Developments Need to Consider Social Impacts

Since January 2013 the Government has required public authorities (through the Social Value Act) to give more contracts to local suppliers and to create jobs and money in the local community. This has been as a bid to provide further social, economic and environmental benefits when procuring products and services for the public sector.

A year on from the Act’s implementation, a review conducted by the Guardian found its reach had expanded to the private sector. Companies have begun to change the way they procure their own services, looking at ways to still be commercial but provide benefits to local businesses and create local jobs and apprentices.

A formal review of the Act published last month encourages further emphasis to be placed on Social Value throughout procurement and this is likely to be a key issue for companies that work with public sector bodies – such as planning authorities. Planning policies and conditions associated with planning permissions are increasingly requiring demonstration of the social benefits from new developments.

Social Return on Investment (SROI) is a method used for measuring the social, economic and environmental value that result from business activities. It can assess impacts and benefits to include;

  • New Jobs, Employment & training opportunities,
  • Additional money and economic growth in the local community,
  • Community cohesion,
  • Impacts and contributions on schools, health and other social infrastructure

SROI analysis can help promote the positive elements of developments by identifying benefits being achieved for local people and businesses. For further details on SROI analysis and how it can benefit your business please download our guidance resource here: SROI_guidanceresource_Mar15.

If you would like to discuss Social Return on Investment analysis for your organisation, or for a specific scheme, please contact Kerri-Emma Dobson on 0203 544 5827.