Wates Construction in Birmingham is encouraging businesses across the Midlands to join its nationwide drive to grow the SE sector, with its Birmingham office creating £633k of social value in 2018 as a result of its investment in social enterprises.
Activities at the company’s Quinton office include committing £80k of supply chain spend to social enterprises as part of the contractor’s delivery of Audley Ellerslie Retirement Village in Malvern and £27k through its construction of The Bank on Broad Street in Birmingham city centre. Most recently Wates has appointed Radiant Cleaners, a social enterprise cleaning company based in Nottingham, to support its work building the new Nottingham City Hub.
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’ Birmingham office has eclipsed its 2018 target by 65% in the year to-date.
John Carlin, Business Unit Director, Wates Construction Midlands, commented: “The SE sector contributes over £24bn to the UK economy every year and the good and services it provides place these purpose-led businesses as valuable partners in our supply chain. This, in addition to the positive sustainable impact they have on society, provides us with an extremely compelling reason to collaborate with them on our building projects. We’re extremely proud to champion social enterprises and the value they generate for our communities; I encourage more businesses to join us in supporting the social mobility agenda and help to change lives for the better.”