Beyond bricks and mortar: how CIOB is giving back to society

CIOB social value

Measuring CIOB’s social value is an essential step to understanding the positive impact that the institute has on the communities it serves, writes Caroline Gumble.

I started this year by sharing CIOB’s first ever social value report. I am pleased that my last column this year shares further news on the same theme – and it is even more positive this time.

When I meet CIOB members, there is always a recognition that our industry is one of the few that has an impact on everyone, wherever they live or work, with conversations reflecting that built environment professionals understand that they can affect our communities and wider society.

As part of that, and in line with our public interest remit, CIOB made a commitment a couple of years ago to research our own social value and establish a ‘baseline’ for where we are as an organisation.

Our first social value report noted that for every £1 invested in CIOB services, £2.84 of social value is generated. However, our new report confirms that for every £1 invested, CIOB delivers just over £4 of social value.

The evaluation of the positive value we create as an organisation was conducted by corporate social responsibility consultancy Collins McHugh. Its examination included a broad range of our activities, covering our Tomorrow’s Leaders and mentoring programmes, engagement with our global community of members through the regional hubs, the CIOB Academy and our CIOB Assist scheme.

Social value is significant for whole industry

Measuring our social value is important because it is integral to us as an organisation and the work we want to deliver. It is also, of course, significant for the whole industry and, increasingly, a requirement in much public sector procurement. I believe that we’re one of only a few professional bodies to have mapped our social value and it is important that we see the positive impact organisations like ours can have on society.

The principles of social value, which I’ve heard described as ‘what we do beyond bricks and mortar’, are now embedded in our corporate plan and the workstreams supporting it. Our areas of focus – quality and safety, sustainability and tackling the skills gap – all reflect the positive changes our industry can help to deliver. With our overarching themes of collaboration and modern professionalism, we are also helping to take these conversations beyond our sector, out to clients, to potential recruits into the industry and to the communities we serve.

I am proud of our leadership on social value and I remain proud to be part of an organisation that is, demonstrably, doing good things.

CIOB’s social value report can be accessed at ciob.me/socialvaluereport.

Caroline Gumble is CEO of CIOB.

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