Are your social value stats telling the whole truth?

Hannah Oldfield

In a world full of greenwashing and box-ticking, social value needs to go beyond mere measurement to be truly effective.

Social value is no longer just a nice-to-have. ESG is becoming essential for investors and customers across all industries. And since 2013, all public sector organisations and their suppliers are required to prove their social value by law.


On the surface this is great news – finally investors and boards have a legal requirement to take social value seriously. The flip-side is that social value is now a box that must be ticked – and some give little thought to how they get there.

Even when organisations start out with the best of intentions – when they have some understanding of what social value is – they can get lost when it comes to the implementation. 

Social value – sounds great, but how does it translate into action for us? How can we make an impact? Where do we even start?

As social value consultants, we really get it. It can feel overwhelming. And if there’s a way to get some quick wins – hacks to get those scores up with as little effort as possible, wouldn’t you be crazy not to take them? 

If you’re counting your existing local employees just to tick the ‘local employment’ box, that’s one thing off your list, right?

But is that really generating value for the local community? Is it what your staff care about? Is it the biggest difference you could make?

If the answer is no, then it’s not doing what social value needs to do.

You’re generating meaningless proxy values just to hit targets.

There is a better way.

The conversation needs to start with: how can we use what we have to do good and where can we make the biggest impact?

Maybe that’s sharing existing resources with a community or organisation that can use them to make a difference. Using your professional skills to support the local community. Going into schools to show young people what’s possible for them, and how they can get there. 

The possibilities are infinite, and there are endless ways to slice it depending on your unique organisation and what it can do.

If you’re interested in shortcuts and quick wins, then we are not the social value consultancy for you.

But if you want to go beyond mere measurement and find out what’s possible, then we probably are.

Find out more about how we help organisations develop social value strategies that make a genuine impact here. Or drop us a line for a chat about what we can do for you.