Social Value Vital to Combatting Climate Change and Supporting Green Recovery

25th March 2021

Our new guide produced for SUEZ recycling and recovery UK reveals the significant potential for social value to become integral to environmental services contracts and to help local authorities address the dual challenges of climate change and a green recovery.

Although a feature of the public procurement landscape since 2012, recent additions to the Social Value Act have pushed social value up the agenda. With social value still in its relative infancy and a variety of approaches being applied during procurements, the Increasing the social value delivered by environmental services contracts: A Guide for local authorities aims to help local authorities understand social value and go on to effectively deliver meaningful value for their local areas, highlighting best practice examples from around the country.

It looks at three distinct phases of a contract’s lifetime – planning and preparation; tender and procurement; and delivery – making a series of recommendations for each stage. The actions identified are designed to embed social value from the outset of a contract, maximise the potential gains for local communities, evaluate tender submissions and go on to see value delivered in a way that retains flexibility to respond to changing circumstances.

With the new requirement on local authorities to consider how to deliver social value through contracts at a time when they are looking to both support a green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and tackle climate change, the potential to secure tangible and lasting social, environmental and economic improvements through their environmental services contracts is clear.

John Scanlon, Chief Executive Officer for SUEZ recycling and recovery UK, said: “The essential services that our sector delivers touch every household in the UK, making it a natural candidate to create and embed meaningful social value in local communities up and down the country.

“Social value has grown to become a fundamental element of our business strategy at SUEZ and has the potential to play a key role in a green recovery from the pandemic. It’s imperative that businesses large and small challenge themselves to identify what more they can do – from enhancing the career aspirations of the next generation and creating local employment opportunities, to improving biodiversity and coordinating community litter picks – there are actions we can all take to benefit the communities in which we operate. This guide highlights the significant opportunities that lie ahead. By sharing experiences, working in partnership, and continuing to innovate, we can go on to deliver even greater social value for local communities.”

David Pietropaoli, Head of Procurement at Eunomia, said: “Eunomia was pleased to be asked by SUEZ to research and produce this guide, recognising the importance of delivering additional social, economic and environmental benefits to communities through local authority environmental services contracts. For many years we have helped local authorities with re-tenders of their long-term, high-value waste collection and recycling services contracts, helping them to push to deliver the maximum social value possible through contract delivery. We hope that by sharing the findings of this research, more local authorities will be inspired to explore the opportunities available for delivering social value in their environmental services contracts, using this guide as a framework to do so.”

Featured image: SUEZ recycling and recovery UK