News Feb 25, 2021

Jacobs Talks to Environment Analyst about the Social Value Imperative

Exploring social value as a crucial enabler in helping deliver a sustainable and inclusive recovery.

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As economies look to their recovery strategies, outcome-focused decision-making with social value embedded has enormous potential to change the way future investment is made. Being people-centered, social value places social outcomes on an equal footing with cost-efficiency imperatives, increasing the focus on maximizing long-term benefit and value to all of us socially, environmentally and economically.

In 2019, Jacobs acquired 50% of Simetrica, a fast-growing U.K.-based organization that specializes in social value measurement and wellbeing analysis. Under the partnership, Simetrica-Jacobs provides its cutting-edge expertise to increase existing capabilities and offerings in the areas of socio-economics, sustainability and environmental services. 

Increasingly, we are helping our clients develop the business cases that drive an end-to-end social value solution, making the people and wider holistic case for transformational investments in our communities. We design and implement a rigorous social value framework to measuring and monetizing social value. This provides clients with robust measurement and evidence as part of a clear program vision to deliver social value throughout the life of a project or program. 

In its latest news, Environment Analyst  talks to Jacobs People & Places Solutions Senior Vice President Europe and Digital Strategies Donald Morrison and Simetrica-Jacobs CEO Dr Fujiwara about the importance of social value as a crucial enabler in helping clients deliver a sustainable and inclusive recovery to COVID-19.

Environment Analyst subscribers can read the full article here.

"What Jacobs can do is to use the social value measurement and quantitative techniques that we have through Simetrica-Jacobs to help our clients make smarter decisions," says Donald Morrison. "We believe that one of our big differentiators is our rigorous analysis systems to demonstrate the social value of a proposed investment and we also help embed social value through project delivery. We see different levels of sophistication amongst our client base but it’s an area which is definitely accelerating."

Dr. Fujiwara says that social value is "all encompassing": "It’s the next and the ultimate step. Social value is about understanding the impacts on all members of society and future generations. It takes into account the environment and sustainability, as well as economic and wider societal impacts, such as crime, health, education and equality." 

Simetrica-Jacobs has developed a range of software products to help organizations to measure social value. In Liverpool, Simetrica-Jacobs conducted a series of surveys and quantitative analysis to calculate that Everton FC’s proposed new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock would create £217 million of social value on top of a £1 billion boost to the economy, through creating more than 15,000 jobs and attracting 1.4m visitors. The study picked up the benefits to society of the public realm built as part of the stadium as well as impacts on community cohesion and social capital of having a world-class stadium in Liverpool.