AECOM, the world’s premier infrastructure firm has signed a three-year partnership with Social Value Portal to manage, measure and report the impact of its social value activities in the UK and Ireland. Using a bespoke new online system, the company will capture and monitor critical data about the social value it is delivering to communities across the country.
Over the last year, both volunteering hours and days have significantly improved. However, with the support of this partnership with the social value portal, this is set to increase even more, enabling AECOM to reach a wider audience. Taking guidance from the National TOMs framework, which provides a minimum reporting standard for measuring social value, AECOM has tailored each of the framework’s themes, outcomes and measures to encourage and enforce long term social value within its own business operations. As the first professional services company specialising in architecture, engineering and construction to sign up to the Social Value Portal, AECOM has introduced social value champions in each of its UK and Ireland offices. This will enable the company to form new partnerships with local charities and social enterprises to directly support local needs.
The new partnership provides a number of benefits to AECOM, enabling it to set achievable long-term social value targets for the future. Not only will this allow the business to calculate a financial value for its social value activities, but also implement a consistent approach across the UK and Ireland and highlight areas for improvement.
Using themes such as promoting local skills and employment, supporting growth of the local economy and protecting and improving the environment, the system will help AECOM to understand the scale and breadth of its social value impact by capturing information about initiatives and projects across the business.
Dave Bennett, Head of Operations at AECOM, said; “Our new partnership with Social Value Portal will help us to better understand how and where we are delivering on our commitment to improve the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of the communities we serve. Inspired by our employees, who make a positive and tangible impact in communities every day, the system will enable a more focused approach to social value. As our workforce expands, it is vital we continue to empower future generations to build a legacy for themselves and those around them.”
Nathan Goode, Head of Strategy at the Social Value Portal, said “We are delighted to be working with AECOM to help them manage and report on their social value. AECOM’s business reach means that our collaboration will contribute to making social value ‘business as usual’ in infrastructure and the built environment and create the conditions for social value by design at the early stages of major projects and programmes.”
Whilst the partnership is an important new step, AECOM has for many years recognized the importance of social value and collaborating with local community projects such as The Hive College in Birmingham. Students aged 19-25 with special educational needs and disabilities are supported through an initiative that helps them find employment and encourages their independence and builds confidence. By working closely with the college to ensure students are given the opportunity to thrive, AECOM has provided students with the tools they need to help fulfil their career aspirations. Since making this commitment, AECOM has provided CV writing workshops and regularly visits the college to engage students in employment. So far, two students have secured permanent positions at AECOM with an additional four students securing placements during a college term. To ensure the working environment is comfortable and fully accessible for individuals, the work place has been adapted to accommodate their specific needs.
Julie Pallister, Work Placement Coordinator at Hive College, said: “AECOM has offered many of our young disabled adults work experience which has enabled them to broaden their skillset in preparation for the world of work. Two of those students were taken on a supported internship – a specialist programme for young people with additional needs who have now been employed into the team. AECOM has also helped to raise funds for students to go on a residential trip to Butlins. Not only do staff and students have a fantastic time but this also serves a great opportunity for students to gain independent skills.”
AECOM has also recently signed up as a Disability Confident employer – a government initiative that encourages employers to think differently about disability and take action to improve how they attract, recruit and retain disabled workers.