Social Value Programme

Social value is one of the hottest topics in the construction and property sector and provides a compelling concept for articulating the benefits felt from high quality, sustainable development
capturing the value of sustainability Manchester Green Homes


April 9, 2019


Policy & Advocacy, Research & Innovation, Education & Leadership




In 2018, UKGBC published an introductory guide for policy-makers and development teams on social value in new development. Launched in 2019, The Social Value Programme builds on this work and aims to use the concept of social value to enable the built environment sector to deliver better outcomes for communities. Overcoming some key barriers to delivering that has provided the following focus for the first year of the programme: 


In 2020, UKGBC brought together the Social Value Task Group to address the challenge of defining social value for the built environment sector in a way which is applicable and useful for all projects and places. Launched in February 2021, the “Framework for Defining Social Value” is the resulting output. Moving into the next year of the programme, UKGBC will be working with members more closely to help embed best practice throughout the industry.

Our plans for 2021-22

For 2021-22, we will be focussing our efforts towards broadening guidance and creating real impact. The programme will continue to focus on how the built environment can create social value, and the associated opportunities, challenges and solutions involved in social value delivery. To enable these overarching aims, the programme will feature the following activity-based workstreams:

  • Social Value Forum – including sharing insights from implementing the Framework for Defining Social Value
  • Central and Local Policy guidance and advocacy – including updating local authority guidance on social value
  • Cross-industry engagement – including the continued coordination of discussions between social value stakeholders
  • Learning & Events – including greater knowledge sharing from the implementation of the Framework

Key outputs

Framework for Defining Social Value

UKGBC identified a need from the built environment sector to establish a definition of social value that focussed on the impact that buildings, infrastructure and places have on people. In June 2020, UKGBC brought together 23 industry stakeholders to form the Social Value Task Group with the ambition to define social value for the built environment in a way that is applicable for all projects and places. The resulting framework provides guidance on defining social value for any built environment project and sets out the principles and process for delivering social value at any stage of the asset lifecycle.

Delivering Social Value: Measurement 

Measuring social value has become a vital part of communicating and committing to social value creation across the development lifecycle. This guide aims to de-mystify the practice of measuring the social value of buildings and places, and to help organisations understand which approach is most suitable for their circumstances.

Building a just transition to net zero

As momentum is building around the race to zero, UKGBC investigated the social justice considerations and opportunities of the net zero transition. In the one-page infographic and associated blog, UKGBC explores the growing topic of the Just Transition. Highlighting that these considerations are not only socially responsible, but essential to the success of the race to net zero.

Delivering Social Value: Community Engagement Hacked

The likelihood of creating positive social value is higher the more communities are engaged with their built environment. This report showcases innovative approaches to community engagement to help inspire practitioners to think more creatively about how the sector engages with communities.

Driving Social Value: Options for Local Authorities

In reaction to the UK government’s commitment to strengthen the Social Value Act, we have updated the planning section of our detailed resource on social value policy for local authorities.

Bite-sized briefing: Investor reporting

This bite-sized briefing is a quick introduction to the key concepts of social value, highlighting some key considerations for real estate assets managers.

Current opportunities to engage in the programme: 

Sign up for the Social Value Coursemail – In May 2020, we launched an email-based learning experience on social value in the built environment.

Sign up for email updates  – Throughout the year we will be sending email updates with invitations to upcoming programme activities and latest programme outputs, as well as project case studies and any relevant news stories.

Contribute to our Social Value Actor & Resource Map –  We have produced an interactive map of key actors, resources and initiatives on social value in the built environment, to help the industry navigate this increasingly complex landscape and avoid duplication. If you know of a project or resource which you think should be included,  please get in touch.


Our continued work in this area is made possible thanks to the generous support of our partners; Argent, Avison Young, Buro Happold and Federated Hermes. Please note that only UKGBC members have access to the programme activities.