15th Jan 2020

We are currently out to tender for the new framework covering janitorial and cleaning supplies (the framework was formerly known as ‘Estates and Facilities’). This new framework will be in place on 1st April 2020 and this time will include specific social value offerings from suppliers.

What is social value and how is it relevant to this tender?

Social value is a process whereby organisations meet their needs for goods, services, works and utilities in a way that achieves value for money on a whole life basis in terms of generating benefits not only to the organisation but also to society and the economy, whilst minimising damage to the environment.

The Principles of Social Value provide the basic building blocks for anyone who wants to make decisions that take this wider definition of value into account, in order to increase equality, improve wellbeing and increase environmental sustainability.

Social value is split into three main areas:

Economic – employment, training, work-experience opportunities for local people.

Environmental – reducing your carbon footprint, minimising waste, environmentally friendly goods.

Social – supporting local community initiatives, promoting social integration, volunteering.

While there are numerous examples of suppliers delivering clear and quantifiable social value in line with the requirements of the Social Value Act, there is no definitive or authoritative list of what these benefits may be. This flexible approach is absolutely necessary as what is beneficial must be considered in the context of local needs or the specific requirements of a public body. An example is in one area there may be a strong focus on providing work opportunities while another area may have real environmental needs. Some public bodies may want to focus on working with local communities while others may look for providers to put something back into the local economy.

This is why the Public Services (Social Value) Act is not at all prescriptive in what should be done but rather states that the procurer must consider ‘how what is proposed might improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of the relevant area’.