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 to “Social Value in New Development” for policy-makers and development teams. Officially launched in 2019, the UKGBC Social Value Programme builds on this early work supporting the built environment sector to deliver better outcomes for communities. Overcoming key barriers to delivering social value provided the focus for the first year of the programme. Including:



Since, UKGBC’s Social Value Programme has worked hard to clarify the principles and processes behind defining and delivering social value in projects and places. Below outlines some key outputs from the programme so far:

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.

Guide for Delivering Social Value in Built Environment Projects 

This guide builds upon UKGBC’s Framework for Defining Social Value by applying the Process for Delivering Social Value on a range of real-world case studies and understanding key challenges and opportunities in succeeding at each stage of the process. With input from the Social Value Forum, this report provides a tried and tested process for delivering social value as well as the tools and real-world experiences to guide any practitioner through the process step-by-step.  

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 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.

Sign up for the Social Value Coursemail – An email-based learning experience on social value in the built environment.

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; Arcadis, Avison Young, Buro Happold, CBRE, Federated Hermes, Hoare Lea, JLL, Rebelleon and WSP. Please note that only UKGBC members have access to the programme activities.


Social Value Programme Partners