Social Value & Procurement

Spending more money locally and spending through organisations that offer positive social and environmental impact is at the heart of the OIEP mission.

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The challenge

The organisations in the partnership spend money on goods and services each year. The decisions they make on how and where to spend their money has a huge impact on the local economy, the environment and society as a whole.

Why is OIEP looking at social value?

The Social Value Act means all public sector organisations must consider social value when making decisions. That means decisions to award contracts, lease buildings, or issue grants, can be influenced by whether the recipient will positively impact on local social and environmental outcomes. This creates a huge opportunity to put people and planet at the heart of the local economy. You can find out more about the Social Value Act here.

What we're doing

Partners across the OIEP share a commitment to valuing social and environmental impact but making these kinds of changes can be challenging and may go against the grain of many years of established practice, raising a number of questions for the organisation:

  • “What do we even mean by social value?” 
  • “What are the things we want to value locally?”
  • “What is the right balance between economic value, value for money, and social/environmental value?”
  • “How can we transparently and fairly make decisions that compare different types of social value (aka comparing apples and oranges)?”
  • “How do we know which organisations can add social value?”
  • “How should we engage them?”
  • “How can we measure the impact of decisions and prove the social value added?”

By bringing together major local buyers, suppliers, socially purposeful businesses, community leaders, and local organisers, we're building a local movement, sharing best practice and working through the challenges together to maximise the reach of social value in the local economy. This is a coalition of the willing so get in touch if you want to know more.

Get in touch with the OIEP to find out more

why should my organisation be interested?

Positively impacting on social outcomes is not just the ‘right thing to do’. Understanding and prioritising social value in your business brings many other direct benefits:

Gain a competitive advantage: increasingly customers want to buy from organisations that 'do good'. Having a clear social value offer will help win future contracts.

Future proofing: developing your social and environmental credentials will keep you ahead of legislative changes.

Recruitment:
 staff want to work in a place that lives by its values.

Retention: research shows that staff are more committed and tend to stay in jobs where they feel they are making a wider contribution.

Resilience: organisations with clearly aligned social purpose have been shown to be more resilient in crisis.

Access to finance and grants: having a social (as well as economic) purpose and clearly articulated 'social value' offer can give your organisation access to funding and financing opportunities that aren't available to other businesses.

Our working group has identified several challenges, on both the demand and supply side: organisations with the buying power, as well as those who can potentially add social value if they were to be included in the supply chains.

  • Awareness of how procurement and supply chains can provide benefits to all and the ways in which this can be effectively achieved.
  • Barriers within organisations that prevent ambition from making it happen, including lack of top-level policy (for non-public sector bodies), conflicting priorities, lack of highly directed guidance with evidence of impact, and complex processes.
  • Measuring and monitoring the value and impact.
  • The need for support and resources to: find appropriate organisations to buy from and supply to; access information and signposting, including inspirational case studies on peers; seek direct support on the topic including brokerage, challenges, questions etc.

what can i/we do?

Your organisation is already generating lots of social and environmental impact, both positive and negative. That could be as a result of the way people are employed, the wages they're paid, how you relate to your customers or service users, the local causes you're involved in or supporting, the materials and energy you use, and/or how company is owned, uses its profits/surplus, and makes decisions.

There are therefore myriad ways to increase the social and environmental value your organisation generates.

Suppliers can generate more social value by opening up job opportunities to different audiences, giving support to local projects and causes, or thinking about the structure and governance of your organisation to make it more inclusive, regenerative, or distributive by design.

Large buyers can adopt policies and practices that encourage positive market behaviours, creating opportunities for social pioneers and establishing fertile ground for a flourishing social economy.

Wherever you are in your social value journey you'll find resources and tools that can help you take the next step.

Use our guide to creating social value as a BuyerUse our guide to creating social value as a supplier

related actions

Find examples of organisations who are making positive change, or programmes your organisation can get involved in.

B Corps

Certified B Corporations, or B Corps, are companies verified by B Lab to meet high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.

Website
Organisation
Go there  →

Business and Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC)

Free resources and support for new and existing businesses or anyone with a business idea in Oxfordshire.

Website
Support
Go there  →

Buy Social Corporate Challenge

A group of high-profile businesses is aiming to collectively spend £1 billion with social enterprises through their procurement

Website
Guidance
Go there  →

CEP News

Oxford North’s plan to help more local people into construction jobs

Website
Example
Go there  →

Community Employment Plans

Community Employment Plans (CEPs) aim to ensure that local people can better access to job opportunities. This resource includes OxLEP's Community Employment Plan evidence paper.

Website
Guidance
Go there  →

Community Employment Plans (CEPs) - Developers handbook

Community Employment Plans (CEPs) aim to enhance training, employment and skills opportunities resulting from major development and generate inclusive economic activities for local communities in Oxfordshire. This handbook provides guidance and explains the process of developing a CEP.

PDF
Guidance
Go there  →

Food Doing Good

An example of community wealth building in action. Food Doing Good provide a catering service committed to a vibrant, healthy and sustainable food culture for extra care housing residents.

Website
Example
Go there  →

Match my project matchmaking platform

Oxford City Council have launched a platform called Match my Project which makes it easier for our suppliers to find local beneficiaries for the social value they can offer.

Website
Organisation
Go there  →

OSEP

OSEP CIC is a Social Enterprise, set up to support social entrepreneurs, Social Enterprises, enterprising charities and purposeful business across Oxfordshire – All trading as a way to address social and environmental challenges.

Website
Organisation
Go there  →

Owned By Oxford

Owned by Oxford is working to build a community-led economy in our City. We are a partnership of grass roots community enterprises and infrastructure projects working with larger anchor institutions, to test out and innovate new ideas.

Website
Organisation
Go there  →

OxLEP

OxLEP Business operates as the Growth Hub for Oxfordshire, simplifying the business support landscape and helping individuals and businesses to easily connect.

Website
Organisation
Go there  →

OxLEP Business Support Tool

Complete this business tool to get targeted help and advice no matter what stage you are at - it will signpost you to the to the most appropriate business support, grant schemes and events.

Website
Tool
Go there  →

ROBIN

ROBIN (Responsible Oxfordshire Business Involvement Network) is a network of like-minded people from organisations across all sectors that was set up in 2009.

Website
Organisation
Go there  →

Social Enterprise UK

Social Enterprise UK (SEUK) is the leading authority on social enterprises in the UK. They champion the cause of social enterprises.

Website
Organisation
Go there  →

Social Value Portal

Social Value Portal offers a comprehensive solution for measuring and reporting social value.

Website
Organisation
Go there  →

Social Value Toolkit for District Councils

Social Value Toolkit For District Councils provides guidance for district councils in the UK on how to incorporate social value into their procurement processes.

Website
Guidance
Go there  →

Social Value UK

Social Value UK is a professional body dedicated to promoting and understanding social value and its impact in the United Kingdom.

Website
Organisation
Go there  →

Supply Change

Supply Change is a UK-based organisation dedicated to fostering impactful supply chains.

Website
Organisation
Go there  →

The Business Case for Circular Procurement

Adopting a circular approach to procurement allows businesses to become more sustainable while delivering business benefits.

Website
Guidance
Go there  →

Chaired by: Grant Hayward

Grant Hayward

Following a 30 year career in mainstream business, Grant relocated to Oxfordshire and for the past 10 years has been supporting Social Enterprises, enterprising charities and social entrepreneurs. He is a B Leader, helping business to become certified B Corps. OSEP is a Community Interest Company, set up to support enterprising charities, social entrepreneurs and purposeful businesses to have more positive impacts on society and the environment.

Amey

A leading provider of full life-cycle engineering, operations and decarbonisation solutions, for transport infrastructure and complex facilities.

https://www.amey.co.uk

Aspire Oxfordshire

Aspire supports people in Oxfordshire facing homelessness and disadvantage to secure fulfilling employment and safe housing.

https://www.aspireoxfordshire.org

Blake Morgan

Blake Morgan is a leading national law firm.

https://www.blakemorgan.co.uk/

Blenheim Palace and Blenheim Estate

Blenheim Palace and Estate aims to share this magnificent Palace and to conserve and protect it for future generations.

https://www.blenheimestate.com

Bouygues

Bouygues UK is an innovative business working across the development and construction sector.

https://www.bouygues-uk.com/

Explosive Learning

Explosive Learning offer independent learning and development consultancy and bespoke training to government, industry and individuals.

https://elsbusinesstraining.co.uk/

ODS

Oxford Direct Services (ODS) is a company wholly owned by its sole shareholder, Oxford City Council working to deliver cost-effective public and commercial services.

https://www.odsgroup.co.uk/

OSEP

OSEP CIC is a social enterprise, set up to support social entrepreneurs, Social Enterprises, enterprising charities and purposeful business across Oxfordshire.

https://www.osep.org.uk/

OxLep

Helping to create favourable economic conditions to create new jobs in Oxfordshire.

https://www.oxfordshirelep.com/

Oxford City Council

Oxford City Council is the local government authority for the city of Oxford.

https://www.oxford.gov.uk/

Oxford Hub

Working to build a more equal, resilient and connected Oxford.

https://www.oxfordhub.org/

Oxford University Hospitals Foundation Trust

Oxford University Hospitals is one of the largest NHS teaching trusts in England.

https://www.ouh.nhs.uk/

Oxfordshire County Council

Oxfordshire County Council is the local authority for the county of Oxfordshire.

https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/

Oxwed

Oxwed (Oxford West End Development) LLP is a joint venture company owned by Nuffield College and Oxford City Council and owner of the majority of land that lies between Oxpens Road and the railway line.

https://www.oxpensoxford.uk/

RAW

RAW manufactures furniture for many of the largest UK hospitality brands, corporate offices and institutions. They also operate circular economy focused recycling and clearance services. 75% of RAW's employees have walked life's toughest paths. Everything RAW does has social value and sustainability built-in as standard. They also operate an amazing youth provision resulting in a full-circle positive impact for people and the planet.

https://www.raw-workshop.co.uk/

Soha Housing

Soha Housing is a community-based mutualised housing association working in and around Oxfordshire.

https://www.soha.co.uk/

University of Oxford

Oxford University provides world-class research and education to benefit society on a local, regional, national and global scale.

https://www.ox.ac.uk/