Could the Social Value Act 2012 which came into being earlier this year have profound implications on construction procurement and on construction’s approach to Corporate Social Responsibility?
Indications are that it will.
The Social Value Act requires local authorities, when entering into public procurement contracts, to give greater consideration to economic, social or environmental wellbeing during the procurement stage.
(3) The authority must consider—
(a) how what is proposed to be procured might improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of the relevant area, and
(b) how, in conducting the process of procurement, it might act with a view to securing that improvement.
This will require the authority to pre-determine social value expected, along with measures and targets for both the project procurement and delivery. Raising the game on construction understanding of Social Value and CSR.
In response, bids will clearly demonstrate how social value will be created and delivered (as a result of selection to the project). We could (will?) see more weighting and scores afforded to social value issues making ‘soft’ issues ever more competitive.
What are currently seen as innovative differentiators could well become the norm and common place (such as free fruit in site canteens, free whole person health checks for operatives, demonstrating localism through mapping carbons of site travel etc)
Construction can have a huge influence and impact on social value and social wealth, through employment, transport, material purchase, SME procurement, environmental and social impacts … and more. With a little rethinking those impacts, often seen as negative, can deliver real positive value.
Construction, and built environment CSR strategies and performance will need to become ever more important, more strategic and more informed. At one level demonstrating a coherent approach to social value and at another as a competitive differentiator.
Hence now, as ever, is the best time to ensure that CSR approaches are robust, realistic and aligned with staff client and society expectations.
If you are interested in the growing debate on the impact of the Social Value Act and CSR in construction, please join me on twitter @fairsnape, using the #socialvalueact hashtag. You can also comment below and or subscribe to this blog or get in touch to discuss wider CSR and Bidding support.
We have a planned CSR in Construction Tweetchat scheduled for the 18th June where we will be debating, over twitter, the impact of the Social Value Act. (Using hashtag #GVischat)