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Scope

We are committed to creating a sustainable inclusive society actively managing our operations in ways which optimise our value to the communities in which we work. Social Value is therefore intrinsic to everything we do, for this reason we manage Social Value through a suite of interdependent policies and procedures which collectively deliver our objectives. This policy applies to all Growth Company employees, associates, secondees, agency staff and third parties who undertake activity for and on our behalf. It applies to the goods and services we procure, our direct operations and the services we provide to our customers.

Purpose

We are a Values based organisation whose purpose is to deliver growth with passion; creating a future where everyone has the chance of a better quality of life, through new skills, investment and opportunity. Our staff promote, influence, train, explore and advise to deliver maximum benefit for the communities in which we work. This policy provides an effective framework for realising our commitment to maintaining and where possible enhancing the Social Value we create in the communities we work within, both as an employer and a provider of services.

Responsibilities

All employees, associates, secondees, agency staff and third parties are responsible for ensuring that this Policy is adhered to in accordance with our shared Values: Make a positive difference; Stronger together; Empower people; Do the right thing and Build on success. As referenced some activities within the scope of this Policy are covered by additional dedicated policies and procedures to ensure that our Social Value objectives are delivered.

Policy

We are a not for profit group driving forward economic development within localities by boosting investment, skills, employment and enterprise to benefit the lives of residents and the wider community. 

We deliver activities across five service areas: Business Support & Finance, Skills, Employment, Marketing and Organisation Development Services.  With over 1,000 employees across 40 sites we recognise that our activities have wide ranging and interconnected impacts on the Social Value we generate in the communities we serve.

In recognising this we are committed to contributing to a more sustainable society and to continually improve the positive impacts we make.  As an anchor institution we recognise the contribution we can make to increasing social value through our own direct impact as a large employer.  Our impact can be categorised in terms of four key areas:

  1. Our supply chain and the goods and services we buy

We use our purchasing power to support, influence and secure social value from our suppliers, and we ask our suppliers how they can support our six key Social Value objectives, namely: promote employments and economic sustainability; promote equity and fairness and raise the living standards of local residents; promote participation and citizen engagement; build capacity and sustainability of the voluntary and community sectors and promote environmental sustainability.  This forms part of our evaluation process. 

  1. Our environmental impact

We have identified the key aspects where we have a negative impact on the environment, namely: heating and cooling, travel to clients, IT and paper; and we have a policy and systems in place to manage and reduce these impacts.   

  1. Our organisational development

We use our apprenticeship and traineeship policy to ensure roles are designed such that the broadest possible range of residents can apply and are advertised in ways to ensure they are aware of the opportunities.  We use a web based recruitment portal to capture a broad spectrum of information from those who apply for roles including where they live and how far they progress in the process.  This information feeds into our Equality, Diversion and Inclusion Steering group which oversees the development and delivery of all related policies, systems and procedures.  On joining the company staff are able to access a structured learning and development programme to increase their knowledge and skills and benefit from our comprehensive Reward and Recognition programme. 

These areas are covered by a range of separate interlinked polices including Environment, Sustainability, Procurement and a suite of HR polices and standards including Investors in People and Disability Confident.

  1. Our support for our local communities

In addition, we can make a positive difference through the services we provide by:

  • ensuring we continue to develop services which meet the needs of those customers who are often less able to participate in mainstream support
  • ensuring we continually review how we can make improvements to the Social Value we create in the communities we support.

This includes supporting:

  • people to enter or return to the labour market after periods of exclusion
  • people to realise their potential in higher paid roles by increasing their skills
  • businesses to grow and connect with their communities while reducing environmental impact
  • businesses to grow and develop creating good jobs in good companies
  • businesses to buy locally wherever possible
  • employers to develop and retain their staff in fulfilling roles
  • employers to recruit staff from local or excluded communities

In order for us to realise these commitments, we have an Inclusive Growth steering group which has senior representation from across the Group reporting to our Internal Transformation Programme Board and Senior Management Team.  This feeds into our planning processes and ultimately the Business Plan.  The steering group acts as a central point bringing together relevant work streams from HR, marketing and communications, employee consultation, organisational development and the senior leadership team. 

To realise our Social Value objectives we recognise the need for and are committed to communicating these objectives to our suppliers, potential and existing employees, customers and wider stakeholders.  This is achieved via our procurement and recruitment processes and our existing communication channels including the Business Plan, intranet, employee consultative committee, newsletters, team briefings, staff induction processes and stakeholder engagement.

This policy and the actions arising from it will be annually reviewed as part of the business planning process which involves GC's senior leadership and management teams with final approval via the GC Board.