If you cannot deliver added social value and demonstrate this, you will cease to win as much work, says leading contractor BAM on the opening day of the Welsh Government’s Social Value Conference (Tuesday November 16).

The contractor, which recently completed Cardiff University’s highly sustainable Centre for Student Life, is sponsoring the conference and is hosting two workshops to help small and medium Welsh businesses.

“Social value is now explicitly evaluated at tender. Operating in the private sector solely for profit without a compelling purpose and bold actions will restrict the work you win. Contractors like us are leveraging the additional social benefits we can offer to create social value in local communities.  

“As always with the construction sector, we can’t work alone. Each project may involve twenty or thirty small and medium sized companies that work for us to deliver positive, sustainable change for people.

“This includes creating employment, opening doors for underrepresented groups, and supporting local initiatives that build community cohesion and social wellbeing.”

Dannielle Aberg

Head of Social Impact, BAM

During the 31 months it spent creating the £34m Centre for Student Life, for example, BAM employed 1750 people and worked with 80 subcontractors, predominantly local firms.

This generated some £400,741 of social value through creating jobs for those without them, establishing apprenticeships, placing orders with local firms, and delivering other benefits to community groups and charities.  BAM helped a prison rehabilitation scheme at the University for example and raised funds for the British Heart Foundation.

Ms Aberg added that social value is already being delivered, but part of the challenge is to create clear ways of capturing and reporting it without getting bogged down in measurement. 

“We need to resource and support our staff and the companies that work with us to plan for and deliver impact that offers genuine sustainable change.”

BAM is running two open access workshops providing support and resource to help build the capacity of the Welsh supply chain, ensuring they can focus on creating positive impact that leaves a legacy in the communities where they work. Justin Price who leads BAM’s team in Wales, is leading a keynote address on social value in the private sector and taking part in a panel on the same subject. BAM leads two workshops on small and medium enterprises and social enterprises.

 Places on the workshops can be booked for free using the links below: