Social value has long been embedded in WSP’s services and research. As a leading global engineering firm, it is central to the company’s ambitions to shape the communities of tomorrow and help society thrive.
However, in recent years the importance of demonstrating that focus on social value has increased amongst WSP’s clients. It has also taken greater precedence in public sector procurement. Therefore, the organisation felt the need to align itself with a best practice tool that complements the needs of local authorities. To this end, WSP started working with us at Social Value Portal.
Implementing the National TOMs
In 2020, WSP piloted measuring the social value it created using the National TOMs. The pilot programme focused on two of the organisation’s local government schemes. Following our advice, WSP implemented the 48 core National TOMs measures, as well as some additional measures that matched their social value strategy.
The pilot received excellent feedback from clients. As a result, the National TOMs have now been embedded in all of WSP’s business units. These include, planning and advisory, property and buildings, and transport and infrastructure.
WSP is now embedding the National TOMs measures further into their business using our online Portal. Using the Portal, WSP can track the progress of specific corporate projects and monitor ongoing reporting of live projects. They can do this for each business unit at any time. Additionally, the Portal allows them to share knowledge and case studies across the business.
At WSP, social value is integral to our work and embedded in many of our projects. In conjunction with our Future Ready programme, our engineers and consultants act on future trends and wider social issues impacting our designs. Our priority is to bring together our brilliant corporate programmes with our Future Ready expertise and accurately measure our impact using the National TOMs Framework. – Deepa Nair, CSR and Social Value Lead at WSP
WSP’s vision is to integrate and maximise social value in its operations, project delivery and supply chain. All to benefit clients and the communities they serve. To this aim, the organisation actively engages all staff on its social value policy, empowering them to build on the use of the National TOMs themselves.
Each year, WSP includes its social value progress in its annual report, with a spotlight on corporate programmes that have been carried out, detailing their impact, return on investment and improvements they have made.
Social value in engineering continues at WSP
WSP has ambitious social value targets for the years ahead. The largest challenge so far has been that measuring social value is relatively new for many sectors, not just WSP. Local authorities’ need to include social value in procurement requirements is still changing how public sector contracts are tendered.
WSP is continuing to find the right way to implement the National TOMs to meet these requirements. For example, the organisation is developing a gap analysis to understand areas of the National TOMs that it currently doesn’t serve as part of an improvement plan.
We are continuing to support WSP in developing its roadmap and strategy across the business in a way that works for both employees and clients. Assisted by our ongoing training, advice and support, WSP is continuing to maximise the use of both the National TOMs Framework and the Portal.