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The importance of demonstrating and understanding our impact

£14,367,706 – This is a massive number and it has taken us a while to be convinced by it but it is now a figure we’re incredibly proud of at Civic Engineers. Through using a local workforce and supply chain, this figure equates to the social and economic impact our Manchester studio will have in Manchester and Greater Manchester over the next 5 years.

So, why is this figure important and why are we, as engineers talking about it? Some may find this a bit unusual. The answer very simply is that understanding and quantifying the difference we make through our schemes and our activity as a company is crucial. It is something we are ever increasingly being asked to articulate as part of bids and this emphasis on accountability can only be a positive thing for our industry and the built environment industries as a whole.

As part of our ongoing commitment to improving our understanding and delivery of our social value, we have been working closely with our friends, and now studio-mates at Social Profit Calculator (SPC). Back in January we published, ‘The prove it era of social value’ in partnership with them. This article focused on the impact schemes we have worked on have had in terms of reducing crime, reducing congestion, increased use of the place and improved health and wellbeing. Our work has now developed and moved on to explore the social value our practice contributes, as well as the impact it has on the construction industry as a whole.

This work has involved looking at what ‘measuring social value’ really entails. The five key areas SPC use to calculate this value are:

  1. Cost Benefit Analysis – Identifying fiscal savings and economic benefits of our actions to Public Services and taxpayers.
  2. Social Value Analysis – Measuring the impact we have on individuals and community wellbeing in Manchester.
  3. Environmental Impact & Sustainability – How our green initiatives are positively contributing to our environment.
  4. Local Economic Benefit Analysis – Understanding how we contribute to the local economy and support local economic growth in the North West.
  5. Gross Value Added (GVA) Uplift – The labour productivity of our employees in the North West.

Exploring these five areas allows us to capture and monetise data that would otherwise have been left out of the decision-making process. By capturing it, we are moving closer to having complete information that enables us to fully understand the consequences of our actions as a company.

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