Announcing Dominvs Group as Social Value Pioneers

Announcing Dominvs Group as Social Value Pioneers

Posted 14th February 2022

Social Value UK is proud to announce Dominvs Group as a Social Value Pioneer! Ahead of their joining, Social Value UK spoke to them about their social value journey so far.

“Within Dominvs Group, philanthropy is a core value that shapes and drives our approach to business. We create thoughtfully designed schemes whilst working collaboratively with local communities and our supply chain to ensure we create positive social, economic and environmental outcomes.

Our charitable arm, Dominvs in Action, was founded in 2011. This platform will continue to develop and maximise social value opportunities across our schemes. We understand how the Public Services Act 2012 and the recently adopted Government Social Value Model sets a precedent for social value within the real estate sector. It has become increasingly important for us to embed social value within the culture of our business, enabling us to go above and beyond its consideration, to evaluate, develop and improve our social value creation.

In July 2021, Dominvs acquired SeerBridge, a Social Value and Community Benefits Consultancy to embed social value into the culture of the business and across all our projects. This acquisition was driven by our desire to change the narrative around how developers create spaces and places for all and to maximise the social impact and benefits for society.

Dominvs identifies social value with a myriad of activities and campaigns working with local businesses and other local stakeholders, including providing job opportunities, empowering people from disadvantaged backgrounds, developing neighbourhood activities, promoting local businesses, endorsing community champions and supporting local causes.”

Why do you think social value is important? In your organisation, your industry or in wider society?

Social value is important in all aspects of society and should be embedded across all industries in the private, public and voluntary sectors. We know the key to unlocking social value is cross sector collaboration, where each industry can play to their strengths to create the most impact. Not only does the social value movement provide a route into achieving equality and improving wellbeing, but its intrinsic link to the environment means it can also significantly reduce environmental degradation.

With the built environment being a colossal player in the UK’s economy, contributing to 7% of the GDP, the industry creates a huge opportunity for developers such as ourselves to create sustainable social value by investing in the local communities in which we develop. The principles of social value are vital to implement across the development lifecycle as it ensures local communities and wider stakeholders are involved and therefore inform decision making whilst ensuring transparency and accountability. This in turn creates positive outcomes that can be replicated to create more value in future projects and accountability of any negative outcomes. What’s more, the average life time of a building is 120 years. The built environment therefore creates a significant opportunity to create a legacy of social value that not only positively affects its current stakeholders, but many more in it’s preceding years.

Does your organisation have a background in social value/social accounting/SROI?

Yes. Our Director of Social Value and Community Investment is an Accredited Social Return on Investment Practitioner, our Social Value Associate, Georgia Bird is an Associate Practitioner and Rachel Harrison, our Marketing Manager is currently in the process of completing the online pre-accreditation course.

We are pushing the social value boundaries in all the work we undertake, and we have embarked on an interesting and in our view pioneering research project with Real Worth, which will identify what features of PBSA create social value and how we can utilise our findings to create places and experiences for students. This project involves direct engagement with students and partnering with University’s across the country to ensure the stakeholders of our developments are informing design and delivery.

To date, we have not completed any SROIs as Dominvs, but have completed two impact sheets that were created using the Housing Association Charitable Trust (HACT) Social Value Bank and the National Themes Outcomes and Measures. (TOMS)

The first impact sheet was in relation to Gaia’s Garden, a community-led project on our site in Holborn in partnership with Play Nice (creative agency),Culture Mile and the City of London. The garden was built by 230 young volunteers from across London and built in 6 weeks. Gaia’s Garden hosted a 9-week programme of events teaching attendees about sustainability, programmed by a diverse cohort of young creatives from across London. We used the HACT Social Value Bank to provide a metric from the data Play Nice and Culture Mile collected through interviews with the young stakeholders involved in the project, including volunteers and those who were employed during the programming.

The second impact sheet measured the social value we created through our recent meanwhile use project in Nine Elms, the Nine Elms Community Corner. This project saw us build strong relationships with two key community partners and local artists to deliver a temporary art installation and a community hoarding project. We used a combination of the HACT Social Value Bank and National TOMs to provide a metric from the data we collected from the two community partners and the local artists when we asked them to provide feedback on their experience.

What are your plans for your SVUK membership?

We hope to use our SVUK membership to make ourselves more known in the social value space with likeminded organisations and individuals, to ensure our knowledge of social value is up to date and to share best (and worst) practice.

Each stage of the development lifecycle creates a unique opportunity for us to get creative with our social value initiatives, which our dedicated Social Value and Community Investment team drive through our Dominvs in Action vehicle. Whilst we have employees who are experienced in using existing social value measurement tools, we know there is always room for improvement and we would like to create our own bespoke measurement framework that we can use to begin setting social value targets across all our projects. We hope to achieve this with the skills and knowledge sharing that come with an SVUK membership.

“We are thrilled to be part of the SVUK network. Sharing ideas, learnings and projects with likeminded individuals and partners enables us highlight and demonstrate the need of more Social Value, especially within the Built Environment.”

Dominvs Group

For more information please reach out to Rachel Harrison via [email protected] or Georgia Bird via [email protected].

Posted 14th February 2022