Industry forum brings together firms across the sector to discuss challenges of delivering social value
A new industry group has been formed to promote clarity and understanding of how social value policies should be applied by businesses across the construction sector.
It aims to bring together experts to reach a consistent approach to delivering social value across major infrastructure projects.
Increasing legislation in the form of the Procurement Bill making its way through Parliament, and the most recent guidance from government in PPN06/20 has prompted questions from many firms on how it should be applied. Forum members say it is therefore vital that a joined-up approach is taken to ensure the best possible outcomes.
Cooperation and leadership
Founding forum member Michelle Baker, social value lead for Atkins’ infrastructure division, said it is crucial for the industry to come together to make a difference and provide leadership on the issue.
The forum has been meeting since 2021 but is now making the findings of its meetings public.
Baker said: “At our most recent meeting the forum discussed how the policy note had succeeded in pushing social value higher up the agenda.
“However, it’s been more than two years since it came into force and the feeling is that social value is still somewhat misunderstood.”
Caron Dunlop, technical director for social value at Mott MacDonald, added: “Improved social outcomes have been at the heart of what we do at Mott MacDonald for many years and PPN06/20 has been a great start in embedding good practice at a national level.
“However, there still remains a major opportunity to really optimise the delivery of social value across the industry and maximise our collective impact for the communities where we work.”