Civil Engineering Contractors Association launches new toolkit for SMEs

CECA

A leading Midlands organisation that supports companies in the civil engineering sector has launched a new toolkit that supports firms to grow and boost the communities they work in.

The Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) Midlands has created a Social Value Framework to help businesses – particularly small and medium sized firms – to work out the positive impact they have on society.

That includes everything from employment and skills opportunities to environmental impacts, and from localising supply chains through to supporting local communities.

While the civil engineering sector’s commitment to social value brings major benefits to local economies and communities, there remains an issue for SMEs around data capture. The toolkit will help businesses understand the best ways to bring social value to the work they undertake and also to evaluate its impact.

Lorraine Gregory, Regional Director for CECA, said: “Social value is an increasingly important measure when firms in our sector are tendering for new work. Those who can provide evidence for the value they are going to bring will give themselves a head-start.

“As an industry, we can be very proud of the work that civil engineering companies do in creating jobs and bolstering skills in their area as well as the work we do to improve the communities we work in.

“The toolkit will also demonstrate the level of local investment working with local suppliers, innovation and reducing any negative environmental impacts, all of which boost the economy and improve communities.

“CECA Midlands members will be able to use it to provide an accurate measure of what they already do in terms of social value and, crucially, what they plan to do on the work they are tendering for.

“It’s not the kind of measurement that SMEs would normally have the time or capability to sit down and work out from scratch so the toolkit will be a big support when they come to tender for new work and, ultimately, can help them to grow.”

Sairah Hussain, Customer, Business Development & Corporate Social Responsibility Highways Business Lead at Galliford Try, heads CECA Midlands’ Foundations Group and has led on the development of the toolkit.

She said: “We recognised that the playing field when it comes to social value wasn’t level and we wanted to address that.

“The industry does an incredible amount of great work in supporting communities – both socially and economically – and, as well as being the right thing to do, it is increasingly important when tendering for new work.

“While we are all competitive businesses, we think it’s absolutely right and fair that SMEs are given the tools to be able to add greater social value to projects and also to be able to forecast and measure that. I am really pleased that CECA Midlands is providing this opportunity.

“It makes business sense and it’s also great for the local communities and economies that we work in.”