Social Value Policy  (Draft)





As a council we spend £140m on goods and services each year, more than any other organisation in the city. This provides the council with significant leverage to incentivise suppliers to be more sustainable in their practices and to encourage the organisations we buy from to deliver additional social, environmental and economic benefits to the city. The term ‘Social Value’ has been developed to refer to the achievement of these extra benefits through procurement and commissioning.  Social value is a way of thinking about how resources are allocated and looking beyond the cost of a contract to the collective benefits the contract will deliver to the wider community.


This statement sets out City of York Council’s commitment to embedding social value into its procurement and commissioning processes, creating a supply chain that helps us work towards our strategic priorities.  As service delivery increasingly shifts to external providers, this will become ever more important part of the council’s aspiration to become a more sustainable and resilient city.


The statement will also enable us to meet our legal obligations set out in the Social Value Act (2012).  The Act requires all public bodies to consider how they might improve the economic, environmental, social and cultural wellbeing of their area when buying services above the OJEU Public Contract Regulations  thresholds, currently £1891k for services and £4.75m for works. 


Our social value priorities


Three key social value priorities have been identified: a thriving local economy; strong communities and a sustainable way of life. These are the foundations of the One Planet York framework, which aims to drive progress towards a more sustainable and resilient city. Within this, One Planet Council makes a commitment to put economic, environmental, social and cultural sustainability at the heart of our organisation.    These high level principles have been further broken down into a number of key objectives that we wish suppliers to contribute towards. Whilst these objectives are fixed, suppliers may propose to deliver social value in any number of ways. This is to cater for the varied nature of public sector contracts; encourage innovative approaches to service delivery; and ensure that any benefits meet specific local needs. There is no “one size fits all” model and each procurement exercise needs to be dealt with on a case by case basis.

The overall aim of the policy is to reduce inequality and narrow the gap in outcomes by attracting Social Value activities that will improve the lives and life chances of York residents, including the creation of new businesses, new jobs and new skills alongside enhanced sustainability of the city, tackling climate change and reducing waste and improving supplier diversity, innovation and resilience.


To achieve this it is important local intelligence is used to maximise the impact of any social value initiatives. The Ward Profiles and JSNA information is regarded as the, public facing, core data to use in support of any social value submissions. Other credible data sources are welcome to support and inform social value submissions.



In order to ensure good quality social value submissions and transparency the following principles are required in any future tenders:


Ø  The submission clearly delivers and against one or more social value pillars: economic; environmental; social and cultural (the submission must state which pillar/s and objective/s the organisation is referring to, from the table below)

Ø  The submission clearly defines the social value additionality offered during the lifetime of the contract

Ø  The submission clearly references how this delivers against specific aspects of the service specification.

Ø  The submission clearly defines any legacy intended beyond the lifetime of the contract.

Ø  The submission clearly defines what intelligence is being used to inform the proposal (eg/ Ward Profiles or JSNA)

Ø  The submission clearly identifies the outputs and outcomes that will be used by both the organisation and the commissioner to both demonstrate delivery and effectiveness of the delivery

Ø  The submission demonstrates that the proposal is realistic and achievable through track record and or proposed partnership approaches to effectively deliver. Where appropriate the tender panel will seek additional guidance from City of York Council leads across specialist areas.


The tables below set out our key objectives and provide examples of how suppliers may help us meet them. The examples and associated outcome measures are illustrative rather than exhaustive. 


1)     Strong Community




Examples of social value

Example outcome measures

Investing in the health and wellbeing of communities

  • Providing health and wellbeing programmes for staff
  • Promoting education campaigns (for example, healthy living,  debt or physical and mental health)
  • Providing schemes which encourage staff to cycle work
  • Number of employees benefitting from health and wellbeing programmes
  • Campaign reach
  • Staff behavioural change
  • Increase in number of staff cycling to work

Building capacity

  • Allowing voluntary, community and faith sector organisations / community groups to make use of business premises
  • Providing pro bono consultancy to voluntary sector organisations e.g. marketing, digital skills, financial management, etc.
  • Establishing an employee volunteering scheme
  • Number of hours premises rented out for
  • Number of hours of consultancy provided
  • Number of employee hours volunteered


Supporting the most vulnerable residents & bringing communities together

  • Supporting employees who are vulnerable or on low income with their childcare
  • Engagement with community cohesion projects
  • Running or supporting befriending / mentoring schemes for vulnerable adults or children  and young people


  • Number of employees benefiting from childcare
  • Number of community projects supported
  • Number of vulnerable adults or children supported
  • Number of hours volunteered


Relevant One Planet Principles: Health & Wellbeing, Strong Resilient Community, A City Working Together

2)    Vibrant Cultural Offer




Examples of Social Value

Example of Outcome/output Measures

Exceptional Place

·         Use arts and culture as a tool to engage local people in decision-making and in developing York’s new shared vision and narrative

·         Ensure any place based developments bring arts and heritage ingredients, activity and events

·         Number of engagements using culture as a tool

·         Defined places and activities utilising additional cultural offers

·         Defined art commissions to enhance locations

Retaining and developing talent with children, adults and intergenerationally

·         Enhance the connections between the cultural offer and the universities and colleges in York in order to aid talent development and enhance community cohesion

·         Create deliberate connections with local schools to enable enhanced encouragement and/or access to the arts

·         Enhance/support any community based intergenerational opportunities through the medium of art and culture.


·         Demonstrate establishments in York engaged with

·         Case studies of individual cultural engagements with outcomes

·         Quantity of project blogs/case studies demonstrating the cultural offer, outcomes and the impact including where appropriate quotes

·         Number of Schools engaged with

·         Demonstration of how offers are becoming more embed/sustainable to create legacy


A National Pioneer in Culture and Wellbeing creating the most creative collaborative city.

·         Enhance the offer through social prescribing through enabling inclusive offers through arts and heritage engagement

·         Support of young people’s mental health through cultural and wellbeing commissioning

·         Support of an aging population through cultural and wellbeing commissioning

·         Support development of an effective and engaging network of artists, musicians, designers, makers and practitioners in the city to table ideas, explore possibilities and seek new collaboration

·         Create opportunities for take-over and participative events


·         Case study to demonstrate how the Social Value offer has increased the opportunities to cultural engagement

·         Outcomes through ways to wellbeing or other tools from social prescribers

·         Case studies  from young people or older people where there has been support through the Social Value offer.

·         Briefing report of how the organisation has supported enhanced cultural infrastructures in York

·         Briefing report of where an organisations Place has enhanced the cultural offer in York

World Class Ambition and Profile: Arts Culture and Heritage for Everyone

·         Enhance international relationships where there is connection to local communities eg/ through arts, culture and heritage within ethnic minority groups of York

·         Support existing, developing cultural programmes and festivals in York to enhance the profile and prestige of the cultural offer

·         Briefing report demonstrating the approach used by the organisation to enhance international relationships through the arts and ethnic minority groups.

·         Case study, signed off by programme leads, demonstrating the contribution by the organisation.







3)     Vibrant & Inclusive Economy



Examples of social value

Example outcome measures

Supporting the local economy


  • Maximising the total spend within the local supply chain
  • Involving SMEs, voluntary sector organisations and social enterprises within the supply chain
  • Providing support to new businesses, SMEs, social or green enterprises or voluntary sector organisations
  • Attracting inward investment into the city or wider region


  • % of total spend within the local supply chain
  • Number of SMEs etc. supported
  • Amount of inward investment achieved

Helping residents to get good quality jobs and  ensuring we have the workforce of the future



  • Creating new jobs within the local economy
  • Providing apprenticeships or work experience placements
  • Supporting young people to develop their skills (e.g. by providing training courses, mentoring, career guidance, talks, mock interviews, advice on CVs, etc.)
  • Offering curriculum support to schools
  • Providing training courses or workshops to improve digital literacy


  • Number of jobs created
  • Number of apprenticeships or work experience placements provided
  • Number of young people supported
  • Number of schools engaged with and / or time committed
  • Number of digital literacy courses offered / reach of course

Promoting  equity and financial inclusion


  • Paying the Foundation Living Wage
  • Providing specific employment support to vulnerable or underrepresented groups, such as the long-term unemployed, ex-offenders, or individuals with disabilities
  • Targeting recruitment of the one or more of the above groups
  • Increasing the rate of pay for lowest-paid staff by adoption of the Foundation Living Wage
  • Supporting staff with additional needs by permitting  flexible working
  • Working with schools to support children at risk of poor educational attainment or becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training), such as those in care
  • Providing guaranteed interview schemes for the unemployed
  • Number of vulnerable individuals  receiving support
  • % increase in pay for lowest paid staff or reduction in the pay gap between lowest and highest paid staff members
  • Number of staff with additional needs supported
  • Number of children engaged with


Relevant One Planet Principles: Decent standard of living, Education & Opportunity, Fairness & Inclusion, Sustainable Food and Materials



4)      Healthy Environment




Examples of social value

Example outcome measures

Minimising waste, water usage and energy consumption


  • Reducing waste sent to landfill*
  • Maximising % of waste recycled*
  • Maximising use of renewable and/or low-carbon energy sources *
  • Supporting local sustainable transport initiatives
  • Minimising distance travelled to access services
  • Supporting or delivering environmental education campaigns
  • Maximising use of sustainable materials



*should be considered in relation to the entire supply chain

  • Reduction in waste sent to landfill by X% (compared to previous contract)
  • % of waste recycled
  • % reduction in energy usage (compared to previous contract)
  • % of energy from a renewable source
  • % of service users or employees travelling by sustainable modes of transport
  • Number / reach of environmental campaigns

Protecting and enhancing the natural environment

  • Providing additional open space
  • Significant investment in trees and landscaping
  • Minimising the impact on air quality
  • Minimising noise pollution
  • Amount of open space provided
  • Spend on trees / landscaping
  • Reduction in noise or air pollution compared  to previous contract

Supporting local and sustainable food suppliers

·         Maximising the use of locally-sourced, sustainable and / or fair-trade food

·         Reducing food miles (field to fork) through the use of local suppliers


·         % of food products that are locally-sourced, sustainable and / or fair-trade


Relevant One Planet Principles: Zero Carbon and Sustainable Transport, Zero Waste, Land Use and Wildlife, Sustainable Food, Water and Materials


Why have we developed a social value policy?



What will success look like?



How will we incorporate social value into the procurement process?


Separate guidance will be developed to ensure that social value is fully embedded into procurement processes. Ongoing support and training will be provided for managers and members. We will engage with suppliers, partners and other stakeholders to ensure they are fully aware of what social value means and how they can contribute. Additional guidance and support will be offered to SME’s and voluntary sector organisations.

When should the policy be applied?


The policy must be considered when buying goods or services over the value of £100k, but can also apply to contracts of any value. The degree of consideration should be proportionate to the value of the contract. At least 10% of bid scoring will be allocated to social value. An exception must be sought if this is to be waivered.


How has the policy been developed?

The priorities set out in this social value policy reflect the principles underpinning One Planet Council and One Planet York. Both initiatives seeks to mobilise the city towards a more sustainable, resilient and collaborative future, with a vibrant and inclusive economy, strong community and healthy environment. One Planet Council addresses this from our own  internal organisational perspective, whilst One Planet York is externally-focused and concerned with mobilising the city. At the centre of the two initiatives are ten key sustainability principles:


The ten principles are:

·         Decent standard of living

·         Education and opportunity

·         Fairness and inclusion

·         Health and wellbeing

·         Strong resilient community

·         A city working together

·         Zero carbon and sustainable transport

·         Zero waste

·         Land use and wildlife

·         Sustainable food, water and materials


The policy promotes the council values of working together to improve and make a difference.