We take our role in society seriously, working to improve the UK’s built environment and delivering lasting change for the communities we work in.
Delivering a legacy of positive social value outcomes in the communities in which we operate is a key part of our strategy. This is the right thing to do as a responsible business and is also an increasingly important priority for our clients.
Management and compliance
Our Sustainability Policy sets out our commitment to assessing sustainability risks and opportunities, and taking appropriate steps to mitigate negative impacts and enhance positive impacts. Our Code of Conduct also explains our approach to being a good neighbour and the requirement to treat all our stakeholders with respect, courtesy and consideration.
We have a range of mechanisms for identifying and managing community impacts. Our project teams undertake a needs analysis with our clients to identify the key priorities in relation to employment, training, SMEs and wellbeing in the local area. This analysis is used to develop bespoke Social Value Plans and Employment and Skills Plans. The outcomes delivered are reported using a Social Value Calculator. Our approach to community engagement is also reviewed by our Stakeholder Steering Committee.
We also take part in the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS), which assesses sites on criteria including being considerate of local neighbourhoods and the public.
Social and Local Economic Value
The ability to measure the social and local economic outcomes we deliver on our projects is now a requirement for many of our clients, especially in the public sector. The Construction Playbook states that central Government tenders must include a minimum of 10% of their evaluation criteria dedicated to social value, and the priority themes and outcomes are set out in 2020’s Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 06/20 – Taking Account of Social Value in the Award of Central Government Contracts. During the year, we extended the scope of our partnership with the Social Value Portal (SVP), a tool which is backed by the National TOMs (Themes, Outcomes and Measures) Framework, which helps organisations measure, report and enhance their social value. We are now able to report the social value we deliver on our projects across the group in a consistent way.
We have evaluated 28 projects completed during the year and on these projects, we delivered a combined Social and Local Economic Value (SLEV) of £306m. Now that we have more data from our use of the SVP, we have a better understanding of the drivers of the SLEV metric. The local economic value element is calculated by applying a multiplier to spend with the local supply chain which varies significantly depending on location. In a relatively small population of projects, this can have a distorting impact on the average SLEV as a percentage of contract value, making it a volatile and unreliable metric. Therefore, we have redefined our KPI to be the percentage of our completed projects over £5m that achieve greater than 25% SLEV as a percentage of project value. The threshold of 25% has been selected based on the SVPs 2021 Social Value Benchmarking Report. The SVP’s analysis of 1,480 UK construction projects identified that the average SLEV as a percentage of project value was 24.67%. During this financial year, 14 projects (50%) delivered a SLEV as percentage of contract value greater than 25% and we have set our ambition to achieve 60%.
Considerate Constructors Scheme
The Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) is an industry-wide organisation that strives to improve the image of the construction industry and leave a positive legacy through implementation of best practice in the areas of community engagement, the environment and workforce wellbeing. CCS scores and benchmarks construction sites in terms of their positive impact within their locality. Our average CCS audit score has increased from 40.6 to 41.8 and remains above the industry average of 39.0. We have worked closely with CCS for over 15 years and this year were proud to receive a Partnership Award in recognition of our engagement with the scheme and commitment to innovation to raise standards.
During the year we donated time, materials and money to the value of £268,000 (2021: £250,000) to charitable and community causes.