In 2019, Landsec made a an ambitious and industry leading commitment to deliver £25 million of social value by 2025.
Since 2018, Landsec has been working in partnership with Social Value Portal. Together, we have been working to create a coherent strategy. This strategy has helped Landsec effectively measure the impact of its social sustainability programmes and target the areas where it can have the biggest impact. By putting the right processes in place, Landsec has ensured it is leading the way in meeting its social value targets and delivering against its commitment.
Developing a robust reporting process
For several years, Landsec has run these social sustainability programmes. These include support it provides to charities and social enterprises.
Landsec focuses on four different areas to create social value:
Working with Social Value Portal has helped Landsec to create a comprehensive and sophisticated way to report the value of its social sustainability programmes. The partnership has also supported Landsec to streamline its processes. As well as establishing one consistent method of publicly reporting its impact from these initiatives.
Through the partnership, Social Value Portal was able to develop a bespoke social value measurement framework for Landsec. This framework empowered Landsec to measure and report the social value it was unlocking through its four social sustainability programmes. The partnership developed over time, as has the Social Value Framework implemented across the board. This has lead Landsec to become more mature in its social value measurement. Additionally, its made it possible to offer more support to colleagues to ensure accuracy in the total social value being reported. Landsec carries out its own quality checks on data with the support of Social Value Portal, with annual audits carried out by EY. This guarantees there is transparency and accuracy across all measurements taking place.
These reporting mechanisms and audits were combined to create a bespoke way to measure the overall social value delivered by Landsec’s activities. The challenge was to make sure that these measures were robust enough to give an accurate figure. Without doing so, it would be very difficult to see if it was on track to meet Landsec’s public commitment.
Creating a holistic strategy
To create a more robust process for measuring how well social value targets were being met, in 2020 Landsec decided to focus solely using measures within the National TOMs (Themes, Outcomes, Measures). This came from previously having used a framework composed of both bespoke and National TOMs measures. This was key to ensure the social value framework remained relevant and applicable to the live measurements. Also, to have the certainty of the annual framework updates and ongoing research. As a result, the most applicable data and proxy values were always being used.
By using a targeted list of TOMs measures, Landsec has been able to instigate a much simpler auditing process. This has saved both time and money. Social Value Portal scrutinises the data collected to ensure it is entirely robust.
Since launching this new measurement framework, Landsec has been able to determine that it has been meeting its targets year on year.
In the first year of implementing the social value framework, Landsec unlocked £3.2m of social value. In 2019/20 this increased to £4.8 million of social value. £2.6 million has gone to supporting people facing barriers to work and £1.82 million to charity partners. Landsec’s people and partners have contributed 8,527 volunteer hours, and 298 students have been engaged in formal programmes.
In addition to reporting on its progress towards its goal of delivering £25 million, one of the key benefits of collecting information efficiently is that Landsec has been able to demonstrate the wider impact it has had on people in its communities. For example, through the creation of jobs and opportunities. Furthermore, it has been able to target areas where it can make the biggest impact.
Working for the future
The next step for Landsec is, firstly, to measure the social value of its business-as-usual activities. Secondly, through the construction and in the use of its key developments, not just the activities from its social sustainability programmes. As one of the UK’s leading real estate companies, its work has a real impact on a significant number of people every day.
To assess this impact, each step of real estate development needs to be considered. What is the impact of Landsec’s planning applications? What social value is generated during construction? And how much social value is generated once a property being used?
Landsec remains extremely engaged in social value, with strong partnerships within the local communities that surround its projects. Once it has included the impact of it business activities included in its framework, it will be able to demonstrate even more clearly how social value lies at the heart of the organisation.
Using Social Value Portal’s measurement methodology has enabled us to measure meaningful direct action to be steered both by local need and by the overarching strategic aims of the organisation aiming to deliver social value. Implemented effectively, the TOMs framework then creates a mutually reinforcing link between strategy and delivery.