Ryerson will be increasing its purchases from Indigenous and racialized-owned businesses, according to an email sent out to all Ryerson employees on Nov. 5.
The university is collaborating with the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council (CAMSC) to have access to Indigenous-owned and racialized businesses in Canada.
“The premise is that every purchase the university makes carries an economic, environmental and social impact,” said Ryerson in the email. “So when we make purchases with social procurement as a consideration, we are intentionally placing social value alongside economic value in our decision-making process.”
CAMSC contributes diversity in the supply chain industry by connecting institutions with the “inclusion of [Indigenous] and minority suppliers,” according to their website.
“[Our] mandate is to bring economic parity in our supplier base,” said Christina Rodrigues, director, member services at CAMSC.
CAMSC represents Indigenous and racialized-owned business owners and connects them to their corporate members such as Ryerson. Businesses certified by CAMSC must be at least 51 per cent owned, managed and controlled by an Indigenous person or racialized person.
Ryerson joined CAMSC in June this year, said Rodrigues. The university reached out to them to bring more diversity into Ryersons’s operations. Rodrigues also said that CAMSC sends a list of their certified suppliers to Ryerson on a monthly basis.
In an emailed statement to Ryerson Folio, the university said its increasing its purchases from Indigenous and minority-owned businesses will not impact students directly. However, “the procurement of products and services from Indigeous and racialized-owned businesses could have an impact if students are the end users of those products and services.”
Rodrigues also said that students’ educational experience can include more diversity with this social initiative.
“I feel it’s more so because not only are they affecting that micro society that Ryerson has, but you’re [also] influencing the students there, who are studying,” said Rodrigues.
“They’re surrounded by this kind of diversity, not just on campus with other students but in all interactions with suppliers … that there is diversity that is visible.”