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Our community

We make a difference in the communities in which we work by donating the time, skills and expertise of our people.

Our approach to community is simple; to support the people and businesses in our communities to thrive. This starts with community engagement and being a good neighbour.

Every community is different, so we work with our customers and other local stakeholders to identify local needs and priorities, and then develop activities which will have the most impact.

We know that by working with partners – clients, customers, supply chain partners, social enterprises, charities and other organisations – we can achieve more than we can on our own. This spirit of collaboration is at the heart of the way we do business.

We are constantly seeking ways to maximise the beneficial impact we can have on local communities and on society as a whole. We work in partnership with key stakeholders to develop bespoke, localised plans for each of our construction projects, which encompass all aspects of sustainability; social, environmental, and economic:

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Social: From school careers talks to work experience opportunities, from apprenticeships to refurbishing community facilities, our social value activities connect us with thousands of people. What is important to us is that what we do is important to the community.

We have set ourselves a headline target which takes us to 2030, to have a deeper, more meaningful impact on the people we connect with. We have always maintained that the best way to improve a person’s life chances is by enabling them to access good quality careers. Having a good career can provide purpose, skills, a sense of achievement and increased self-esteem – as well as an income. Our careers target focuses on helping people facing barriers to work; over months and years, we can help them develop good careers, some of them in our business.

Our 2030 careers target: Building Lives Careerstarget.PNG

Economic: Around 80% of our turnover is spent on the procurement of goods, works and services. So, we can play a key role in supporting local businesses and employment by spending as much as possible of a project’s budget locally. We are a committed Real Living Wage employer as we believe everyone who works in our offices and on our sites deserve a fair day’s pay - not just the legal minimum.

Our Sustainable Procurement Policy also stipulates our preference to work and engage with partners who are undertaking initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility.

By supporting business our reach is greater than if we support individuals alone. We will make social value a consideration in every decision we make – from how we support our own people and what we procure, through to the products and services we offer. We work closely with Social Enterprises and businesses with a social purpose, supporting them and embedding them in both our goods and services supply chain.

Environmental: Delivering buildings that improve people’s lives is core to what we do. They are the legacy we leave for our customers, their communities, and future generations. The construction and operation of buildings accounts for nearly 40% of global carbon emissions. Buildings impact on people too. We are working with our customers to deliver buildings which are resilient to the impacts of our changing climate, whilst improving people’s health and wellbeing. Find out more here.

We will play our part in creating a better planet for future generations by putting the climate, biodiversity and resources crises at the heart of the way we do business. This includes rethinking our approach to how we build in order to eliminate our fossil fuel use, maximise resource efficiency and enhance our natural environments. Find out more here.

Our progress

We constantly evaluate, learn, and improve what we do.

Our numbers (which are externally-verified) provide our customers with robust data on what we have done in their local communities. They mean we can set targets which drive us to improve year-on-year.

In 2018 we launched MiSocial to help us to plan, manage and report social value. It is a valuable tool which helps us work with our customers to decide on the right kinds and levels of activities for them and their communities. It also allows us to assess the impact of those activities using qualitative feedback assessment and social return on investment accounting using the National TOMs (Themes Measures and Outcomes)- externally verified proxy values

Find out more about our performance in our most recent Willmott Dixon Foundation review.