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WSP Social Value Lead, Deepa Nair, discusses social value

WSP Social Value Lead, Deepa Nair, discusses social value

 July 27, 2021

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Forging social value in the built environment means creating a direct and positive impact for people and communities that goes well beyond a standard fit-for-purpose built environment design to create socially sensitive infrastructure or architecture.

Understandably, this purpose can offer a highly rewarding career pathway.

Supporting this agenda, WSP is partnering with UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) on a framework that defines and delivers social value for communities in the built environment. As a partner, WSP's main role is to test the framework on live projects so UKGBC can understand experiences, successes and key challenges, and ultimately refine and improve the framework. WSP is also involved in a Social Value Forum, where the partners can share experiences of the process and discuss solutions to challenges. This collaborative forum also enables partners like WSP to focus on their social value networks and deepen their own understanding of trends and topics through connecting with industry leaders.

WSP helps communities thrive

WSP social vakue

“Social value is the creation of wider social, economic and environmental benefits as part of commissioned work. It’s about securing greater value from any monetary investment, but equally engaging clients, local authorities and communities to understand the needs of an area to develop long-term change. With CSR and corporate programmes, our charitable, wellbeing, diversity and environmental initiatives create value for employees and communities, but mobilising these programmes to deliver localised value as part of a contract is where social value takes it forward. It covers everything from supporting regional growth to healthier, safer and more resilient communities and protecting our environment, climate and biodiversity – all areas where we are already strong and where our Future Ready innovation is a good fit,” says Deepa Nair, Social Value Lead at WSP.

WSP embeds social value in many of its projects, with the aim to help communities thrive long after the project is complete. Measuring social value starts from the outset, WSP uses the National Themes, Outcomes and Measures (TOMs) framework, and agree the social value outcomes for clients and communities, tailored to regional needs.

"The focus becomes less on cost and more on value when you embed social value at the beginning of a project – it ensures that, when the builders are gone, projects give communities a lasting positive legacy," says Deepa. “At WSP, social value is already embedded in many of our projects and we’re ensuring it becomes the norm across the board. We’re even able to build a picture that further demonstrates the impact these projects are generating several years after completion – after all it speaks to our core purpose to shape societies of tomorrow and help communities thrive." 

Read the full article about how WSP is helping to deliver social value.

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At WSP, work on projects that have social, economic and environmental benefits on local individuals, communities and wider society.

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