Savills Explores the Social Value of Tackling Local and Global Challenges

14/10/2019

To improve understanding of how shopping centres contribute to their local communities, Savills and RDI REIT P.L.C. worked with the Social Value Portal to quantify the social value of property management initiatives at Weston Favell Shopping Centre. They also explored how social value reporting could be mapped to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

£1m social value created in 2018, making a positive local contribution

Exploring contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals

£33 social value per m2, versus £27 per m2 sector average across five centres

Situation

Savills is a global real estate services provider, which manages a large portfolio of retail, business, leisure and industrial space across the UK. As part of its work to provide best-in-class sustainability services, Savills partnered with client RDI REIT P.L.C. to pilot social value reporting at Weston Favell Shopping Centre in Northampton.

Drivers included:

  • Improving understanding of how shopping centres contribute to local communities and support the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

  • Raising awareness of the value of the shopping centre to the local community.

  • Identifying initiatives that generate the greatest social value to inform future strategy.
  • The UN Sustainable Development Goals were launched by world leaders in 2015 to create a better world for all by 2030. Underpinned by 169 targets, there are 17 goals that address global challenges, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice.

Actions

For the pilot project, Savills and RDI REIT P.L.C. partnered with the Social Value Portal, which offers an online solution for organisations to measure and manage the contributions their organisation and supply chain make to society.

The National TOMs Framework provided the core measurement framework. Developed by the National Social Value Taskforce, a body that brings together public and private sector organisations, the TOMs Framework is built around five Themes, 18 Outcomes and 35 Measures.

The five Themes reflect the social, economic and environmental needs of a local area:

  1. Promoting local skills and employment.
  2. Supporting the growth of responsible regional business.
  3. Healthier, safer and more resilient communities.
  4. Protecting and improving our environment.
  5. Promoting social innovation in our communities.

Savills and RDI REIT worked with the Social Value Portal to tailor this framework for Weston Favell, agreeing key performance indicators of interest to investors and other stakeholders. Savills and the Social Value Portal then engaged with the property management team to gather the required data. This included a site visit early on. The property team provided detailed data to reduce estimations and improve accuracy.

Social Value Report

The Centre Manager input data into the tailored TOMs Framework to quantify the social, economic and environmental value created by the property management team’s activities. They also benchmarked results against the sector average, based on data from five shopping centres.

The above image provides a snapshot of how the financial value was calculated from services provided.

 

Financial

Annual membership of the Social Value Portal costs around £15,000, with social value studies for individual properties starting from £5,500, depending on size and level of detail. In choosing Savills as your partner, the membership fee is void.

Benefits

  • Improving understanding of how shopping centres contribute to local communities and support global goals, providing RDI REIT P.L.C. and Savills with ESG information of interest to investors and stakeholders, including the local authority, store managers and local community.

  • Raising awareness of the value of the shopping centre to the local community, with £1m total social value created in 2018, equating to £33 social value per m2, versus £27 per m2 sector average.

  • Linking local action to global challenges, looking at how social value could be mapped to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including those related to infrastructure, employment, health, inequality, climate and sustainable communities.
  • Identifying initiatives that generate the greatest social value to inform future strategy, such as local employment and supporting young people into work.
  • Recognising the efforts of the site team to contribute to their local community, with 1.1 days volunteering per person, more than double the sector average of 0.5 days.
  • Piloting social value reporting to further expand the environmental, social and governance services that Savills offers to clients.

Challenges & Achievements

FUTURE

 

How to build on the pilot project?

 

Informed by the initial study, Savills is in discussions with clients about additional opportunities for social value reporting to demonstrate the broader value of UK shopping centres. As part of its efforts to provide best-in-class sustainability services, Savills is also looking at opportunities to further grow social value expertise within its in-house team. The Social Value Portal drew on insights gained through the pilot project in developing the National TOMs Real Estate Plug-In 2019, the first sector specific plug-in for the framework. The Social Value Portal will also be able to report on the value generated against each of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals when measuring the social value of an asset.

“Considering social impacts is an integral part of robust property management. Clients, investors and employees are more focused than ever on how businesses deliver positive and enduring social impact. Savills’ sustainability team supports clients to manage, measure and report their impacts, contributing to communities around the UK and, in turn, helping them to make headway on their long-term objectives for this agenda.”

Lizzie Jones, Sustainability Director at Savills