Add social value when you create new buildings, says BAM, or stop winning work
Cardiff, 16 November 2021 - If you cannot deliver added social value and demonstrate this, you will cease to win as much work, says leading contractor BAM on the opening day of the Welsh Government’s Social Value Conference (Tuesday 16 November).
The contractor, which recently completed Cardiff University’s highly sustainable Centre for Student Life, is sponsoring the conference and is hosting two workshops to help small and medium Welsh businesses.
Dannielle Aberg, BAM’s Head of Social Impact, said: ‘Social value is now explicitly evaluated at tender. Operating in the private sector solely for profit without a compelling purpose and bold actions will restrict the work you win. Contractors like us are leveraging the additional social benefits we can offer to create social value in local communities. As always with the construction sector, we can’t work alone. Each project may involve twenty or thirty small and medium sized companies that work for us to deliver positive, sustainable change for people. This includes creating employment, opening doors for underrepresented groups, and supporting local initiatives that build community cohesion and social wellbeing.’
During the 31 months it spent creating the £34 million Centre for Student Life, for example, BAM employed 1,750 people and worked with 80 subcontractors, predominantly local firms. This generated some £400,741 of social value through creating jobs for those without them, establishing apprenticeships, placing orders with local firms, and delivering other benefits to community groups and charities. BAM helped a prison rehabilitation scheme at the University for example and raised funds for the British Heart Foundation.
Ms Aberg added that social value is already being delivered, but part of the challenge is to create clear ways of capturing and reporting it without getting bogged down in measurement. ‘We need to resource and support our staff and the companies that work with us to plan for and deliver impact that offers genuine sustainable change.’
BAM is running two open access workshops providing support and resource to help build the capacity of the Welsh supply chain, ensuring they can focus on creating positive impact that leaves a legacy in the communities where they work. Justin Price who leads BAM’s team in Wales, is leading a keynote address on social value in the private sector and taking part in a panel on the same subject. BAM leads two workshops on small and medium enterprises and social enterprises.
Places on the workshops can be booked for free using the links below:
- How to Win Work and influence people: The SME’s guide to starting out with Social Value
- Social Procurement in the built environment: A VCSE guide to being procurement ready
Danni Aberg will take part in a panel discussion on Tuesday 16 November 09:45 to 10:45, discussing the Well-being of Future Generations Act in 2021. This Act, published in 2015, requires public bodies in Wales to think about the long-term impact of their decisions, to work better with people, communities and each other, and to prevent persistent problems such as poverty, health inequalities and climate change. One of the original creators of the Act participates as well as the people who have been charged with using it to explore how the Act is standing up to the test of time and how it is delivering for future generations.