Q&A with Sara Lawton from Construction Impact Framework

Q&A with Sara Lawton from Construction Impact Framework

Posted 16th November 2018

On the Social Value UK blog, we work with our members to highlight how organisations are embedding social value and the Social Value Principles into their activities. This feature focuses on Sara Lawton of Construction Impact Framework looking at how CIF has been developed, with social value at the core.

We had a small chat with Sara Lawton of Construction Impact Framework (CIF) about what makes CIF unique and why social value is important to CIF.

1.) What is CIF and how is it different from traditional procurement frameworks?

CIF is a purpose-driven business; the most obvious differential from other frameworks is the fact that up to 50% of profits are ploughed into social projects/initiatives that create social value.

A less obvious differential is the fact CIF is led by a team who have many years public-sector experience devising and delivering projects that have impacted on key public-sector priorities such as; health, employment, education and crime.

Most construction frameworks derive social value solely from the economic outputs (apprenticeships) delivered by supply partners (contractors) during the construction phase. Although CIF recognises the value of such economic outputs we do not necessarily view this as social value. We believe when harnessed correctly, social value is an effective vehicle to address some of today’s deep-rooted societal issues.

2.) Why is social value important to you?

I have always worked on delivering social projects; I want to be someone who makes a positive impact on the lives of others.

3.) Why did you join Social Value UK?

We joined Social Value UK because we want to measure and record our impact following the principles of social value in a comprehensive and consistent manner.

By improving how we measure our impact, we can also help our members to better understand the impact they are having on peoples’ lives by procuring from a socially driven business.

The other benefit of joining Social Value UK is that it will help us ensure we are making decisions based on maximising social value.

4.) Why would you recommend CIF?

Understanding poverty from the perspective of those experiencing poverty was the point of origin for CIF; as a team our understanding of how poverty effects society and public-sector services make a real difference to how we operate. Although we have to be financially sustainable, we are not driven by making money, we are driven by making a difference. Together with our public-sector partners, we are sustaining community prevention and intervention services making communities safer, stronger, healthier and economically active – this is something we are very proud of.

Organisations’ frequently seek cost-benefit analysis to justify the application of social value, however, cost benefits or ‘savings are secondary to CIF.

Instead, our investments are driven by us asking ‘how will we impact?’ and this is because coming from a public sector background we understand effective social investment involving stakeholders naturally results in cost savings.

All of the above along with our reputation as an ethical business that delivers a compliant routeway to procure quality construction works and services is why I would recommend CIF and why we are becoming the framework of choice.

If you like to find out more about CIF, check out their website www.ciframework.co.uk.

If you would like to learn more about social value in procurement, please get in touch: