Green Building Council releases guidance on social value for local authorities

Two people in an office discuss green building designThe UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has released its latest guidance document, detailing how local authorities can help ensure that new construction and property development in their area positively impacts people and communities by delivering social value.

Driving social value in new development: Options for local authorities is a comprehensive set of recommendations for local authorities, based on research and consultation with local government, businesses and not-for-profit experts. It is a detailed exploration of the policy mechanisms that can be used by local authorities to specify and ensure social value outcomes. Such outcomes include jobs and economic growth, health and wellbeing, environmental sustainability and strength of community.

John Alker, Director of Policy and Places at UKGBC said: “Ever since Government introduced the Social Value Act a few years ago, this topic has been rising up the agenda of both local authorities and private sector. However, there is still a long way to go before we fully grasp the opportunities presented by the concept, particularly in relation to development and regeneration. With the acute funding pressures faced by local authorities, as well as the growing interest in social impact investing and socially responsible business, there are strong drivers for public and private sector to work together to maximise the benefits from new development to local communities.”

The guidance covers the use of social value requirements in:

  • Local government procurement that relates to new development
  • Local planning policy
  • The disposal of local authority land

The document is available in UKGBC’s popular presentation resource format which allows local authorities to easily incorporate the organisation’s research into their own material. As a live resource, the guidance will be updated periodically to reflect policy changes, latest thinking and new case studies. UKGBC is welcoming approaches from local authorities and other organisations wishing to contribute to the development of this resource.