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  • 2 minutes
  • 16/09/2014

The beginnings of Social Value Portal

CEO of Social Value Portal Guy Battle talks us through the origins of the business.

So why Social Value Portal?

I think Corporate Social Responsibility is dead, it has always been a bit of side issue anyway but over the last few years it has been side-lined even further.

For over 25 years, I have been trying to get organisations to take CSR seriously; it has always been a struggle.

Here’s what I hear:

“It costs too much”

“What’s in it for us?”

“We have more important things to worry about like making money…”

“Our investors just don’t care!”

“‘Green Crap’ (malignly attributed to our Prime Minister?)”

This is just a small selection of the responses that I have had over the years. But I now think the worm has finally turned.

Gained momentum

It started with the Lemans, then the Occupy movement. It gained momentum as the corporate world was exposed as being ‘irresponsible’, and has finally shifted for good with the advent of the Public Services (Social Value) Act.

I believe that the Social Value Act is a game-changer and will force business to do what it should have been doing all along (and what the corporation was originally created to do); put society first.

Why do I think the Social Value Act is such a game changer?

  • It allows our public sector to put social value at the centre of the procurement process
  • It is flexible and devolves responsibility for setting targets to a local level
  • It means business must measure and report their contribution to society in a way that makes sense and requires accountability

I am shamelessly supportive of the Social Value Act as a stick to make things happen. At last, a piece of legislation that encourages and incentivises business to recognise and build its position in our society.

That is all well and good, however the problem is that, as our latest survey shows, both business and the public sector are struggling with definitions, measurement and legal issues.

And so, this is what Social Value Portal is all about – bridging the gap in our collective knowledge, providing guidance, real time solutions and case studies to support business, the public sector and third sector providers to make Social Value Creation a core activity AND a responsibility for all.

Written by Guy Battle, CEO, Social Value Portal
September 2014