Symposium looks at sustainable purchasing policies

What are the key issues in sustainable purchasing? That is one of the topics to be discussed at tomorrow’s Sustainable Purchasing Policies: Developing and Implementing Living Documents symposium.

Presented by the Business & Society Program at York, Sustainable Purchasing Policies will take place Sept. 24 the in Founders Assembly Hall, 152 Founders College, Keele campus.

The issues involved in sustainable purchasing will be addressed by Lori Stahlbrand, founder and president of Local Food Plus, a non-profit organization that brings farmers and consumers together to benefit from environmentally and socially responsible food production; Michelle Kortinen, director of programs at Forest Stewardship Council Canada, which provides an international certification and labelling system; and Bill Barrett of the Suman Community Worker Co-op.

Rob Tiffin, vice-president students at York, as well as Lazar Konforti of Équiterre, a Montreal-based non-governmental organization dedicated to urging others to make ecological and equitable choices, and a representative from the Canadian Federation of Students will discuss student involvement in sustainable purchasing policies.

The symposium will also look at the challenges of designing and implementing living documents. In the afternoon, there will be three workshops: Developing “Fair Trade Universities”, Student-run Social Enterprises: A Path to Sustainability? and Experiences of Implementing Sustainable Purchasing Policies.

The Sustainable Purchasing Policies symposium will wrap up with the Business & Society Program annual lecture, this year by Francisco VanderHoff, founder of Max Havelaar, the first fair trade labelling body and the world’s largest fair trade coffee producers’ co-op in Oaxaca, Mexico. A reception will follow the lecture.

The cost for attending the symposium, for those who can afford to pay, is $10 for students and $20 for everyone else. The registration fee includes a box lunch and a Support Fair Trade Universities T-shirt made with 100 per cent certified fair trade and organic cotton. To pre-register, e-mail