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Social value of resource sector £600m

An additional £600m in ‘social value’ could be generated by the waste and resource management sector by 2020, according to a report from Sita UK.

The report, Creating Social Value, was commissioned in response to the Social Value Act, which comes into force in January, and requires local authorities and other public bodies, to consider economic, social and environmental wellbeing in their procurement processes.

This statutory obligation means that a range of factors can be taken into account when drawing up a contract including, for example, the number of apprentices employed in waste collection. Examples are listed below.

As well as the global figure of £600m, the research for Sita by Ray Georgeson Resources also indicates the legislation could help third sector organisations increase their contract value share in local authority collection contracts to deliver an additional £26m, and perhaps as much as £54m, in social value each year.

The company also announced a partnership with community interest company REalliance. The two parties will work together to identify opportunities for community resource organisations to be involved in the delivery of waste and resource management services.

Sita chief executive David Palmer-Jones said: “There is an opportunity for forward thinking businesses operating in the waste and resource management sector to embrace the purpose of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 and work more closely with third sector organisations.

“We will work closely with our new partner, REalliance, to engage with the rapidly emerging social value agenda and hope that national guidelines will be established soon for measuring social value in the waste and resources sector to assist local authorities in commissioning and procuring services”, he added.

How the waste and resource management industry can add social value

Waste collection
  • Addition of new recyclate streams to existing collection services
  • Increasing community participation through reward schemes
  • Opportunities for engagement with the third sector in niche areas
  • Support for local refurbishment businesses
  • Reduced environmental impact from resource use
  • Engagement with charitable organisations
  • Partnership working with socially-excluded / marginalised communities
Higher recycling
  • Contribution to local authority recycling targets
  • Avoided landfill tax, avoided waste disposal costs
  • Reduced carbon emissions per tonne of waste treated
  • Reduced environmental impact from resource use
  • Increased public awareness and change in behaviour
  • Revenue from sale of recyclates
Efficiency savings
  • Lower costs per tonne of waste treated
  • Lower council charge for householders
  • Better service quality and more services for the same cost
Facility siting
  • Section 106 planning agreements
  • Project support from the Landfill Communities Fund
  • Retention of business rates for community benefit
  • Community Infrastructure Levy
  • Visitor centres, educational and learning facilities
  • Contribution to UK renewable energy targets
  • Lower carbon emissions relative to landfilling
  • Lower carbon emissions per unit of energy generated
  • Potential for lower energy bills for host community
  • Potential for low-cost heating of community and domestic premises
Third sector involvement
  • Engaging with hard to reach communities
  • Support for charities and good causes
  • Providing work for disadvantaged communities
  • Fostering skills and experience in the environmental sector
  • Contribution to regeneration projects

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