South East region in top three for social value delivery

A new data-driven insights report, launched by online measurement and reporting solution Social Value Portal (SVP), has found that while social value has recently gained unprecedented momentum throughout the UK, there are some clear front runners delivering meaningful change to local communities.

The industry-first report draws on data held by SVP dating back to 2016 and analyses social value commitments and delivery across the public, private and third sectors. It also considers responses from 800 independent social value experts from the 2023 Success Factors survey.

Since the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 came into force, the public sector has largely driven the social value movement, requiring a minimum of 10% social value weighting in all procurement. 

Between 2016-2023, the South East of England has delivered an average of £4.8m in social value per project, coming third overall after London (£6.9m) and Scotland (£5.3m).

Social value success

The most successful social value initiatives, as measured by the Social Value TOM System™ include:

  • Using local businesses 
  • Employing locally
  • Cutting emissions
  • Donating to community projects 
  • Offering apprenticeships

In 2020, SVP helped its members measure and report almost £1bn of social value, compared to £7.3bn in 2023 (a growth of 650%). Real Estate is the fastest-growing industry for social value delivery, having grown by 2,239% from 2020-2023.

Based on average social value delivery per project in 2022 and 2023, small businesses outperform larger organisations.

Those with a headcount of less than 50 reported an average of £3.4m in social value per project, compared to those with a headcount of 1,000-5,000, who reported an average of £1.7m per project. The top spot, delivering an average of £10.2m in social value, goes to organisations that employ 51-200 people.

As an early adopter of social value, the construction industry takes a clear lead, delivering an average of £14.6m per project, followed by the security and defence sector (£6m), real estate (£3.8m) and engineering (£3.8m).

Guy Battle, CEO of Social Value Portal, said: “We are finding that organisations, on average, are delivering more social value than they are committed to, which is extremely encouraging.

“Social value initiatives also tend to span economic, social and environmental themes, suggesting that we are starting to grasp the importance of collaborating to build a fairer, greener and more prosperous society where everyone will flourish.

“At a time when the more disadvantaged in UK society are feeling the effects of years of austerity the most, our mission is to continue to work with our members to reach the target of delivering £100bn in social value by 2026.”

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