Sustainability and Social Responsibility: What does it mean to you?

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Candace Riddle 8 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #105108

    Candace Riddle

    I’m playing with the idea of throwing together a panel on this issue. I’d really like to hear your feedback. When you hear “sustainable” and “social responsibility” and relate it to government…what do you think of? Do you think green, economy, the public good? What does it cover and encompass? What have you been doing lately in your office or organization that might have brought up these terms?

  • #105120

    Candace Riddle

    @ Harlan

    Harlan thank you for your comments. I’m eager to hear what others have to say. Let me phrase the question this way…

    I work in public procurement. Each year developed nations spend is equal to about 15% of the GDP. With that amount of spend, does the Government have the responsibility to consider environment, public health, disadvantaged businesses etc., in determining the “best value”, when purchasing goods and services. I guess what I’m asking is, is cheapest best? And, can the government use their spend responsibly to leverage certain policy initiatives?

  • #105118

    Henry Brown

    Once one varies from spending the “cheapest” POLITICS gets involved. Example would/could be what one government entity thinks is environmentally correct may be exactly the opposite from another government entity, or the same entity at a different time.
    Since in most cases government(s) are on a somewhat aggressive election cycle and a significant percentage of the voters are perceived to have the inclination to not deal with much else than costs. Usually the leaders will take the “easy way” out and focus on costs.

  • #105116

    Candace Riddle

    @ Henry

    Henry, thank you for your thoughts. So do you believe there is a more accurate way to measure “best value”? What is a leading practice within your organization?

  • #105114

    Gary Berg-Cross

    To me stainable efforts involve some effort to consider the long term dynamics of things so that attempts make use of resources in a way that allow the efforts to continue. And social responsibility helps make groups collaborate and their efforts endure.

    It’s often applied to economic and ecological things, but government has aspect of each.

    So if people want to make the make their personal economics sustainable they attempt to reduce their expenditures and make them in line with their resources/skills/wealth…..That’s just responsible thinking, which we could apply to society.

    Proponents of sustainable living are socially responsible in that they aim to conduct their lives in manners that are consistent with others actions of sustainability. They often talk about a “natural balance” that is respectful of group relationships and have a concern about how theiir efforts impact others and their resources.

  • #105112

    Candace Riddle

    @ Gary

    Thanks for your input. Can you think of a situation in government where you’ve seen this happen? Be specific.

  • #105110

    Candace Riddle

    @ Harlan

    Thanks Harlan. That provides an excellent starting point for me as I begin to explore this subject. I’ve noticed thus far that the OECD toolbox for public procurement separates their suggested best practices by phase in the procurement process and also by the principle/ value that the practice applies to.

    The U.S. seems to be decades behind in regards to the sustainability and social responsibility issues.

    You can visit the toolbox here: OECD Toolbox

    Here is a link to OGC’s Social Issues in Public Procurement Page: Click Here

    Thoughts after seeing these?

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