Create Opportunities with Social Procurement

September 2019

by Fiona Nissen, Director at ArcBlue New Zealand

Social procurement is driving real change in New Zealand. Is your organisation ready to embrace this exciting opportunity?

Since the government started on their journey to Well Being, which incorporates the Living Standards Framework, we have seen an increased focus on ‘doing the right thing’ within our communities. This focus also ensure that the delivery of benefits is outcome-focused, rather than being about the cheapest priced goods.

Value for money and risk management are still foundations of procurement activity, however the definition of “value” has now been extended to include social and sustainable outcomes.

As a leader in Social & Sustainable Procurement across New Zealand and Australia, ArcBlue has helped to develop guidelines and good practice documents. We are working with a group of central government agencies to develop a Social Procurement Framework that will be rolled out to key agencies, which is also likely to be a requirement for other organisations including local government. We have recently undertaken similar work in Australia on the Victorian State Government Social Procurement Framework.

Why we care

At ArcBlue, we believe procurement can be at the heart of creating opportunities and solving problems.


Practical initiatives, not theory, need to be embedded to support social and sustainable procurement. Areas of focus will align to the broader outcomes prescribed by government.

Here are some initial objectives we are seeing under development:

  • Opportunities for Māori Enterprise
  • Skills & workforce development
  • Environment practices and outputs
  • Sustainable, fair & equitable employment environments
  • Prosperous & sustainable regions


Social and sustainable procurement is gaining significance and you need to ensure your organisation is ready.

Here are some questions you need to ask about your own organisation:

  • How well does your team understand and implement social and sustainable procurement?
  • Are your projects delivering social and sustainable outcomes?
  • How confident are you that the business case you see will actually deliver the expected outcomes?
  • What are your measures and how do you report on benefits delivered?
  • What’s the plan for doing more?
  • What would help you to do more?


We’d love to hear your perspective! Drop me a line – fiona.nissen@arcblue.co.nz

ArcBlue has a well-established Social & Sustainable Procurement practice. Our experts have knowledge and experience working across all facets of the current ESG agenda, incorporating both Sustainable Procurement and Social Procurement practices.

Find out how ArcBlue can help you