With the introduction of the Social Value Act 2012, the public and the local authorities are now obliged to consider the social value of the work that their contract generates. The Act clearly dictates the contracting authorities to include questions by which the bidders can demonstrate the social value that will be delivered by them for the well-being of the community if awarded the contract. And with the enforcement of the act high-value contracts have started to include social value questions.
Initially including social value responses in your tender may seem an easy job, however, suppliers have not been able to clearly interpret the social value questions. Social Value is all about the buyer gaining the real rate of return on investment in your organization. Social value often includes questions that are broader it includes 3 major sections;
- The Social Benefit
- The Economic Benefit and
- The Environment Benefit
Recently the buyers have gone much beyond the general overview of the social, economic and environmental benefits and ask for something that is more measurable. Social value questions might appear a little confusing but once you understand them well they become a lot easier to answer. The phrasing of the questions might seem tricky but all comes down to the same bottom of Quality assurances.
Social Value offering offers local contractors an edge over the non-local contractors. Having a local presence helps you to secure your contract with numerous social benefits that may be difficult for a non-local contractor to realize.
As we discussed above the Social Value questions involve Social, Economic and Environmental benefits that your company will deliver if awarded a contract. If you are a supplier hitting your head thinking about the possible response we below discuss some of the guidelines to include the social value response in your of the contract.
The Social Aspect: The social aspects relates to the local community and the people in it. How your company can benefit the local community. Here are some potential areas you can talk about)
- Engagement activities for the local community
- Working with schools, Charitable Trusts, Volunteer Programs
- Helping social and Activist groups and
- Supporting the people in the area
The Economic Benefit: The Economic Benefit aspect relates to the employment opportunities your company will generate for the local suppliers or contractors. Here are some of the potential areas you can talk about when responding to economic benefit.
- Employment Opportunities
- Apprenticeship Programmes
- Making use of local Supply Chain
- Investing in the growth of Local Business etc.
Environment Benefit: Environmental responses require you to show how your company will benefit the local environment to help keep it away from damages throughout operations. Aspects of this response may already be part of your company’s environmental policy, which should be referenced where relevant.
Environmental aspects of social value:
- Saving energy where possible
- Working to reduce the carbon footprint
- Use of eco-friendly goods etc
Social value responses must include some realistic commitments that you can deliver. Be specific in your responses while quantifying the number of opportunities you will create and how can they benefit the local group. Often the authorities may hold you for the commitments that you promised to deliver and failed this will have a costly impact on your business in long-term.