Why Social Value is important
Every day we hear about, see or for some of us, experience poverty, hunger, disease, economic inequality, environmental disasters and other societal ills. These are society’s burdens as we all are affected.
At an individual level, we all attach value to resolving the ills that affect us. For example, if improving air quality improves the lung health of our children, then it is worth doing something about it. Therefore organising and mobilising our talents and resources at the individual and organisational level to make a difference is important. It is important because there is an evidence base that shows that deliberate and targeted interventions which create economic, social or environmental value can contribute to a better, fairer, more inclusive and healthier society. The more people and companies get involved, the greater the impact. This, we consider to be the moral argument for social value.
We also believe that social value is important because it is a source of competitive advantage to companies that invest in embedding social value within their business strategy. Increasingly, customers, clients and employees choose whom they spend their money with or their preferred employers based on company performance on ethics, environmental and social governance. At Glenman, 99% of our clients are local authorities or housing associations. Procurement Policy Note 06/20 provides the policy basis for using social value as an award criteria in contracts and we’ve come across weightings varying from 5 to 15%. This provides a natural commercial incentive for us to prioritise social value. However by embedding social value within our contract delivery plans, we’ve experienced additional benefits such as employee retention, increased productivity and enhanced client relations.
In Hounslow, Glenman is delivering the 4 Sites Hounslow affordable housing development which is spread across 4 sites in the Bedfont, Hanworth and Feltham West wards. Hanworth, for example is in the 10% most deprived wards nationally in terms of income levels, crime, barriers to housing and education, skills and training. So it is important for us to be a good corporate citizen by addressing these needs through the implementation of a targeted social value plan.
What we have achieved in Hounslow as regards social value
In Hounslow we have:
- Created 2 direct jobs and 2 indirect jobs for Hounslow residents in partnership with our M&E contractor E&D Mechanical; demonstrating our contribution to economic and social value
- Achieved local employment ranging from 13% to 28% over the project duration
- Employed 49 Hounslow residents on the project sites
- Supported the Stanwell Foodbank during our 2020 Foodbank donation campaign
- Participated in a careers insight day delivered to students from The Complete Works in partnership with Spark!
- Provided a financial contribution to the Spark! Charity work experience programme to enable young people in Hounslow to develop employability skills and social networks by connecting them with employers
Going forward, Glenman’s social value priorities for Hounslow will focus on economic inclusion achieved through continued local employment and local procurement, improved employability for young people delivered via the Spark! Careers Cluster programme and minimising our carbon footprint. We’ve invested in school business partnership with Springwest Academy which will see us developing a stronger link with a chosen school and creating a locally sourced talent pathway into our business. Collaboration and communication with Work Hounslow and Spark! has been invaluable in terms of access to local residents to fulfil direct and supply chain vacancies and building relationships with local schools.
Delivering social value has the full backing of Glenman’s directors demonstrating commitment from the top of the company. Our team look forward to a continued partnership with Hounslow Council where we target social and economic inclusion and deliver high-quality and sustainable housing that residents expect and deserve.