Social value (SV) is the quantification of things that are important to us (as business owners, employees, consumers, and communities) but are not commonly measured in the same way financial value is. It’s making invisible value visible. SV is shifting the way enlightened organisations define ‘value’, driving them to make positive business decisions about where to invest resource to enable happier people live in a more sustainable environment and equal world. Through better accounting, measuring, and maximising of SV, businesses can influence everyone they touch through their organisation.
Organisations are being more closely scrutinised for what happens economically, socially, and environmentally because of their work. The public sector procurement process and government funding incentives place SV high on the requirements list with some giving a decision weighting of up to 20% for SV alone. The private sector is also reacting to employee and consumer demand for greater social responsibility, and PE investment understands good SV is essential to add to a company’s overall value when it comes to IPO or sale. Above all, organisations must be able to monitor their SV activity to prove they deliver on their promises.
Having effective measurement capability through social accounting and audit, sustainability reporting, cost-benefit analysis, financial accounting, and evaluation practice is critical. This facilitates accurate social return on investment (SROI) insight; it’s quality not quantity that counts. Evidencing your organisation’s additional SV benefits will secure more contracts and increase the overall value of the business.
Enablers to success
- Understanding SV, benchmarking, and working in partnership with customers and communities to develop strategies in line with their long-term priorities.
- Taking a targeted approach to SV benefits relevant to a buyer’s specific geographical area or stakeholder group.
- Embedding SV into product and service specifications.
- Consult/involve your people, embed consistent SV feedback into every project/programme, and track outcomes and progress against priorities.
- Being transparent and only claiming the value that activities are responsible for creating.
- Communicating your plans and results internally and externally to boost morale and promote your culture/reputation as a company that genuinely cares.
We will help you
- Identify the economic, social, and environmental benefits you deliver so they can be included in the Business strategy/plan.
- Assess your people strategy for SV benefits (equal opportunities, apprenticeships, training opportunities, voluntary work etc.).
- Establish and iterate ethical people and supply sourcing strategies.
- Identify your main environmental impacts and how they might be reduced, managed, and verified.
- Establish a robust qualitative, quantitative, and comparative information framework/system to monitor your SV activities and report the SROI output.
- Demonstrate to clients the benefits to them and the wider community of working with your organisation to give you a competitive edge.