Gareth Rondel is head of group corporate responsibility at Kier. Kier is the first company in the built environment to be awarded the Social Value Quality Mark by Social Value Business (SVB). Working with SVB, Kier undertook a social value gap analysis, looking at 10% of Group turnover across 10 projects. Here, Gareth explains why social value is important to Kier, analyses the hidden social value across the business and gives an overview of Kier projects that have enhanced social value in their local communities.

 “There is no standard definition of social value; at Kier we define it as the sum of community and societal benefit, local economic benefit and community footprint – put more simply, our contribution to society. Being a responsible business, social value is critical to our success and to achieve this we work with local supply chain partners, invest in training, reduce our negative environmental impact and work to leave a positive legacy in the communities where we operate.

Kier is working towards a target for social value generated to be equivalent to 10% of total revenue by 2020 and from the gap analysis, we know we are well on track to achieve this. To measure social value across the business we use our Shaping our Communities Calculator (SoCC). This relies on techniques recognised by the Government to convert outcomes to an equivalent monetary value and focuses on five key areas; environment, skills and employment, communities, local partners and social enterprise. Using a monetary value gives us a yardstick against which to measure progress.

From the gap analysis, we found there were a number of examples of hidden value from projects Kier employees had worked on and not recorded in the SoCC. These include; Project Capella and Liverpool Park Life.

Project Capella is a new research facility at the University of Cambridge, with a project value of £79m, of which £30m was spent with locally based supply chain partners.  None of this value was recorded on the SoCC.  We uncovered this through site visits and a series of employee interviews, and then asked SVB to calculate the local economic benefit.  They estimated that this would have created £79.5m of economic benefit via the supply chain.   SVB used the well-recognised Local Multiplier (LM3) methodology and applied a value of £2.65 into the local economy for every £1 spent with the local supply chain.

Liverpool Park Life II is a project that will bring substantial regeneration and sports facilities to areas of Liverpool that are in the top 20% of most deprived areas in the UK (Office of National Statistics). The project recorded £1,750 of social value via SoCC and the gap analysis identified a further £15m of local and SME spend, which, when multiplied, becomes £39.7m of local economic benefit.

As part of the Social Value Mark, we have committed to pledges that will enable us to continue to develop and improve our creation of positive social value. These pledges are around minimising our environmental impact, continuing to support and encourage the use of local supply chains, maximising our investment into areas that will most benefit the communities we serve, maximising Kier’s position in local communities to deliver positive outcomes, continuing to be an inclusive employer that values and promotes the health and wellbeing of staff and demonstrating ethical decision making and strong leadership that will shape Kier as a value driven organisation.

As a Group we are always looking at ways to enhance social value and benefit the communities we work in. We recently launched the Shaping Your World™ campaign to engage and inspire 11-15 year-olds to consider a career in the built environment, with the aim of closing the very real skills gap the industry is facing. In the first year, we made a commitment to engage with 10,000 schoolchildren and have 1% of our workforce become Shaping Ambassadors; both of which we have exceeded.

We deliver the economic and social infrastructure that is vital to the growth of both the UK and our regions and we will continue to be committed to the long-term development of our business in the UK through our three market positions – Buildings, Infrastructure Services and Housings & Developments.”