News Mar 21, 2024

Jacobs Supports Social Value 2032 Program in the UK

Ambitious program looking to transform how organizations unlock the true potential of social value to drive positive, lasting impacts for people, communities and the environment.

Four people in a panel discussion seated on a stage in front of a screen.

Social Value Leaders’ Summit 2024

Jacobs is proud to continue supporting Social Enterprise U.K.'s Social Value 2032 Program – an ambitious project looking to transform how organizations do business and maximize the positive impact of every investment. 

Social value and social equity are foundational in our approach to sustainability, inclusion and diversity and key services delivered to clients globally. Social value has grown increasingly important with the need for greater focus on working collaboratively to drive positive impacts and transformative outcomes. In partnership, Jacobs and Simetrica-Jacobs prioritize strategically understanding and measuring social value. These insights enable us to keep people at the heart of decision-making – focusing on how we make society better for individuals and create better social, environmental and economic outcomes.

Social Value Leaders’ Summit 2024

This month, we met cross-sector leaders in the public and private sectors, universities and social enterprises from across the U.K. at the Social Value Leaders’ Summit to discuss what can be done differently to embed this social value in public and private sector procurement. 

As part of the Summit, we discussed some of the latest research on social value implementation, including a new report from Social Enterprise UK. While the data cited within the report shows rising engagement with social value in the public sector, it also suggests that there is more opportunity to improve clarity and consistency. At the Summit, we discussed these and other opportunities to improve public sector procurement.

One highlight from the Summit was the lively panel discussion on measuring and implementing social value, chaired by Simetrica-Jacobs CEO Dr Mary-Kathryn Adams. 

“It was a really insightful and engaging debate. What came across loud and clear is that meaningfully embedding and operationalizing social value is not about metrics; it's about culture. Because behaviors are enacted through culture. Social value is also not about spending more. It's about maximizing the benefits from what you've already committed to spend. Done well, this is an incredibly powerful decision-making tool to contribute to inclusive economies that address real issues of inequality and focus our efforts to prevent the problems we already know exist. But we must take a long-term view on this,” says MK.

“While there are good practice examples emerging, it is clear that challenges remain when it comes to meaningful, consistent application of social value within (and beyond) public procurement,” she continues. "Varying degrees of maturity around conceptualization and measurement make standardization difficult, which does continue to present challenges for clients, for suppliers and for social enterprises. What is promising is that we continue to witness a high degree of commitment to improving these approaches, and we look forward to continuing to work with SEUK on the Social Value 2032 program.”

Visit Social Enterprise U.K.'s website to find out more about the Social Value 2032 program and the latest research. 

Our work as social value leaders

When used effectively, social value can direct investment and inform procurement and delivery of vital infrastructure investment, to maximize the value delivered through every pound spent. The power of the U.K.’s Social Value Act is that benefits can be amplified, for instance delivering new employment and training opportunities, or promoting investment in new low carbon technologies. We help our clients direct and shape their investments to generate additional benefits to people and the planet, with examples including Thames Tideway Tunnel, Sellafield and the Transpennine Route Upgrade. 

Read more about our Social Value and Equity Solutions