Screenshot 2021 03 01 at 19.15.49

UKGBC launches guidance for delivering social value

The UK Green Building Council has launched a framework to help the industry define and deliver social value in its projects.

Less than a year after launching the Social Value Task Group with 23 industry stakeholders, the UKGBC published its guidance on delivering social value across an asset’s lifecycle.

Given that individual developments serve different communities with unique requirements, which can make defining social value difficult, the framework sets out guidance on the process and principles for delivering social value in any project or place.

Any project, the framework says, should include an identified group of people impacted by the project and a set of agreed outcomes that would improve their quality of life.

The project should:

  1. Identify the relevant stakeholders for a project
  2. Understand what’s in the best interests of the relevant stakeholders
  3. Agree a bespoke set of social value outcomes for the project based on the best interests of the relevant stakeholders

It also sets out six principles that should guide the delivery of social value:

  1. Context – How to deliver social value will depend on the type of asset or place, the stage of the asset lifecycle and, most importantly, the needs of the local community.
  2. Place – Delivering social value should primarily focus on the direct impact of buildings, infrastructure and places on people. It should also include, and be supported by, the operations and activities of organisations who invest in, plan, design, construct, operate and occupy them.
  3. Outcomes – Measuring the success of the strategy should focus on outcomes rather than the interventions put in place.
  4. Collaboration – Genuine collaboration between private, public and third sector stakeholders is necessary.
  5. Process – Project teams should follow a defined process for defining and delivering social value.
  6. Additionality – Creating social value should be about providing additional value over and above that which already exists.

John Alker, director of policy and places at UKGBC, said: “The built environment has the power to shape our lives in profound ways, and by placing social value at the heart of decision-making, we can unlock the benefits that the built environment brings to our quality of life.

“Now more than ever our communities are in need of support, and as a sector we must sharpen our focus on how we create social value and unlock the benefits of high-quality, sustainable development.”

Ana Bajri, senior specialist, property standards at RICS, added: “With a clear framework for defining social value, the built environment industry is able to understand and enhance the value that high-quality, sustainable development brings to communities. At RICS we are committed to working in the public interest and will continue to support initiatives that create clarity and drive positive change.”

The UKGBC said it will continue to work with its members and the wider industry in coming years to build on the framework.

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