ESA members set out “mission statement” in new Social Value Charter

ESA members set out “mission statement” in new Social Value Charter

ESA members set out “mission statement” in new Social Value Charter

ESA members set out “mission statement” in new Social Value Charter

Chair of the ESA’s Social Value Working Group, Sarah Ottaway.

The Environmental Services Association (ESA) has set out a social value mission statement as part of a new “charter’, which aims to support the recycling and waste management sector’s delivery of Social Value.

The ESA believes that social value is an increasingly valuable way to understand, measure and respond to the impact made through recycling and waste management projects or services, or by organisations within the sector. These impacts can have wide-ranging outcomes for an organisation’s stakeholders, its people, the communities it serves and operates in, the planet and both the local and national economy.

The purpose of the ESA Social Value Charter is to set a clear direction for social value within the sector through the services and actions of ESA members on behalf of, and with, their customers.

The Public Services (Social Value) Act came into force in January 2013 and requires people who commission public services to think about how they can also secure wider social, economic and environmental benefit as part of the service. A framework is included within the charter to help recycling and waste management service providers and commissioners embed social value into procurement or contract management, by focusing on core areas where the sector can make the most significant contribution to the many social, environmental and economic challenges facing society. 

The framework consolidates these into three core themes – being a desirable sector to work in; delivering net-zero and protecting the natural environment; and being a good neighbour. Each theme sets out a number of key principles and social value outcomes.

The Charter contains a “mission statement” setting out the ESA’s definition of, and intent towards, social value. On launch, the mission statement has been counter-signed by the leaders of many of the ESA’s largest member organisations. Prior to publication, the professional body for Social Value and Impact Management, Social Value UK, reviewed and commented on the document, stating that they “… are delighted to see this Charter take form and will be keeping close tabs on it as it progresses. Social Value UK is a strong advocate for this type of joint action in the waste management sector, which better accounts for impacts on people and maximises the social value created.”

The launch of the ESA Social Value Charter is supported by this short film.

With growing pressure on public services, there has never been a greater need to maximise the social and environmental benefits created through how public money is being spent,  so it is more important than ever that core public services like recycling and waste management also deliver on wider objectives that benefit society, by building social value into procurement and service delivery.

Social value works best when stakeholders set clear aims and objectives developed through partnership and openness, so the ESA and its members want to engage with commissioners of our services to ensure that the framework published today can evolve over time and help build social value opportunities into procurement decision-making. It is fantastic to see so many of our members committing to maximising the benefits and opportunities their activities bring to individuals, communities, and society, and to measuring and understanding the social value their organisations create over time – which will inform decision-making both for service delivery and procurement as well as improving the social value outcomes their organisations create both individually and collectively, and on a local and national basis.