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Social Value in Construction Benchmarking Report 2023

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We are pleased to announce that our annual Social Value in Construction Benchmarking Report is now available! Our reports set a precedent for how the construction industry should be tackling and reporting the social and economic value of its projects, and gives an insight into the key trends emerging over the previous 12 months.

Analysis indicates that social value delivery continues to rise across the sector for the third year running, highlighting the industry's key role in leaving a positive, sustainable legacy within communities.

The new industry-leading report draws on data from Social Value Portal, SCAPE, and all our delivery partners across the UK, from projects completed in 2022, along with recommendations for improving social value delivery in the coming year.

The construction industry has enormous potential to deliver social value that creates a meaningful impact on people’s lives and our report helps provide an insight into the key challenges and opportunities.

Key Findings

Our analysis of nearly 500 completed construction projects from across the UK in the 2023 report show:

  • £1.08bn of social value was generated as a direct result of nearly 500 completed construction projects, valued at over £4.57bn. This is the same amount as delivered in 2021, but across a smaller contract value base and a larger number of contracts.
  • The number of projects analysed each year is increasing, suggesting a growing uptake in social value measurement within the construction sector.
  • As in 2021, London, Scotland and the North West delivered the highest amount of social value in 2022, each generating over £150m.
  • London has the largest total amount of social value delivered demonstrating the potential to create increasing amounts of social value within the capital
  • There is a growing appetite for environmental reporting, prompted by an increased focus on addressing climate change.

Undertaken in partnership with Social Value Portal, our report has rapidly become the definitive review of social value in public sector construction projects in the UK.

We look at what social value activities are being delivered, what the most common measures are and how this varies depending on project size, location, and duration. This indicates if, and how, the industry is progressing in qualitative terms.

Using the Social Value TOM System, which is embedded into our frameworks, we can quantify and benchmark the positive community Impact of projects being delivered. This helps to widen the focus beyond cost, to include the long-lasting socioeconomic benefits construction projects can unlock.

The report also includes six case studies from SCAPE delivery partners, showing the real community impacts created through a range of social value activities, from apprenticeships and local employment to school workshops and tree planting.

More can be done

Communication and engagement between clients and contractors are key to mitigating the challenges the construction industry has been facing over the last few years.

Our report highlights the opportunity to further investigate the role of supply chains, which play a key role in delivering social value.

This can be done, in part, by helping local businesses understand and apply the guiding principles of social value delivery and ensuring knowledge and skills are shared across the supply chain, maximising the benefit to the community.

Alison Ramsey, SCAPE’s Social Value and Performance Manager, said: “Our Social Value in Construction Benchmarking 2023 Report highlights how the construction industry continues to play a vital role in proactively delivering social value across the UK.

“Much of the social value we reported in our analysis was as a result of high-quality procurement frameworks, experienced contractors and local supply chains working in harmony. As one of the largest industries in the UK, employing over three million people, the construction sector is also responsible for a substantial proportion of the UK’s carbon emissions. The increase in environmental reporting, although still in its infancy, demonstrates that the industry has recognised the role it has to play in improving communities and creating a world everyone deserves.

“However, there is more to be done – at a time of economic uncertainty, it is vital the sector works together to drive greater, more consistent social value delivery, for the benefit of both local communities and their economies.”

SCAPE has a long and proud history of building social value into its frameworks, which long predates the introduction of the Social Value Act in 2013. We take a proactive and innovative approach, embedding it into every SCAPE project and we work with partners who share our commitment to community improvement.

We believe that every project should provide a strong, sustainable legacy for communities, the economy, local businesses and the environment.