What is social value?

Social value in procurement is about making sure that what we buy creates an overall positive impact on our people and communities. It can be divided into three main areas:

  • social: this is about improving the wellbeing of individuals and communities, encouraging interconnectedness and mutual support among people
  • economic: this focuses on promoting economic policies and business practices that uplift society’s wellbeing
  • environmental: this stresses the importance of sustainable processes that take care of both the social and physical environment, ensuring a viable future for everyone

Charlene Maginnis, Head of Policy Delivery, Supply Chain and Service Offering, explains more about the importance of social value and how we can help you achieve your goals.

Watch the video to find out more.

On many of our agreements suppliers are ready to help you meet social value objectives, such as fighting climate change or tackling inequality, making it easier for you to take account of the latest public procurement policies.
Charlene Maginnis
Head of Policy Delivery, Supply Chain and Service Offering
A photo of Charlene Maginnis
Social value webinar picture

Webinar: Achieving social value through public sector procurement

Our social value team discusses the implications of the Social Value Act on public sector buyers and the growing demand for social value through contracts.

It’s really important that we use every opportunity that we can to bring about additional benefits that improve the wellbeing and lives of our citizens.

Your social value questions answered

Please see below where we answer your most frequently asked questions.

What is The Social Value Act?

The Social Value Act requires the public sector to maximise economic, social and environmental benefits for local communities when procuring services.

What is social value in procurement?

Social value in procurement is about ensuring that public spending generates additional economic, social and environmental benefits beyond just the goods or services being procured.

Is social value mandatory?

Since The Social Value Act came into force on 31 January 2013, it is mandatory for public sector buyers to think about whether the services they are going to buy, or the way they are going to buy them, could secure social, economic, or environmental benefits for their area or stakeholders. Since then a number of public sector organisations, including Cabinet Office and devolved governments, have introduced policies requiring the application of social value in procurement.

See social value policy notes.

Who do we work with?

We work closely with organisations such as the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI),  National Social Value TaskforceElectronics Watch and the government’s Sustainable Technology Advice and Reporting (STAR) working group to develop and share knowledge and best practice.

Are there any social value policy notes that you should be aware of?

Procurement Essentials - Regeneration and Placemaking: How local authorities can harness the power of national procurement to meet local objectives

Procurement Essentials: social value in procurement

Procurement Essentials is our series of articles to help you overcome common hurdles, understand key concepts and make your life as a buyer easier.

This article explores:

  • how to apply social value when procuring
  • how preparation is key
  • how to evaluate bids for social value

Helpful information before you start buying

Your buying decisions have the power to boost local economy, make our society fairer, strengthen communities and make the future greener. Make those decisions with CCS.

Get in touch with our social value experts

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Email: info@crowncommercial.gov.uk
Telephone: 0345 410 2222

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