Creating social value in construction

Creating social value in construction

The creation of social value in construction is taking an increasingly important place within the industry’s priorities. As the ideas of sustainability and ESG principles advance, the industry’s need to respond to these requirements is growing each passing day. Nowadays it’s more crucial than ever to fully understand and acknowledge the extents to which the industry must address social value. 

Social value is created when an industry executes a conscious effort to offer social, economic and environmental benefits to local communities.

This is particularly important in construction in opposition to the devastating quality that has characterized urban development in many regions. The purpose is to find ways to integrate a project in a community rather than invading it.

The problem with many initiatives is based on the misconception that there can be a universal approach to these issues. This grossly ignores the context and specific conditions of each community. This is why there must be an integral approach to each community, with a deep sense of consciousness and a purposeful listening exercise. It’s not enough to just provide some jobs to the members of the community or offer other benefits that we assume they need. The first step must always be an effort to really understand them and respect their individuality.

Some other paths that can be considered for social value in construction is addressing the needs of disadvantaged groups, approaching youth and their interests or even searching for public service failures that our industry can somehow relief. This must be considered throughout the whole process, not only at a specific stage. If we do so, we can also guarantee that the community will embrace our vision and nourish it to create something that wouldn’t be able to happen otherwise.

It’s important to really incorporate the creation of social value as part of the project’s vision, and to really commit to whatever we pretend to offer.

It’s better to promise modestly and realistically and actually deliver, than to offer unachievable goals that will only feel like deceit. Let’s commit, as an industry, to make each urban environment where we arrive a better place for all. A more responsible and conscious industry really is possible.

Tell us, what do you think of these initiatives towards social value in construction? Is it something you incorporate in your projects? We would love to know your take on this.

Social Value in Construction: What is it and why does it matter?, Site Podium
Maximising Social Value From Infrastructure Projects, Useful Projects
Social Value in Construction, Routledge

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