The Social Value Act first came into force in 2013 with the aim of ensuring those who commission public services and projects, think about how they can also secure wider social, economic and environmental benefits for their stakeholders and the local community. In September 2020 the Act underwent a ‘refresh’ to establish a new model for delivering social value through government commercial activities, setting out themes and measurable outcomes in relation to the commissioning of public services and projects.
From the start of 2021, the new approach requires all central government procurements to evaluate, rather than consider social value, placing further importance on these values across businesses and especially suppliers of such public projects, including Kajima Partnerships.
This is great news for Kajima, who have not only been operating Kajima Community for over 15 years, but have been delivering a wide range of community and social value benefits on all projects for many years. The Government’s social value imperative has galvanised Kajima to energise its Social Values Forum, to not only consider benefits to public project bids but to instil these values across the company as a whole.
Richard Coe, a Kajima Project Director in the development team and Chair of Kajima’s Social Values Forum said: “Part of our core business is promoting social value through the use of public spaces - schools, community centres, libraries and health centres, by the local community. For the past 15 years, Kajima Community have been involved in creating social, physical and mental health benefits across communities as well as providing opportunities for community integration – just some of the themes detailed within the energised Social Values Act. Our aim is to take this much further and really push our social value activities to the next level through company-wide initiatives.”
The first initiative secured in 2021, in support of Kajima’s ongoing prompt payment commitment, is our formal accreditation to the Prompt Payment Code. The Code sits under the theme of tackling economic inequality and aims to improve the cash flow of the UKs SMEs, who according to figures from www.gov.uk are collectively owed over £26 billion in overdue payments. Formalising the adoption of the Code recognises that Kajima will continue to pay suppliers on time – signatories are required to pay 95% of invoices within a maximum of 30 days, give clear guidance to suppliers on terms, dispute resolution and prompt notification of late payment as well as support good practice throughout their supply chain by encouraging adoption of the Code. Other signatories include HSBC Bank, Sir Robert McAlpine and Kier Facility Services.
Richard added: “It was important for us to start the New Year with some tangible outcomes in connection with our social value aims and we’re really pleased to reinforce our commitment to the Prompt Payment Code. This is just the first of our chosen initiatives, we have many mapped out for the rest of the year and we look forward to announcing further details of these in due course.”
To find out more about the Social Values Act visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/social-value-act-information-and-resources/social-value-act-information-and-resources or www.smallbusinesscommissioner.gov.uk/ppc for details about the Prompt Payment Code.