Transforming the hard to understand into easy to implement, enabling social value learners at any level to fuel their pursuit. Bringing together private and public sectors to discuss, collaborate and learn how to promote innovation and deliver more social value.

On Wednesday 21st July, we will be hosting our “Simplifying Social Value” webinar in partnership with Built Environment Networking where we aim to dispel some of the myths and confusion that surround social value.

Procurement and frameworks expert Gerard Toplass, our Executive Chairman, will host a panel of industry leaders to discuss the real drivers behind social value and why it lies at the heart of all procurement.

Key speakers include our CEO Tom Farley, our Principle Consultant Dr Victoria Johnson, with Lord Bob Kerslake, and delegates Martin Summers and Andrew Craig joining from GK Strategy, and Maven.

Topics will include:

  • ESG Investing
  • Commoditising Social Value
  • Social Value in Infrastructure
  • Social Value in Training
  • Social Value in the Private Sector 

Our panel will also help to clear up common misconceptions that social value is a costly and difficult journey.

Gerard explains, “The importance of collaboration cannot be understated and events like these offer a great platform for like-minded professionals to come together and drive the industry forwards.”

The event will be taking place online at 9am on Wednesday 21st July.

Not to be missed!

To secure your free spot, please click below

Purpose drives performance, helps retain talent and creates long term value for your customers. But what’s yours? Do you have one? And why does it matter? 

Milton Friedman’s iconic essay, “The Social Responsibility of Business Is To Increase Its Profits,” was published over 50 years ago and remains just as polarizing today as it was five decades ago. Friedman introduced the theory in 1970 in an essay for The New York Times. He argued that a company has no social responsibility to the public or society; its only responsibility is to its shareholders. He goes on to justify his views by considering to whom a company and its executives are obligated.

Whilst “Shareholder theory” has undeniably had a significant impact on the corporate world, there is a contrary declaration that’s moving away from such an exclusively shareholder-focused perspective. It suggests that the purpose of business is to deliver value to all company stakeholders, spanning beyond the narrow shareholders’ circle; that it is now time to redefine what it means to be a successful company in the 21st century.

As business faces an accelerated change of pace, they are at the same time experiencing increasing consumer expectations that are reshaping the responsibilities of organisations.  Demands from a new generation of employees for purpose in their work is bringing about wider debate concerning the role business should play in society.

The goal of all businesses is of course to make money, but could it possibly be true that those that have a purpose beyond profit tend to do better?

In a study titled “The Business Case for Purpose”, a team from Harvard Business Review together with EY’s Beacon Institute reported that “in those organizations where purpose had become a driver of strategy and decision-making, executives reported a greater ability to deliver revenue growth and drive successful innovation and ongoing transformation.” And, “Those companies able to harness the power of purpose to drive performance and profitability enjoy a distinct competitive advantage”.

The study defines purpose as “an aspirational reason for being which inspires and provides a call to action for an organisation and its partners and stakeholders, and provides benefit to local and global society”.

A declaration of this kind signals a welcome shift in mindset in doing business in general and highlights a change in corporate culture.  Could much of the corporate world be starting to unite under this common principle? Are we ever going to row in the same direction?

For meaningful transformation, it’s critical that purpose be embedded in the heart of the business. Establishing clarity about purpose, values, and the business model makes it work in practice. This may mean putting a social or environmental purpose as the core driver of the business. For others, it may mean delivering social impact alongside commercial goals. 

Whichever direction, it needs to be deeply embedded, so that businesses have a legal commitment to social purpose and in turn can reap the benefits of a more sustainable approach in the long term.

2020 was a turbulent year. Most of us alive today have seen nothing like it. From a global pandemic that upended the lives of virtually everyone on the planet to the recurrence of natural disasters that confirm just how much we have betrayed nature to the changing face of both work and wellbeing.

Whilst the last 12 months will cast a shadow stretching far beyond COVID-19, we have the opportunity to make some dramatic changes. Here are some of the challenges that now undoubtedly demand our attention.

Climate change has a new urgency

To meet the global climate goal established by the Paris Conference of net zero CO2 equivalent emissions by 2050, we need to cut emissions in half by 2030, which is about a seven or eight percent reduction a year.

Accounting for climate change vulnerabilities

Climate change has become an investment consideration impossible to ignore. With natural disasters growing in frequency and intensity, and global financial regulatory activity gaining momentum, investors are waking up to the implications of climate change. There is increasing acknowledgement that climate risk equals investment risk. This awareness is changing the shape of future investments, with environmental, social, governance (ESG) becoming a core criteria for investors, leading to new opportunities for people, products and services that provide a boost to the planet, as well as yield profitable results.

Climate change and the construction industry

The building and construction sector play a central role in the shift towards a low-carbon economy. The sector’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions account for approximately 40% of global GHG emissions (WBCSD 2018). The major contributors to these emissions are the materials used as well as the heating, cooling, and lighting of buildings and infrastructure.

The construction sector should take care to manage climate change challenges actively and take responsibility for its direct or induced carbon emissions.

Consumers appeal that purpose surpasses profit

Whilst the concept of purpose-led business is nothing new, profit with purpose is set to become the new norm. With rising pressure from millennials (now making up more than 40% of all consumers and influencing about £30billion in annual sales), it’s perhaps becoming clearer that business cannot thrive in a world where people don’t.

More support than ever to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

There are a huge number of resources out there for companies looking to brush up their knowledge of the goals, and advance toward the UN’s ambitious targets set by 2030.

SDG Academy, an online platform of free educational resources compiled by some of the world’s leading sustainability experts. Plus, the SDG Action manager, a free tool that walks you through the process of assessing your own performance toward the SDGs, including gaps in performance and suggestions for improvement. 

The concept of wellbeing has taken on new meaning

Even prior to the pandemic, a focus on individual health and wellbeing was set to be a major agenda. However, with the stress and instability created by the pandemic — plus the sudden remoteness of managers from their teams — the duty of care between companies and their employees has taken on a whole new dimension of importance, especially in relation to mental health and health inequalities.

New exciting opportunity position – System Trainer
Location: Hull office based
Full time permanent contract
Salary negotiable depending on experience, starting at £25,000 for entry level.
Hours: 8.30am-5pm preferred (open to flexible arrangements for the right candidate)


About Social Profit Calculator

Social Profit Calculator (SPC) is a consultancy and software company specialising in the measurement, monitoring and calculation of social, economic and environmental impact.


Our Social Value Calculator is accredited by Social Value UK and Social Value International, to provide robust and credible calculations of Social Value across all project stages, from planning to operation, asset value, fund management and end-user experience.


At SPC, we use our practical knowledge, experience and expertise to provide clients across all sectors with innovative, forward-thinking and deliverable social value policies and strategies. We work with businesses of all sizes to offer a comprehensive range of tender services: including procurement support, social value offers, HM Treasury Business Case appraisal support and bid writing.


We have a diverse client base across a range of sectors including construction, retail, finance, professional services, public sector and third sector organisations. Our target market is mostly in the construction and infrastructure sectors, although we work broadly too.

Social Value is a growth area, and we are a growing business. This means building a dynamic, inspiring culture where we celebrate diverse, bold thinking.


We are curious, creative and open to new ideas and ways of working, and it takes the skills of a collaborative team to deliver on what we can do.

Purpose of the Role
At Social Profit Calculator (SPC), we are committed to providing our customers with prompt and professional support, for both our consultancy service and software platform. We want to strengthen our team with the right individual who will play an integral role in on-boarding new customers, as well as liaising with existing customers and ensuring they are kept up to date on new developments with the system.


Knowledge and Skills
Knowledge -Training and Experience.
Skills – Communication and Relationship


Responsibilities

  • Create and deliver cutting edge training, working with clients to onboard them onto the SPC platform.
  • Assist the team with producing training materials – FAQS, How-to Guides – writing and managing internal / external content – videos, online, other.
  • Provide Customer Service, using your skills to help us provide support through our helpdesk.


Person Specification

  • Able to deliver training small to large groups.
  • Experience of creating full external training programmes.
  • Experience of software or technical training
  • Experience of delivering online training and creating online training material.
  • Technically minded and have an active interest in technology.
  • Attention to detail and ability to keep internal systems updated.
  • Good English and Maths skills [GCSE level C or above]
  • IT proficient – excellent working knowledge of MS Office, Email, Social Media, online portals and conferencing systems (Zoom, Microsoft Teams etc)
  • Great communicator – written, presentation and verbal communication skills – you will be presenting and meeting (digital first approach)
  • Experience in a similar field


Why join SPC?

  • A Company supported pension
  • 25 days holiday + bank holidays + your birthday off!
  • Tailored training & development
  • A digital-first and agile working environment
  • Being part of an entrepreneurial team that challenges you and gives you fantastic career progression
  • Family-friendly employer – SPC is the home of many parents who benefit from flexibility around their childcare responsibilities


Application Process
Please provide a CV, covering letter to Tom@socialprofitcalculator.co.uk.
We expect to conduct the recruitment process completely online.

Why do we build? Why develop society? Who reaps the benefit? This podcast looks at the new interest the construction industry is taking in quantifying and appreciating social value.

One of the biggest challenges for industry practitioners in creating social value on their projects is being able to understand what social value means for that project and what best practice delivery looks like. 

Guests Penny Anderson, Associate Director Social Value, Atkins, Peter Masonbrook, Head of Social Value, Faithful + Gould, and Simon Toplass, CEO, Pagabo, try to define what it is, talk about new legislation, and we hear from a framework provider that is putting social value at the core of its projects.


As part of the UK’s digital strategy, there is a growing expectation that transport and infrastructure projects will, as standard, include modern methods of construction as part of their processes. This, coupled with the renewed focus on social value following the release of the government’s Social Value Model has meant that constructors are increasingly faced with a challenge when reporting to clients. 

How can they include modern methods of construction and accurately report the value that they are generating? 

As part of a transformative collaboration of 25 partners together with Government, i3P and the Construction Innovation Hub, the TIES Living Lab is determined to increase the productivity and added value of transport infrastructure projects. Our new calculator is one of them.

Download our PDF to find out more about TIES, social value, modern methods of construction and Project 10.

Social Profit Calculator are very proud to be named as one of the 31 strategic partners collaborating in support of the Transport Infrastructure Efficiency Strategy Living Lab project, “TIES Living Lab”. This programme was announced by Minister of State, Andrew Stephenson last year and is designed to drive innovation across major infrastructure projects in the UK. Other collaborators include Department for Transport, Network Rail, Construction Innovation Hub, construction innovators Kier, MMC specialists Akerlof, along with academic experts from the University of Dundee and Leeds.

Maximising Opportunities

TIES Living Lab is an alliance that aims to fuse the very best data and digitalisation techniques that UK infrastructure initiatives generate. This intelligence is critical in transforming the UK construction agenda and improving productivity. 

Advanced logistic approaches aim to identify and tackle systematic issues that hinder innovation in construction. TIES Living Lab plans to provide the tools and systems the construction industry needs to improve cost efficiency of projects and help identify Modern Methods of Construction to reduce time delays, cost overruns, reduce projects’ carbon footprints and improve safety skills for construction workers.

A Transformative Collaboration

Over the next two years, the partnership will invest more than £16 million in new approaches, tools, data systems, operations and processes. It will bring together industry experts and business leaders with academic institutions to develop and establish best practice in the way we utilise innovation within transport infrastructure. Furthermore, creating potential applications beyond transport infrastructure, and into other projects.

Andrew Stephenson commented:

“As we begin our green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, the need to level-up our country and boost economic prosperity has only increased, and we are determined that we don’t just rebuild, we rebuild smarter. The Living Lab is a great opportunity for industry and academics to work together to embrace new more productive, more efficient and more sustainable ways of delivering transport infrastructure.”

Our Chief Operating Officer, Sarah Coughlan thinks this is a move towards a greater understanding of the whole life value and is another welcome advancement for the industry.

She says:

“SPC has been working with the TIES Living Lab and the DfT since last year. We are working with a host of industry and academic partners to push forward the social value agenda in infrastructure.”

This strategic, scalable and sector wide approach intends to be a catalyst for real cultural change, shifting focus within infrastructure delivery decision-making from the costs of construction to a greater understanding of its whole life value.

Social value has long been considered a ‘nice to have’ when it comes to construction projects, but thanks to the introduction of the government’s Construction Playbook in December 2020, that is starting to change according to our industry expert. Chief operating officer here at Social Profit Calculator, Sarah Coughlan, says that the playbook has given public organisations across the board confidence to demand social value is embedded into their schemes – and that the private sector is also starting to take note. 

There is no doubt that the construction industry has slowly been embracing social value and working hard to include it within the scope of a project, but it hasn’t necessarily been put at the heart of delivery. Instead, it was seen as something that ‘should’ be included but wasn’t essential – unless delivery was taking place via a framework where social value forms a key part of reporting.

Embracing a change in ethos

Since the introduction of the playbook, however, this is starting to change. The difference when it comes to publicly procured works really is like night and day. Social value is already of huge importance when it comes to framework appointments with providers such as Pagabo requiring it, but this approach hasn’t necessarily been replicated elsewhere. 

However, we are now very much starting to see that shift from social value being something that must be ‘considered’ to that which must be ‘explicitly evaluated’ and built into a project from the outset – across the whole of the public sector, not just those schemes being procured by central government. 

We are starting to see that the playbook has had a really positive impact on local authorities too. While it relates specifically to centrally procured public works, it has given many local authorities added confidence to demand that their suppliers deliver against the policies outlined by central government and put social value at the heart of delivery. This isn’t something we have seen before and it is an important shift.

It isn’t just the public sector that is making change either. The private sector is also becoming increasingly keen to ‘do good’ through development – there is a recognition that social value isn’t just something that those working in the public sector do, but also something the wider industry must take responsibility for, and provides an opportunity for the private sector too.  

Understanding social value

In the past, social value has been somewhat of a mystery that often wasn’t fully understood, but again this is really starting to change now. Previously, a monetary figure would have been put against it for a project, but that simply didn’t cover the full breadth of what social value means and the impact it has on local communities in terms of things like job creation, environmental issues and the long-lasting legacy left behind. This is probably the biggest change that is taking place at the moment; there is a real move away from the need to monetise everything as we look towards a much more holistic view of what social value entails. 

“Organisations procuring works can now much more easily consider what it is that is important to them and the communities in which they are active.”

Annex A of the playbook outlines five key themes for considering social value: COVID-19 recovery, tackling economic inequality, fighting climate change, equal opportunity and wellbeing, and make it very clear what ‘good’ looks like within those different areas which is a much-needed change that will undoubtedly help shape what social value looks like for a particular scheme.

In giving structure to social value calculation, much of the mystery that has previously enshrouded it has been removed. Organisations procuring works can now much more easily consider what it is that is important to them and the communities in which they are active and consider their priorities more effectively within the matrix outlined by the playbook – something which aligns well with the early engagement of local supply chain and its knowledge of local priorities. 

We know that social value looks different to everyone and what benefits one community wouldn’t suit another, but there is now clarity that was lacking previously and that has already started to have a positive impact. In legislating at central government level, we are seeing a ‘trickle down’ effect to local authorities and into the private sector as the discussion about social value has been brought to the fore.

Legislation to require ‘doing good’

This drive towards really understanding what social value means for our communities and the requirement for ‘explicit evaluation’ of social value is a hugely important one – and it is very encouraging that we are seeing local authorities and other organisations taking on board the new guidance. 

However, if this progress is something we want to see continued and replicated across the industry, it is vital that the legislation extends to cover all public sector procurement. While we have certainly seen many local authorities embracing it, only by legislating will we see changes adopted wholesale. 

Measuring social impact

The progress that has been made since the release of the playbook has been significant and is paving the way towards a more responsible built environment sector which puts social value at the heart of delivery, but it is important that we continue to move forwards and see the industry embrace real social value and demonstrating its real impact. 

This is what we’re always striving to do with our software, ensuring that we work to make improvements in line with the latest updates and trends so that we can provide the true measurement on social value. We’re also looking at this more closely with a future-forward vision through the development of our ‘Smart Construction Calculator’. This sees us working with companies from throughout the supply chain to gain historical data on Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) projects in order to create a benchmark moving forwards for new and upcoming projects. 

The key is collaboration. If businesses are more forthcoming with existing information, and work as a collaborative collective to develop these benchmarks, we can get a true picture of what good and true social value means to every area of the country.

Sarah Coughlan, Chief Operating Officer of Social Profit Calculator

More information available here

Our new team member, Angus Townsend, joins us in his new role as SPC’s Senior Consultant. Angus enjoys eating crisps, watching cricket and stumbling around after monkeys.

Let’s get to know him a little bit more…

How would your 10-year-old self react to what you do now? 

They would be fairly confused by the concept of social value and probably just ask me to get them some more crisps. But they would be satisfied if I told them it was a good thing, and would then run back off into the woods to whack a tree with a stick.

What’s your favourite part of your workday? 

It can be very satisfying to get stuck into a piece of work which requires some problem solving, even more so if done with someone else. 

What motivates you to work hard?

The positive nature of SPC’s work really helps, as does the desire to give my best and try to maximise my positive impact. The harder you work the more you get out of things. 

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever heard?

I can’t actually think of a single piece of advice that has cut through and been defining. Something I like people talking about and often see enacted is the desire to keep learning and developing no matter at what stage of their career they are at or how much they appear to have mastered something. Keep working on those off-cutters Jimmy.

Your top tip for wellbeing in lockdown?

Maybe surrounding yourself with plants, they really do seem to help with the workday mood. I have always hot desked in the office so haven’t been able to encase myself in them previously. It is also useful to start on that journey of keeping things alive, we are currently moving to step two and getting some fish and axolotls (with a chameleon on the horizon).

How do you address the work-life balance?

Definitely a challenge but I think it helps living with my partner and a couple of flatmates. They work pretty healthy hours so I can get pulled along into their schedule and you end up helping each other switch out of that workday mindset. It’s also not easy telling my partner I can’t watch the latest episode of Married at First Sight because I’m working late.

How would your friends describe you?

Socially valuable.

What show are you currently binge-watching?

I would like to highlight some of the hard-hitting dramas and documentaries we have been watching but really we get most pleasure from binging reality TV. Currently working our way through the aforementioned Married at First Sight (Australia), Below Deck and RuPaul’s Drag Race.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?

We want to hire you? I just can’t beat you at Settlers of Catan?

What’s your favourite way to spend a day off?

It is usually a split between the extremes of spending the day in bed watching tv and eating crisps or going off to explore somewhere we haven’t been before.

Thanks for taking the time Angus. Welcome to the team and good luck in your new role!

Our new team member, Mica Schultz, joins us this month in her new appointment as SPC’s Technical Customer Support Advisor. Mica enjoys going to restaurants, fashion, and binge-watching series in under 24 hours!

Let’s get to know her a little bit more…

How would your 10-year-old self react to what you do now? 

I think 10-year-old me would firstly be confused as to why I’m not a professional gymnast, but then would be proud that I work for a company that plays an integral role in evidencing the positive impacts of projects that predominantly help others.

What’s your favourite part of your workday? 

Daily stand up for sure, I love that everyone comes together in the morning and discusses what they have planned. It not only keeps me on track and sets me up for the day but its also interesting to know what my colleagues are getting up to, keeps everyone in the loop and identifies where others knowledge or skills could make someone’s task easier. 

What motivates you to work hard?

Achieving goals and seeing results. I’ve always been a competitive person and that transpires into my work when meeting targets and doing my best. I enjoy seeing the outcomes of my efforts both in and out of work.

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever heard?

To not be scared of going out of your comfort zone, I’m still learning to do this myself, but I’ve found doing something I wouldn’t usually often gives me new skills or helps me find something I enjoy which I wouldn’t necessarily have found without pushing myself to say yes.

Your top tip for wellbeing in lockdown?

Staying busy, I fill my time with pointless tasks just to make my days seem most productive, making my bed is sometimes my biggest achievement but who cares at least it’s something! I love to get out of the house and take advantage of my daily exercise, usually with a walk though – I use the word exercise lightly 😂

How do you address the work-life balance? 

I am fairly good at separating work and my personal life. I take time on the weekends away from emails as its important to have a total break after a busy week to come back fresh and motivated when the new week starts. I sometimes keep myself available casually throughout the weeknights over email, as with a role like mine it’s important to stay accessible and I enjoy being there for those who need so it doesn’t seem like I’m working.

Which of your personality traits are you most proud of? 

I’m very enthusiastic and energetic when I get my mind set on something and it’s something I enjoy I’m very ‘full-on’. My confidence has always been one of my favourite things about myself, I’m chatty, friendly and can be found with a smile on my face 99% of the time. I would like to think I was pretty funny but I know a lot of people who’d disagree. Despite my outgoing traits, I am also empathetic and proud to be a good listener.

Who would play you in the movie about your life?

Emma Roberts.

What’s on your bucket list?

Orlando, Florida, done right, going to every single theme park in and around the city. I went when I was about 6 but can’t remember much and was probably too small to go on anything.

What’s your favourite way to spend a day off?

A long walk ending with brunch with my family. Then spend some time chilling with my partner watching whatever series we’re currently obsessed with before we head out for tea. Then from tea going out to meet our friends for a drink and a good dance!

Thanks for taking the time Mica. Welcome to the team and good luck in your new role!