1. Social value becomes the link between climate, energy, and cost of living crises.
We will see businesses making the link between how they can support communities and climate change, to grow responsibly. Social value becomes the link to finding a way forward between these critically fundamental issues as we surmount unprecedented global challenges, across all sectors and industries over the next 12-18 months.
2. Where the public sector has led, the private sector will follow.
Social value will become further embedded into the public sector, with the passing of the Procurement Bill and publication of the National Procurement Strategy. And this will continue to impact the private sector through its suppliers, with many realising the clear business case for embedding social value into core activities including operations, recruitment, supply chain management and CSR programmes.
National Social Value Conference, scheduled to take place in London on 13 & 14 June 2023, will specifically focus on showcasing the best of private sector engagement. More details coming soon.
3. More conversations about the Social Value Economy – people, place and planet.
A few of us, including the National Social Value Taskforce and SE UK, have been speaking much more regularly about the Social Value Economy that is now widely used to describe a society and economy where all sectors of society work together, using all their organisational levers to maximise social value. It’s in our joint interests to build a stronger society but that will require a spirit of ‘radical collaboration’ across all sectors of society, public, private and civic.
4. Accountability will become essential in a shift towards transparent, data-driven reporting.
2022 saw well-known global brands face accusations of greenwashing, and one in five organisations admitted to having been accused in the past, damaging a brand’s reputation and ultimately the business performance. Organisations are now properly grasping the value of moving beyond compliance to measuring, evaluating, and reporting on the tangible improvements made in the communities in which they operate.
Insight: the UK’s Financial Reporting Council (FRC) announced its intention to place more emphasis on reporting when assessing signatories of the UK Stewardship Code. And the EU Council has committed to an overhaul of sustainability reporting by approving the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive.
5. Social value will become a global phenomenon and the UK will be leading the way.
As the entire world is facing the same triple challenge (energy prices, cost of living, and the climate emergency), and the understanding of the potential and power of social value grows, organisations (including governments and businesses) from around the world are looking more closely at our Social Value Act, looking for ways to develop something to suit their own markets. As a result, we are now developing a global solution to social value measurement and reporting – the Global TOMs Framework, built around a series of universal outcomes, relevant in any country but can be adapted to reflect local priorities.
Insight: global mining company, BHP, which operates throughout Australia and the Americas launched its own social value framework in 2022, paving the way for other leading global brands to follow.
Social value is here to stay, building massive momentum and will become even more deeply embedded into how we work. We will have some hard months ahead, but by working together across sectors, we can make a real and positive difference.