The social value movement emerged in the 1990s from a desire to demonstrate the value of investment in people and society. To demonstrate, evidence or proof is required, thus the focus on measurement is central to the social value movement.
In addition to measurement, understanding and valuing impact upon all stakeholders is a core theme of the social value movement. With measurement, it is more possible to see when an action has led to increased inequality or has negatively impacted the environment. With measurement, one can identify opportunities to improve societal well-being.
In procurement, thinking about impact from the view of all stakeholders will illuminate pathways to achieving maximum positive impact. The journey towards the goal of achieving maximum impact begins at the design stage of the procurement process and will be informed by stakeholder experience overtime.
We should be demanding evidence of maximum positive impact – from our governments and government-funded institutions, and from all corporations and service providers. Building maximum impact capacity among purchasers of services is equal in importance to building measurement capacity at the service delivery level.
The act of procurement offers a tremendous opportunity for positive environmental and social impact. Measurement will inform and guide us on how to maximise that opportunity. This is essential if we are to successfully repair and sustain the planet. Real sustainability requires us to address inequality and to actively improve well-being in order to meet the goal of addressing climate change.
Robertson, S. (2021), "Procurement for Maximum Impact", Richards, A. and Nicholls, J. (Ed.) Generation Impact, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 135-141. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78973-929-920200013
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