Wates Construction is encouraging businesses across Bedfordshire to join its nationwide drive to grow the SE sector, with its Luton office confirming £258,294 of spend with SE companies so far in 2018.
Activities at the company’s Luton office include committing 42% of supply chain spend to social enterprises on the contractor’s delivery of the new building at HMP Wayland and 18% as a part of the region’s construction of new squadron headquarters at RAF Marham.
Purpose-led businesses including Commercial Office Suppliers and Recycling Lives are now part of the region’s supply chain. Commercial Office Supplies donates 20% of profits generated to the social enterprise it established, Commercial Foundation, which in turn creates opportunities for disadvantaged young people via support, mentoring, training and workplace experience. Meanwhile, Recycling Lives uses its recycling and waste management operations to directly support and sustain a number of charity programmes. These include offering food redistribution to charities and providing rehabilitation and services to tackle homelessness.
Research commissioned by Wates last year revealed that expenditure with social enterprises generates 77% more social value – or £1.77 for every £1 spent – than when procuring services from commercial businesses. Wates has committed to spending over £20m with social enterprises by 2020 and the business’ Bedfordshire office has eclipsed its 2018 target by 72% in the year to-date.
Ian Vickers, Managing Director, Wates Construction Home Counties said:
“Our partnerships with social enterprises ensure the projects we deliver result in a positive impact upon society long after we have completed building work. In addition, the sector contributes over £24bn to the UK economy annually and the goods and services provided by these purpose-led organisations place them as valuable partners in our supply chain. We’re extremely proud to champion the SE sector and the social value it generates for our communities; I wholeheartedly encourage more businesses to join us in supporting the social mobility agenda and help to change lives for the better.”