Establishing ongoing relationships with host communities is critical to global resources company BHP. It can be challenging for small local businesses to engage with large corporations, so BHP began working with community stakeholders in 2012 to remove barriers, and its Local Buying Program (LBP) was born.
Piloted in Queensland, the simplified process is delivered through a strategic partnership between BHP and C-Res, a cost-neutral entity. Local businesses and BHP employees register on the same portal, administered by a third party for independence and transparency. The Foundation receives 1.5% of all approved transactions processed through the Local Buying Program, amounting to nearly $4m so far to deliver a programme to build local capacity. Since rolling out in 2016, and with a rebuild this year to allow an Indigenous-only request for quote, the LBP has supported more than 1,300 local suppliers, 25,000 work package approvals and more than $300m in direct procurement to local small businesses.