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  • 4 minutes
  • 04/11/2020

Embedding social value in our business: Bouygues UK

Social Value Portal speaks to Bouygues UK about what social value means to them and how they are embedding it within their business practices.

We invited the 2020 Welsh Social Value Conference headline sponsor, Bouygues UK, to discuss what social value means to them as an organisation and how they’re embedding it within their practices.

At Bouygues UK, we define Social Value as the activity we do which enhances people’s lives and communities within which we work by improving the conditions of the wider community to reduce inequality, improve wellbeing, inclusion and deliver prosperity for all whilst being aligned to support delivery against the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The term social value is now even more widely used than ever before despite there being no commonly accepted definition of what it means. In Wales it is more widely regarded as Community Benefits and is supported with The Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.

A great team

Social Value means many things to different people and therefore how businesses deal with it is varied. We are fortunate in Bouygues UK to have a great team of people who are motivated by challenge and genuine passion to apply their knowledge, skills and experience to make a difference.

To our staff Social Value simply means a company with a good moral compass and that is why Social Value it is one of three pillars which underpin our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy, the other two being Environment and Economic.

CSR is a strategic priority for Bouygues Construction in the UK. We recognise that a strong commitment to CSR is required by our clients, partners, supply chains and it is also rightly expected by our employees. Our mission is to deliver a sustainable built environment that creates a better life for communities. I believe it is a concept that addresses many and various topics such as human rights, corporate governance, ethical business practices, health and safety, environmental effects, working conditions and contribution to economic development.

Leading the way

As CSR Director for the six Bouygues businesses in the UK, I firmly believe that a strong CSR policy forms the foundation of a successful business.  In an increasingly competitive market, the ethos, ethics and values of a company are what makes it standout, what makes it a company that prospective employees want to join and be part of and one that intelligent clients want to work with.

In a world adjusting to the global pandemic, Social Value is now even more so at the forefront of people’s minds, we have seen a shift in emphasis to support those in most need and in ways that deliver the maximum benefit such as the donation of PPE to health care workers and to Welsh homelessness charity Llamau, to help its staff and those it supports protect themselves from Covid-19 and by targeting our activities towards those social groups which have been disproportionately affected such as young people with little or no qualifications.

Community support

The communities that we live and work in need business to consciously create social value now more than ever and throughout this conference we are pleased to be able to share with you just some of the fantastic examples of how we have adapted to focus our efforts on quality outputs such as our student and community ambassador schemes.

As a business we need to be truly responsible – from the leadership to the business plan; from our culture and the way we behave to the way we measure our impact.​

By ensuring that our impact is as positive as possible, but also driving and challenging our thinking as business leaders to do things differently, bravely, and responsibly. Last year I developed a partnership with a social enterprise; “The Social Value Portal”. In line with the new Bouygues Construction in the UK CSR Policy, we have developed a standard method of measurement of ‘Social Value’ across ALL Bouygues UK projects, we have engaged with members across the businesses to develop Bouygues specific themes, outcomes and measures and developed a standard reporting dashboard.

Bouygues UK are pleased to be headline sponsors of the inaugural National Social Value Conference 2020:Wales.

Watch Bouygues’ workshop session on ‘Delivering “Digital” Social Value in a time of COVID on-demand now.