Posted 21st December 2022
Our Private Sector Lead, Charlotte Österman, shares her thoughts on the year that’s been.
As we’re now closing up the year that has been, why not grab a festive drink and let’s reflect on what has happened. 2022 was for many of us, a year slightly less tainted by pandemics, but we entered new phase where uncertainty was still prevalent with geopolitical instability and national political turmoil. Shortage of workers, inflation and soaring energy prices were only some of the challenges I’ve heard businesses speak about. Nonetheless, the social value agenda didn’t fall off the radar and in fact, we have had a strong increase in private sector membership.
As we reflect, let’s dive into some of the updates I’d like to share with you:
- Social Value Management Certificate interest increased. I’m seeing more organisations in the private sector start to take Principle 7 seriously and think about how to verify the result and systems. As a technical go-to-resource for private sector support, I’ve had a significant increase in questions about what this Certificate is and how to achieve it. Among some of the rising stars, we have Hanson who joined our membership, implemented new systems and within only a few months we’re already certified.
- Value Toolkit launched. Again, a huge thanks to our experts that a couple of years ago supported the definition of Social Capital that went into this cross-industry project for value-based decision-making across a built environment project life cycle. These free tools and resources are now available.
- Built Environment Thought Leadership Group took a new structure and emphasised People. This year our partner RealWorth proposed a series of workshops zooming in on Principle 1 and in three educational webinars shared and discussed this with the TLG’s participants.
- SDGs more linked to what we do. The central government Social Value Model already cross-references the Sustainable Development Goals for procurers to work with, but 2022 became the year when we got more resources from Social Value International and the management emphasis of impact became stronger through the SDG Impact Standards for Enterprise.
- ESG discussions and debates going strong. As we’ve seen an increase in influence and over 1/3 of assets now being channelled through an ESG lens, we’ve discussed and debated this with our membership through an ESG conference, Social Value International’s ESG month and in workshop delivery. Our members have fed into many of the important consultation internationally, such as ISSB’s.
- Conference mania. OK, not a bad mania, but we did really ramp up our conference schedule and organised two full private sector conferences on top of the annual MemEx event – where our members networked, presented and shared challenges and solutions. It was fantastic to see and feel the energy of the discussions both live and online.
- Increase in membership. Our overall membership numbers rose and in the private sector we went from 97 at the end of 2021 to 116 at the time of writing. This is a 20% increase and means that we around 70% of our organisational members are from the private sector. Amongst these new members we had a clear new uptake in the tech sector especially, with new members such as Microsoft, SocialOptic and Voi, but others that joined included Deloittes, KPMG and Samtaler.
So as my brew is slowly getting cold, I’ll stop listing things now at point seven. I know this does not capture the all the details of our work, but I hope it is enough to see how proud I am of the engagement of our private sector members – who are not only becoming more in numbers – but are increasingly taking further steps to embed meaningful social value practices into their work.
For 2023, we at SVUK will continue to support with more events, conference, workshops, tailored support and – stay tuned – a new website and online community!
But what would you like to see next year? Don’t forget to respond to our Members Survey (cash prizes up for grabs)!
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Prosperous New Year. We look forward to continue working with you in 2023.
Posted 21st December 2022