Social Value 2020: people, place and planet
Since 2008, CLES have been working with Manchester City Council to harness its procurement spend and maximise the economic, social and environmental benefit generated for its people, place and the planet.
Our collaboration has helped build a more inclusive economy over the last decade. The early adoption of an ethical procurement policy, a unique social value weighting of 20% in the tender process and a focus on supplier engagement in areas of deprivation has put Manchester City Council at the forefront of progressive procurement practice.
“CLES is working with councils across the UK to build community wealth and create good local economies for all.”
Progressive procurement is one important part of community wealth building: a systems approach to economic development built on local roots. It aims to reorganise local economies to put control back in the hands of local people, with wealth being generated, circulated and held locally. CLES is working with councils across the UK to build community wealth and create good local economies for all.
In Manchester, our work has inspired changes in the behaviour of both procurers and suppliers to realise real impacts for the local economy and its residents. It has also inspired other authorities, institutions and places to think differently about the role of procurement in local economic development.
Social value 2020: people, place and planet
On February 14th 2020 at Friends Meeting House, CLES and Manchester City Council hosted our fourth annual social value conference, reflecting on the progress made so far, spreading good practice and contemplating how we can further advance the social value agenda.
Chaired by Cllr Carl Ollerhead – Executive Member for Finance and Human Resources, Manchester City Council – and organised by CLES, this year’s event gathered nearly 200 experts, and provided a space for suppliers, buyers and policymakers to learn and discuss the role of social value.
This year’s event reflected further on the change that has occurred in policy and practice over the last year in Manchester and Greater Manchester and showcased how the social value agenda is constantly evolving to deliver more for our people, places and the planet.
From policy to practice
Neil McInroy – Chief Executive, CLES – presented our analysis of the economic, social and environmental impact of Manchester City Council’s procurement spend. Our analysis from 2018/19 found that £322m out of a total spend of £461m (with the top 300 suppliers by value of spend) was spent with Manchester based suppliers, a proportionate rise of 18.4% since our work began in 2008.
We also presented our findings on the wider impact of this procurement work (gathered through a survey of the supply chain), in which we found:
These figures are evidence of the power of progressive procurement practice to address local economic, social and environmental challenges facing the city and city region at street level.
Throughout the day, we shared practical examples of where the social value agenda is delivering real change on the ground. This year’s conference had a particularly timely emphasis on the role of progressive procurement in addressing the climate crisis. As Manchester City Council declared a climate emergency in July 2019, it was crucial to explore how the social value agenda could help lower carbon emissions throughout the supply chain.
Manchester City Council continues to be at the forefront of progressive procurement policy and practice in a UK context. The next step therefore is to move towards a more embedded way of demonstrating the social value impact of suppliers as part of contract management.
“Manchester must lead the way in learning how to hook procurement into a local green new deal in order to become a zero-carbon economy by 2038.”
Crucially though, Manchester must lead the way in learning how to hook procurement into a local green new deal in order to become a zero-carbon economy by 2038. One of the most interesting and popular questions of the day was “we have ambitious targets for addressing the climate challenge – how do we turn those into realistic social value targets whilst markets and infrastructure catch up?” Going forward, Manchester City Council and its anchors around Greater Manchester will be innovating new approaches to answer this question: testing new KPIs in the social value framework and trialling environmental weightings on tenders to lower carbon emissions throughout the local economy.