Social value presents a chance for any organisation to use resources in a more impactful way, and think more clearly about how wider social, environmental and economic benefits can be achieved through the day-to-day activities of our work.

But much more can be achieved if the same principles are applied to your purchasing, your trading and supply chains. As well as improving wellbeing directly through your own actions, your organisation can act indirectly through its supply chain, influencing others, as well as through collaborative work with partners.

By adopting this approach, you can play a vital part in ensuring economic resilience and sustained local investment. Put simply, buying locally, ethically and sustainably will improve our chances of creating a more resilient and inclusive economy in Greater Manchester. Your purchasing decisions can influence the success of your suppliers’ businesses and impact on the lives of their employees.

This can also make good ‘business sense’ - social value will provide greater value for money and can help to mitigate the impact of negative external factors – if we all work together. By putting greater emphasis on social value there is sometimes a misconception that this increases costs. However, this ignores the broader, medium to longer term outcome benefits that social value can bring. For example, employment of people who have been long term unemployed leads to a reduction in the cost of welfare benefits and an increase in their personal spending power. It could also have a beneficial effect on health services, strengthen community cohesion and foster a greater sense of happiness and wellbeing.

Suggested Actions

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  • Use your procurement practices to maximise social value – buy local, sustainable and ethical goods and services
  • Open up your buildings and green spaces for voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) use – start by contacting your local VCSE infrastructure organisation for advice
  • As far as is feasible, purchase goods, services and works from GM-based organisations – think about ‘total life cost’ not just immediate financial cost
  • Consider how to innovate your business to deliver more sustainable goods and services
  • Adhere to the Fair Tax Mark standards – ensure that your organisation pays the right amount of tax which funds vital public services and goods
  • Explore whether its right for you to enter into ‘social contracts’ with your suppliers or partners, set up mutual credit schemes and local trading partnerships
  • Think about your banking – can you support mutual or community products provided by credit unions 
  • Purchase from organisations known to provide that added ‘social impact’ – for example local co-operatives and social enterprises.
  • Ensure that your supply chains do not enable Modern Slavery. This is an umbrella term that encompasses slavery, servitude, forced or compulsory labour and human trafficking. Ensure that your suppliers - including sub-contractors - comply with all applicable human rights and employment laws in the jurisdictions in which they work. This includes complying with the provisions of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.