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Social Value

For many businesses, understanding, monitoring and reporting social impacts is a key aspect of their ‘license to operate’.

Managing and measuring social value

Social value refers to the network of environmental, social and economic impacts resulting from an organisation’s activities.

In response to the global policy landscape and the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, the UK enacted the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012. This legislation codified the principle of generating benefit to communities through high quality, sustainable development.

The long-term wellbeing and resilience of our communities has never been more critical, and the world of social value is maturing rapidly.

Investors and clients are holding suppliers to higher standards of accountability across the design, manufacture and construction, use, and post-occupancy stages of development. Robust measurement and reporting on social value depend on long-term, evidence-based outcomes.

Social value topics

To help our members to develop a holistic understanding of the impacts relevant to social value, we offer a suite of resources on the following key topics:


Protecting and enhancing people’s health and wellbeing

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Training & Skills

By ensuring that people have the necessary skills and training…

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Supplier Diversity

Providing free and fair opportunities for all businesses to bid…

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Encouraging the use of local people and those from diverse…

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social value

Being a good neighbour - How companies in the built…

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Biodiversity & Ecology

‘Biodiversity’ simply refers to all living things. Every species, no…

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Energy & Carbon

Climate change is the biggest issue of our times and…

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Air Quality

The quality of the air we all breathe often gets…

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It’s essential to monitor water consumption to achieve the Government…

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Social Value in the Built Environment
This industry briefing paper aims to assist School Members to understand the social value expectations of their clients and end clients and to be better prepared to meet them. Furthermore, it is intended to help School Partners better understand how other organisations approach social value. It contains materials relevant to micro, small, medium and large enterprises. It allows businesses to understand general themes around the subject and enables them to increase their knowledge and skills in the area.
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Social Value by Design
Designers and architects have been largely excluded from discussions around social value. Their decisions, however, have a significant impact on the social value that can be generated during the construction and operation of assets. The Supply Chain Sustainability School convened a special interest group that collaborated on a ground-breaking document, “Social Value and Design of the Built Environment”. This identifies how social value can be optimised through each stage of the RIBA Plan of Works, and rail and road equivalents. Tools and case studies are provided to trigger ideas and discussion.
Read the guide
RSSB Common Social Impact Framework for Rail
A web-based tool that allows you to calculate, assess, analyse, report and reduce your rail project carbon footprint by evaluating low-carbon options using verified, centrally-available carbon factor data that draws on Defra and Bath ICE datasets. This framework was developed by the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) in partnership with Action Sustainability, Arup, Simetrica and a working group of rail stakeholders.
Download the framework

Social Value: What does it mean to us?

Case study – VINCI Facilities’ approach to social value and examples of initiatives and programmes delivered with customers Peabody and Sandwell Council.

Social value: What does it mean to us?

Partnership with the UKGBC Task Group

The Supply Chain Sustainability School, with our delivery partner, Action Sustainability, sits at the forefront of emerging trends in social value practice and discourse.

We are a proud partner of the UKGBC’s Social Value Task Group and work closely with thought-leaders from across the industry to share fresh insights from across the value chain.

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Key social value resources

Here are a selection of key social value resources that cover areas such as communities, skills and training and employment.

Social Value - Community
Social Value - Community
Social Value - Training and Skills
Case Studies
Learning from Partners and members
See a library of case studies from our Partners and members about their applied learning from the School and the resulting positive impacts.
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