Construction industry delivers £1bn in social value

The second Social Value in Construction Benchmarking Report has revealed that over £1bn of economic, social and environmental improvements were made by the UK construction industry last year.

Compiled jointly by Social Value Portal and SCAPE, the report sets a precedent for how the construction industry should be tackling social and economic value on its projects.

Social Value is the umbrella term used to describe the value an organisation creates for individuals, communities and society. This can range from creating more employment opportunities for disadvantaged people to committing to using local resources and suppliers wherever possible or supporting community projects.

This year’s report found that the construction industry achieved £1.08bn of social and local economic value in 2021, through significant investment in local communities. In comparison, last year’s report found that the delivery of social and local economic value was £949m for 2020, highlighting a 14 per cent increase in 12 months.

Almost 20 per cent of total spend on projects was invested in social value initiatives, valuing £1.8bn. The North West far outperformed other regions in terms of social value delivery and was second highest after Scotland on local economic delivery. The South West had the lowest social and local economic value investment. However, geographical location and total number of projects will have impacted these figures.

Social value and performance panager Alison Ramsey at SCAPE, said: “For publicly funded projects, improvement of the economic, social, and environmental wellbeing of the relevant area is an important procurement consideration. We undertake this benchmarking report as a vital investment in measuring success, helping organisations to understand what is being achieved today and what can be achieved in the future.”

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