Its been nearly 2 weeks since Highways UK, and so I want to reflect on the panel discussion “Action not words: ensuring social value goes beyond just lip service” on which I was a member.
The discussion was insightful and thought-provoking, and it highlighted the importance of creating real social value.
The panellists, who represented a range of stakeholders including the government, clients, and contractors, all agreed that social value is more than just a box-ticking exercise. It’s about making a real difference to the lives of people and communities affected by projects.
One of the key points to emerge from the discussion was the need to be more transparent about how social value is being delivered. We need to be able to clearly demonstrate the impact of our projects on people’s lives, and we need to be accountable for the commitments we make.
Another important point was the need for collaboration.
Social value cannot be delivered in isolation. We need to work together with all stakeholders to ensure that our projects are truly beneficial to the communities they serve.
Here are some specific actions that we can all take to ensure that social value goes beyond just lip service:
- Set clear and measurable social value targets
- Engage with communities early and often
- Ensure you are as specific as possible in your social value delivery plans in bid submissions
- Be transparent and accountable
- Collaborate with all stakeholders
If you are unsure on whether you are on the right track with your social value delivery, you may find our handy checklist helpful. These friendly prompts help you to test if social value is embedded in your organisation.
Otherwise read about how some of our customers have embedded social value and make it a core deliverable in their overall business objectives in our customer articles.