TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dream Unlimited Corp. (TSX: DRM) (“Dream Unlimited”), Dream Office REIT (TSX: D.UN) (“Dream Office”) and Dream Impact Trust (TSX: MPCT.UN) (“Dream Impact”) collectively referred to as “Dream” have unveiled an ambitious social procurement strategy that will serve as a new model for diversity and equity in the real estate sector and beyond. Recognizing the industry’s responsibility to address society’s most urgent issues, from climate change to social equity, Dream believes creating a diverse supply chain is one critical part of the solution.
Dream’s approach is both holistic and robust, tackling multiple areas of the supply chain. The plan sets out a comprehensive list of targets that includes providing enhanced access for equity-seeking groups, as well as local, independent and/or socially-responsible businesses to tender opportunities for Dream’s projects. There is also a focus on workforce development, creating jobs and training opportunities for equity-seeking groups, while also ensuring economic benefits are generated for Indigenous communities.
Dream is among the first in Canada’s private sector to set quantifiable targets to meet these goals by 2025, with progress reports beginning in 2022. Targets include:
- 20 per cent of the annual value of all contracts to be awarded to local, independent and/or socially-responsible businesses;
- 20 per cent of the annual value of all contracts to be awarded to businesses that are majority owned or managed by an equity-seeking group;
- 20 per cent of annual jobs created through capital and operating spending to be filled by equity-seeking groups; and
- 30 per cent of apprentice hours worked on development projects to be by equity-seeking groups
“We have been intentional in creating ambitious yet achievable targets that will meaningfully transform our entire supply chain. We believe our Social Procurement Strategy is one of the most robust programs of its kind in Canada, and we hope to set a new benchmark for other real estate companies to help realize this vision,” says Tsering Yangki, Head of Real Estate Finance & Development, Dream.
The Social Procurement Strategy will be implemented across the entire lifecycle of Dream's projects, from planning and design, sales and leasing, construction, and property management.
In addition, Dream will also create the first private sector open-source database of equity-seeking suppliers and local, independent and/or socially responsible businesses. Set to be published early next year, the database will become a resource for other like-minded real estate companies looking to create greater social equity within their communities.
To apply these strategies on a holistic level, Dream will add new steps to its procurement process, forging partnerships with suppliers who also want to effect positive change. This will include supporting suppliers in implementing and tracking employment and training progress among equity-seeking groups. Dream will also track and measure its progress towards achieving its targets, implementing a comprehensive tracking, monitoring and reporting system in early 2022 and issuing annual progress reports to share its learnings and recommendations.
Beyond the creation of a reporting system, Dream will identify any gaps or shortfalls across the supply chain and then proactively work with suppliers and partners to help build capacity, recruit talent, or gain experience.
“Social procurement is more than just a business strategy. It’s a cornerstone of Dream’s culture and values. From our consultants to our contractors, we are taking a very granular and transparent approach to ensure that diversity and inclusion is engrained in every decision and action we take,” says Pino DiMascio, Head of Impact, Strategy and Delivery at Dream.
Dream’s Social Procurement Strategy is part of Dream’s commitment to Impact. It will first be implemented across the Dream Impact Trust, Impact Fund and Dream Office portfolios, and Dream Unlimited’s mixed-use developments in Toronto and Ottawa. These portfolios are dynamic, ranging from boutique commercial heritage buildings to large-scale master-planned communities, such as the Canary District and Zibi, the Distillery Historic District, and hospitality spaces such as the Broadview Hotel.
“Our ambitions go beyond just our immediate work at Dream. We want to improve the pipeline and create long-term pathways for equity-seeking groups, and independent and local businesses. By creating opportunities to network and learn, we hope that we can create an entire ecosystem around social procurement that drives local economic development and ultimately, creates healthier and more inclusive communities,” says DiMascio.
Dream has already begun putting its strategy into action. Since 2015, Dream has engaged Algonquin-Anishnabe-owned construction firm Decontie Construction at Zibi in Ottawa. Decontie has been instrumental in providing Algonquin-Anishnabe construction workers the necessary training and certification needed to work on the Zibi project, and Dream has procured several contracts to Decontie, culminating to over $7 million in contract value.
About Dream Unlimited Corp.
Dream is a leading developer of exceptional office and residential assets in Toronto, owns stabilized income generating assets in both Canada and the U.S., and has an established and successful asset management business, inclusive of $12 billion of assets under management across three Toronto Stock Exchange listed trusts, our private asset management business and numerous partnerships. We also develop land and residential assets in Western Canada. Dream expects to generate more recurring income in the future as its urban development properties are completed and held for the long term. Dream has a proven track record for being innovative and for our ability to source, structure and execute on compelling investment opportunities. For more information, please visit our website at www.dream.ca.
About Dream Office REIT
Dream Office REIT is an unincorporated, open-ended real estate investment trust. Dream Office REIT is a premier office landlord in downtown Toronto with approximately 3.5 million square feet owned and managed. Dream Office has carefully curated an investment portfolio of high-quality assets in irreplaceable locations in one of the finest office markets in the world. For more information, please visit our website at www.dreamofficereit.ca.
About Dream Impact Trust
Dream Impact Trust is an open-ended trust dedicated to impact investing. Impact investing is the intention of creating measurable positive, social and environmental change in our communities and for our stakeholders, while generating attractive market returns. Dream Impact's underlying portfolio is comprised of exceptional real estate assets reported under two operating segments: development and recurring income, that would not be otherwise available in a public and fully transparent vehicle, managed by an experienced team with a successful track record in these areas. The objectives of the Trust are to create positive and lasting impacts for our stakeholders through our three impact verticals: environmental sustainability and resilience, attainable and affordable housing, and inclusive communities; balance growth and stability of the portfolio, increasing cash flow, unitholders' equity and NAV over time; leverage access to an experienced management team and strong partnerships in order to generate attractive returns for investors; provide investors with a portfolio of high-quality real estate development opportunities, concentrated in core geographic markets; and to provide predictable cash distributions to unitholders on a tax-efficient basis. For more information, please visit: www.dreamimpacttrust.ca.