on campus for both students and staff to learn how to decrease carbon and pollution footprint as an institution. Students can participate in this program as either a casual volunteer or an active member of the events and planning team. Fill out EcoReps’ Google Form to join their email list, or follow them on Instagram.