Social value is all about making a positive change in our communities.
It’s a culture that runs throughout our business, with our people involved in initiatives ranging from site visits and trading with social enterprises, to mentoring and volunteering.
Our community investment managers work tirelessly to ensure we all contribute to generating social value and that our projects are making a lasting difference to the community.
total social and economic value added (2022)
spent with social enterprises (2022)
number of social enterprises we work with (2022)
junior and secondary children engaged and inspired (2022)
By considering social value in our business decisions, including the way we employ staff, engage with communities and buy products and services, we can cultivate a more sustainable and inclusive society, and demonstrate that business done well can be a force for good.”
Head of Social Value
WORKING TOGETHER TO INSPIRE CHANGE
Creating the places, communities and businesses of tomorrow
Our approach to social value is rooted in our belief that how we do business, is as important as what we do.
Our programmes and activities are focused on creating work and training opportunities; building sustainable communities through employment, skills and awareness, and advocacy of trade with the social enterprise sector.
Our social value strategy ‘Creating Opportunities’ incorporates three areas of focus:
- Creating opportunities for those furthest from the workforce.
- Lead our industry in striving for fairer payment by achieving Living Wage Recognised Service Provider status (RSP).
- Engaging 25,000 young people about careers in the built environment by 2025.
- Launching a primary school engagement programme, Build Yourself: Junior, to help encourage children to consider construction as a career.
- Meeting the target of having spent £45m with social enterprises over 10 years, by 2025.
- Piloting a new Mentoring for Growth programme, supporting Wates employees so they can act as business mentors to help at least five identified Social Enterprises to achieve national scale by 2025.
Armed Forces Covenant
Pledging our support to current and former members of the armed forces, their families and reservists.
We are a patron of the UK’s professional body for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (CRS), promoting brilliance in CRS, by individuals and organisations.
Care Leaver Covenant
A promise to provide support for those who have been ‘looked after children’ aged 16-25, to help them to live independently.
We are the only business in our industry to have received the Queens Award for Enterprise for sustainable development three times, as well as being named Organisation of the Year by the Social Mobility Awards.
We were one of the founding members of the Buy Social Corporate Challenge, established in 2016 by Social Enterprise UK and the Cabinet Office with the aim of collectively spending £1billion with social enterprises through procurement.
We designed the industry-leading Social Partnership Portal to bring together social suppliers and buyers to maximise social value within construction projects across the industry. By sourcing and engaging social suppliers on portal, buyers can evidence their social and sustainability outcomes, boosting social value across communities.
Championing the real Living Wage is another way we can challenge inequality. In 2019, our facilities management business became our first accredited Recognised Service Provider (RSP) working with the Living Wage Foundation. Since then, other parts of our business have followed suit and our land and planning division is now a certified Living Wage Employer.
Under our employee volunteering scheme we provide our people with 16 hours each year which they can use to invest in local communities during work time. This can be through our corporate charity partnerships or with an organisation of their choice. Sharing professional expertise with organisations is encouraged alongside traditional community- based volunteering.
Inspiring the next generation
We want to raise awareness of the exciting range of careers in the built environment and attract a larger and more inclusive talent pool to the industry.
The development of ‘work ready’ employability skills is critically important, and we are working hard to build bridges between school and work from an early age. We also continue to promote opportunities to those looking to re-enter the workplace or access it for the first time.
- Build Yourself – An education outreach programme, Build Yourself, that includes workshops and a summer residential course for secondary school pupils.
- Build Yourself Junior – Our scheme for primary school children aims to open their eyes to the range of exciting career opportunities within the built environment, so that one day they might consider it as a future career
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