Smarter public procurement could unlock £50bn a year, claims Social Value 2032 group
An extra £56bn a year in social value could be squeezed out of public sector contracts and used to “level up the country”, tackle Net Zero and strengthen communities, claims a new report from big businesses and UK social enterprise leaders.
An extra £56bn a year in social value could be squeezed out of public sector contracts and used to “level up the country”, tackle Net Zero and strengthen communities in the UK.
That’s the claim of a new partnership between big businesses and UK social enterprise leaders in a report launched today.
Entitled Social Value 2032: Creating a Social Value Economy, the report outlines “a new vision for social value” through which it hopes to influence spending decisions by both public bodies and private companies.
The report, launched at the Social Value Leaders’ Summit in Birmingham, comes 10 years after the passage of the Social Value Act.
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The Social Value 2032 initiative is backed by a coalition of organisations including global consultancy firm PwC, technology giant Siemens, social enterprise employment specialist Shaw Trust, recycling firm Suez and umbrella body Social Enterprise UK (SEUK). The initiative was first announced earlier this year.
Analysis of a decade of public spending
In an analysis of the past decade of public spending, Social Enterprise UK has found that the UK public sector is “only realising a fraction of the benefits that could be generated through greater embedding of social value”.
At best, between 2010 and 2020, SEUK estimates that some £36bn could have been generated through social value in public sector procurement.
There are billions of pounds of jobs, investment and exports for the UK as well as making our country a greener place to live
“Whilst this is significant value to the taxpayer, it is dwarfed by the £762bn that could have been generated if social value had been implemented universally across the public sector from day one,” a statement from the partnership says.
SEUK estimates that there is now £56bn of social value to be unlocked through transforming public sector procurement – equivalent to double the UK Government’s current commitment to Net Zero.
Professor Chris White (pictured left), author of the report and a former member of parliament who was also the MP behind the Social Value Act, said: “If we can implement this vision, there are billions of pounds of jobs, investment and exports for the UK as well as making our country a greener place to live. As the UK Government looks to implement a new Procurement Bill, I hope that they will make sure that there is a strong role for social value so that we can make the most of taxpayer’s money to level up the country.”
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He said the report “shows that we are only at the foothills of what can be achieved and the £50bn opportunity for the UK Government if we can get this right”.
Header photo: A boxfit class run by GLL, a UK social enterprise that provides services to local authorities across the country