Maximising Social Value through our work
What is Social Value?
There are numerous definitions of social value. Demos, the cross-party think tank, says,
“Social value refers to wider non-financial impacts of programmes, organisations and interventions, including the wellbeing of individuals and communities, social capital and the environment.”
In short, we have an opportunity to create social value through initiatives that benefit the wider community in and around the buildings we build and manage.
Why does it matter?
How we spend, who we employ, where we volunteer and how we work with local communities can help to stimulate local economies, and build relationships based on trust and goodwill in the communities where we live and work.
For example, employing local people and local businesses, and buying from small and medium-sized enterprises and social enterprises, and volunteering in the community – through our ‘Give A Day Of Your Time’ initiative – all help to drive value into local areas. Supporting our existing workforce to be happy, healthy and engaged, through health and wellbeing initiatives, or providing opportunities to develop and progress personally and professionally is another way we can create social value. We feel we can help individuals and groups grow and develop through upskilling or mentoring.
How will we achieve this?
In 2016 we developed a practical Guide to Social Value to help increase awareness and understanding of how our people can create social value through all stages of contract delivery.
Our Business Development teams use the guide to build social value into bids and tenders for potential new customers. Our Procurement teams open up opportunities for greater social value through our supplier list, specifying more socially beneficial products and services, and choosing suppliers who support our social ambitions. Our Contract teams are inspired to retro-fit existing contracts with added social value, such as providing bike racks to encourage more sustainable commuting and healthy living, or opening up access to school swimming pools for local residents out of hours. We want to inspire our people to think creatively about ways we help others when we go beyond mere contract delivery.
Our SustainAbilities Progress report has many great stories of the myriad ways we created social value in 2016. To find out more, see our report here.