Socially Responsible Purchasing (SRP): Goals & Progress
As of August 2021
In February 2021, 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. We set an ambitious goal: to collectively increase our spend with Diverse Suppliers by at least 5% in fiscal year 2022. And we created a new position — Sustainability Officer, filled by Procurement Services’ Bo Solomon — to lead the University’s efforts to refocus its goals and initiatives around sustainable purchasing and surplus.
This webpage serves as a central hub for the socially responsible purchasing (SRP) initiative. Below, we outline our goals and track our progress in each of the three main focus areas: supplier inclusion, sustainability and surplus. We also provide information on how your unit can take advantage of available resources to boost supplier inclusion and sustainability, as well as success stories shared by your colleagues.
In furtherance of SRP initiatives, Procurement Services will offer roundtable discussions with the University community to receive feedback, which will help shape the program and to discuss options for community engagement. Together, we can make Drexel University a model leader of SRP in the Philadelphia region and beyond. We welcome your partnership and feedback in this endeavor.
Table of Contents
SRP in Action
Advancing Supplier Inclusion means creating a supplier base that reflects the diversity of the University. Drexel's Supplier Inclusion program identifies opportunities for Drexel to purchase and partner with underrepresented groups throughout our community. Procurement Services is committed to creating a supply base centered around purpose and aligned with its mission of socially responsible purchasing.
Drexel University's Supplier Inclusion program broadens Drexel's pool of suppliers by developing business relationships with minority, women, veteran, service-disabled, LGBTQ+ and small businesses. Drexel is committed to retaining business with diverse suppliers to foster economic impact within local Philadelphia communities.
To be eligible for the Supplier Inclusion Program, a business must satisfy at least one of the diverse business classifications or be classified as a local community business.
- Financial Impact: Increase spend with suppliers in the Supplier Inclusion program by at least 5 percent in FY22.
- Community Outreach: Increase meaningful impact with underrepresented and local suppliers. View the Stories section of this page for examples of how Procurement has interacted and aided diverse suppliers this year.
Drexel believes that by increasing its commitment to Supplier Inclusion, the local community will benefit through the innovation and introduction of new products, services and solutions. We aim to achieve a stronger economic impact by:
- Enhancing our focus on small, local or diverse business status during competitive events
- Increasing opportunities to interface with Strategic Sourcing
- Facilitating supplier introductions to Drexel internal stakeholders
- Providing the Drexel community with additional resources to identify local and diverse suppliers
Progress to Date
Tier 1 Spend: Diversity Spend vs. Total Spend
This column chart shows the amount in dollars of Tier 1 Spend with diverse suppliers versus non-diverse businesses while allowing the viewer to compare FY20, FY21 and FY21 YTD.
Tier 1 Spend: Minority (MBE) Spend as Percent of Total Spend
This column chart shows the amount, as a percent, of Tier 1 spend that is with Minority Suppliers versus all other Tier 1 Spend. This allows the viewer to compare FY20, FY21 and FY22 YTD.
Tier 2 Spend: Diverse Spend as Percent of Total Spend
Tier 2 spend is defined as the dollar amount that Drexel’s supplier’s spend with diverse suppliers. This column chart shows the amount, as a percent, of Tier 2 spend with diverse suppliers versus non-diverse businesses while allowing the viewer to compare FY20, FY21 and FY21 YTD
Tier 2 Spend: Minority (MBE) Spend as Percent of Total Spend
This column chart shows the amount, as a percent, of Tier 2 spend that is with Minority Suppliers versus all other Tier 2 spend. This allows the viewer to compare FY20, FY21 and FY22 YTD.
Drexel University is committed to encouraging sustainability on and off campus and therefore recognizes the importance of demonstrating that commitment in University procurement. Procurement Services is dedicated to encouraging sustainable purchasing practices and works with the Drexel Climate and Sustainability team to identify and promote the use of environmentally preferable products. Sustainable products are self-identified by vendors and confirmed by the procurement team as having one or more of the following certifications: EPEAT, Green Seal, UL ECOLOGO, Safer Choice, FSC.
Procurement Services encourages sustainable purchasing by:
- Identifying green alternatives based on reliable certifications
- Promoting sustainable products to university purchasers
- Tracking and reporting the use of green procurement on campus
At this time, Procurement Services only has access to sustainable spend data from a small number of suppliers and, therefore, has chosen not to establish a spend increase goal for FY22. Instead, we will continue to work with our supplier base to secure additional reporting as we build toward meaningful goal-setting in the future.
5 Years Surplus and Cost Avoidance
This column chart shows a Fiscal Year comparison of three different metrics. The previous five fiscal years are given for each. The three metrics are:
- Sold Amount: Total amount of all surplus items sold by Sustainability Officer Bo Solomon.
- To Departments: Total amount that the departments received from the surplus sales. This is the “Sold Amount” minus the auction website fee (the site where Procurement sells a great deal of the surplus items) and the surplus team’s fee.
- Cost Avoidance: This is the total estimated amount of money saved by not having to hire a moving company to move the items, a trash company to dispose of them, and any other costs associated with getting rid of the items. Surplus items are retrieved by the buyer, thus, allowing the department to avoid costs associated with moving them.
FY21 YTD Surplus Transactions to Date
This line chart shows similar metrics to "5 Years Surplus Cost Avoidance," but does so month-to-month.
When the chart is clicked on, it reveals a PDF displaying the same data but inclusive of the entire previous fiscal year.
How to Help
- Supplier Inclusion:
- Whom to call: Executive Director of Supplier Inclusion Allen Riddick can speak with you or your department on strategic ways to engage diverse suppliers: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Plan ahead: When looking for ways to engage with diverse suppliers, it is most beneficial to forecast or plan in advance what you or your department may need. Communicating future sourcing events allows Procurement Services the opportunity to identify businesses that suit your needs before they arise.
- Reshape your fiscal thinking: It is very easy to get comfortable with how we have become accustomed to operating. If you or your department have been using the same vendor for an extended period of time, we strongly recommended testing the market and considering new suppliers.
- Sustainability: Visit the Climate & Sustainability website to learn how to make a difference in your community.
- Surplus:If you have unwanted equipment and/or furniture, visit the Procurement website to explore your options for selling, donating or recycling it responsibly.
We want to hear from you!
Please take the time to fill out this Qualtrics survey. It takes less than a minute and will provide us with valuable insight into our collective purchasing practices.
SRP in Action
Below are some examples of the impact of the Socially Responsible Purchasing initiative. Please click on the photos to learn more about each story, and feel free to submit new stories to the email addresses above!
- Diverse Supplier: A business qualifies as a diverse supplier if it is at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled by a ‘diverse’ U.S. citizen or citizens, including: African American, Hispanic, Woman, Asian American, Veteran, Service-Disabled Veteran, Individual With a Disability, Native American and LGBTQ+. Diverse suppliers can receive certification by independent accreditation bodies locally and nationally. While we recommend suppliers become certified, we also track and support suppliers who self-identify as a diverse business.
- FY: Fiscal Year; This is defined as July 1 to June 30 of the following year. For example, FY21 is July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.
- MBE: Minority Business Enterprise; This is inclusive of African American Owned, Alaskan Native Owned, Asian Indian American Owned, Asian Pacific American Owned, Hispanic Owned, Native American Owned, National Minority Supplier, etc.
- Socially Responsible Purchasing (SRP): Drexel University’s initiative to support supplier inclusion, sustainable purchasing and surplus.
- Supplier Inclusion: creation of a diverse supply chain that works to secure the inclusion of diverse groups in the procurement plans for an organization.
- Sustainable Procurement: a process whereby organizations meet their needs for goods, services, works and utilities in a way that achieves value for money on a life-cycle basis while addressing equity principles for sustainable development, therefore benefiting societies and the environment across time and geographies. [Source: Chatham House]
- Tier 1 Spend: the dollar amount that Drexel directly spends with diverse suppliers.
- Tier 2 Spend: the dollar amount that Drexel’s supplier’s spend with diverse suppliers.