Sodexo are one of the platinum sponsors of the National Social Value Conference 2022, and we’re thrilled that they’ve chosen to support the conference. Angela Halliday is their director of social impact in UK and Ireland. Here, she discusses what social value means to Sodexo, and the ways in which they work to make a difference in communities across the country.
Social Value is intrinsic to Sodexo. We are committed to delivering services that achieve value and better outcomes for the people and communities wherever we operate.
Our purpose – to create a better everyday for everyone, to build a better life for all – is about making sure everyone has equal opportunities to develop and thrive, no matter where they come from or their background. As a speaker at the event, I will be talking about the way in which we need to better understand our communities, their challenges and aspirations. In doing so, provide government with solutions that enable us to not only do good business, but truly make a difference to the communities where we work, live and play.
We are fortunate in that the scale and size of our organisation means we can make a significant impact with our social value initiatives. But more than this, I’m so proud of how passionate my colleagues are about recognising our responsibility as an employer in this area.
Tackling issues such as poverty, sustainability, health, wellbeing, and social mobility is no mean feat – making progress is hard and it is a humbling challenge. As such, there must be a joint approach across government, industry, civil society, and educational establishments to come together and drive change.
Early engagement is vital in evolving and improving for example the Government’s Social Value model. Sodexo are immersed in workstreams with government to continually improve the way in which government, suppliers (strategic and SME/VCSEs) and partners make a collective impact on society and our environment.
In 2021 we launched our most recent social impact pledge. This looks at how we can contribute to our workplaces’ economic, social, and environmental development. The four impact pathways of Our People, Planet, Places and Partners, reflect our continued commitment to creating a healthier, greener, safer, and more prosperous society across the UK and Ireland.
Commitments are great, but it is the actions we take to meet these that really count, and our actions must be tangible because what gets measured gets done. We need to ensure that the data we collect tells us what is going on at a regional level, to enable us to continue making valuable social change. This is why we invested in a dedicated social value resource to deep dive into our communities, understand their priorities so that we can better provide solutions that meet local needs.
That said, we also want to make sure that we are holding ourselves accountable for our actions by being as transparent as possible. Only through sharing, openly and honestly, how we have performed against the pledges we have made, will we understand the true effects of our social impact strategy and how we can achieve more.
Our collective ability to measure impact is vital. What we measure reflects what we value. This way we can demonstrate and provide tangible evidence of how we help some of the UK’s most deprived communities; improving the quality of life for all those we serve.
Angela will sit on ‘Winning Work with the Public Sector’ on day two of the National Social Value Conference. This will be a session for businesses looking to understand the simple steps they need to take to win more work with government, and cover the National TOMs and the Social Value Model. Limited tickets are available, so book yours today and join us there.