Publications & Thought Leadership

August 2010

Sustainable Purchasing Case Study of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics

Posted in Implementation and Integration

This is a Sustainable Purchasing Case Study of the Vancouver 2010 sustainable sourcing program, called Buy Smart.

The Sustainable Purchasing Case Study of the Vancouver 2010 Buy Smart program provides an overview of the program, its history, benefits and impacts and lessons learned. It is written for future Games organizers and bid cities, current and future Games sponsors and partners and the purchasing community at large. The Buy Smart Program was created in 2006 and evolved yearly, becoming fully implemented by 2009. When it was created, sustainable purchasing and ethical sourcing was in its infancy; there was little previous Games experience to guide the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) and limited experience in the corporate or government sector to draw upon. Also, given that the Games constitutes a project entity of limited duration, the need to design, operate and then dismantle such a procurement program over five years was truly unique vis-à-vis most other organizations, which do not necessarily have a finite timeframe on which to build and improve their approach and which also have time to invest in longer-term partnerships for delivery. VANOC’s tight timeframe necessitated that it identified its priorities early and focus its efforts on key deliverables to meet the program’s goals. VANOC hired Coro, who helped the organization develop its Sustainable Purchasing strategy, to draft this Sustainable Purchasing Case Study.

VANOC hopes that future Games and other purchasing organizations are able to benefit from and build upon the experience profiled in this Sustainable Purchasing Case Study.

The Sustainable Purchasing Case Study is based on eighteen interviews conducted in fall 2009 with suppliers, licensees, NGOs, partners, procurement and sustainability staff to inform the critical success factors, lessons learned, challenges and legacies sections of this case study.

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