What is Social Value?

06.09.2023 2 min read

What is social value?

Social value describes the additional social, economic, and environmental well-being benefits created by a project, programme, or new development. Well-being captures how people feel about the quality of their lives.

People are the heart of social value. Meaningful engagement with local communities about the proposals affecting them is central to the creation of real social value. Genuine engagement is crucial for understanding what people value and the importance they place on different well-being benefits. A developer can calculate the cost of new play spaces or allotments, but without knowledge of local needs, who knows if these benefits will truly add social value?

Social value and sustainability

The fight against climate change is only as powerful as the people driving it. What is therefore needed is social change. To drive that social change, leaders, organizations, and policymakers must build a deep understanding of the impact on local communities and places of their operations, programmes, and policies.

Helping organizations understand, improve, and manage the positive and negative impact of their actions is a key component of Temple’s social value capability. Our focus on engagement and community profiling will help drive the social change needed to make companies and policymakers more environmentally sustainable.

How do you measure social value?

Numerous tools exist for measuring and monetizing social value, including the National Themes Outcomes Measures (TOMs). TOMs offer financial proxy values for various social outcomes like jobs, growth, society, the environment, and innovation.

Consider a simple instance: employment gains from new developments. A traditional economic analysis of a supermarket project estimates added jobs and economic value. Yet, the true societal benefit hinges on job recipients. If the supermarket employs individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds or the long-term unemployed, it will add social value.

How can we help?

Temple, an accredited B-Corp, is deeply committed to creating social value. We measure our impact using the Social Value Engine tool.

Our tailored services include:

  • aiding planning applications
  • integrating social value into operations
  • supporting procurement bids
  • offering social value training

For inquiries, contact our social value specialist, Isobel Kiely, at isobel.kiely@templegroup.co.uk.

Explore more on our website at https://www.templegroup.co.uk/service/social-value-assessment_example/.

Key Contacts

Isobel Kiely Senior Consultant