BAM urges construction to add social value or lose work

BAM built the Centre for Student Living at Cardiff University

BAM has called on construction firms to deliver added social values as part of their projects or face the prospect of losing work.

The call from the contractor came on the opening day of the Welsh government’s Social Value Conference (16 November).

Dannielle Aberg, BAM’s head of social impact, said: “Social value is now explicitly evaluated at tender. Operating in the private sector solely for profit without a compelling purpose and bold actions will restrict the work you win. Contractors like us are leveraging the additional social benefits we can offer to create social value in local communities. 

“As always with the construction sector, we can’t work alone. Each project may involve 20 or 30 small- and medium-sized companies that work for us to deliver positive, sustainable change for people.

“This includes creating employment, opening doors for underrepresented groups, and supporting local initiatives that build community cohesion and social wellbeing.”

BAM claimed that it generated £400,741 of social value through creating jobs on its recently completed £34m Centre for Student Life at Cardiff University’s Centre for Student Life.

During the 31-month project it employed 1,750 people and worked with 80 subcontractors, predominantly local firms. It also helped a prison rehabilitation scheme at the university and raised funds for the British Heart Foundation.

Aberg added that some companies already create social value, but part of the challenge is to create clear ways of capturing and reporting it.

“We need to resource and support our staff and the companies that work with us to plan for and deliver impact that offers genuine sustainable change,” he said.

BAM leads two workshops on small and medium enterprises and social enterprises.

Places on the workshops can be booked for free using the links below:

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