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Why 2022 is the year for social procurement

In 2021, we saw social procurement take hold in many sectors as a practical means to achieve social and environmental targets whilst still prioritising, and even strengthening, business outcomes. As the benefits of social procurement become more widely known, leaders are pulling ahead and others are urgently trying to follow their example. Whether your organisation is just getting started or thinking about expanding their social procurement activities, this is why 2022 is the year to take action.

The Social Value Model

At the beginning of 2021, the new Social Value Model was introduced and created additional incentive for the public sector, government contractors and subcontractors to work with social suppliers. Many businesses with big and broad spending ability are looking for ways to show social value in their work. Many are expanding on existing social procurement activities whilst others are just getting started in response to the policy change. We are already seeing the effects of the new policy, which affects roughly £300 billion of spend, but many organisations are still defining or refining their social value activities. In 2022, we can expect social value to continue to grow in importance for the huge network of organisations in and around the public sector supply chain.

Stand out to clients

Most organisations, whether private or public, have their own social and sustainability agendas. In the wake of COP26 and BLM there is renewed urgency to prioritise diversity, inclusion and sustainability. Social enterprises more commonly prioritise sustainability and have more diverse boards than most companies. Engaging these businesses offers a great way to create sustainable and diverse supply chains and therefore a straightforward way to align the values of your organisation with that of your market.


Explore our social procurement services or speak to us about the best route to impactful supply chains for your organisation.


Attract and retain talent

Prioritising social and environmental sustainability gets noticed by clients and your employees. It’s never been more important for employees to feel like they work somewhere that reflects their own ethics. A survey by Escape The City found that 89% of people wanted a career with a sense of purpose, up from 71% the year before. Engaging social enterprises and embedding social procurement creates a positive work culture and attracts the best talent on the market.

Social enterprises make better suppliers

Buyers are often pleasantly surprised by the overachieving nature of social suppliers. Social enterprises are addressing complex social and environmental issues as well as competing commercially. For the last couple of years many have also had their business and community majorly disrupted by a pandemic. Yet 44% of social enterprises saw income grow in 2020, compared to 18% of other businesses. Having to adapt, be agile and find solutions in the face of challenges is nothing new to social suppliers, which can make them an exceptional supplier and collaborator. Some buyers even create activities whereby employees can engage with and learn from social suppliers.

State of Social Enterprise 2021 by Social Enterprise UK

Why wouldn’t you?

Most people have the ethical motivation to embed social procurement in their business. Even if we ignore the commercial benefits, social procurement is the same as procurement but with additional social and environmental value. We are yet to meet someone who doesn’t want to create good in the world as a by-product of something they would be doing anyway. Social procurement is a great business choice but also an impactful personal choice.

Speak to us about how your organisation can be a social procurement leader in 2022


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