Our Thoughts
Tue, 08/08/2023 - 12:00
· 2 min read

Maximising social value requires a tailored approach

Understanding the social value of your property, including how to quantify and improve it, is vital for future-proofing assets, winning more bids, increasing occupier satisfaction and complying with UK and EU legislation. The most impactful projects dig deeper into what communities really need, says Donna Rourke, Head of ESG and Sustainability and BNP Paribas Real Estate.

Social value is becoming an essential aspect of real estate ownership and development.

Demand for sustainable finance-related social investments is growing. The European Union is developing an EU Social Taxonomy aimed at leveraging financial markets to support sustainable and socially inclusive economic growth across Europe. Meanwhile, the UK government has introduced legislation that requires social value to be evaluated as part of the tender process when outsourcing all contracts over £100,000.

Investors and policymakers have increasingly sought new methods of finding and measuring social value as its influence has grown. Several methods of quantifying social value now exist, including the Social Value Portal that assigns proxy financial values to enable organisations to quantify their social value more accurately.

“To ensure you’re maximising social value you really need to take a tailored approach,” says Donna Rourke, Head of ESG and Sustainability and BNP Paribas Real Estate. “It’s about much more than doing a bit of volunteering, rather it’s about digging deeper into what your community really needs and how you can deliver it.”

We recommend that anyone seeking to quantify social value starts with the government’s National TOMs (Theme, Outcomes and Measures) Framework’, which groups social value outcomes into five themes, all of which are indicated in the below diagram (Figure 3). These themes are supported by 18 outcomes and 38 specific measures.


TOMs Framework


At 245 Hammersmith Road, a 330,000 square foot office development, owners Legal & General (LGIM Real Assets) and Mitsubishi Estate London commissioned BNP Paribas Real Estate to quantify the social value of the building using Social Value Portal. Our property management team embedded social value in the contract procurement process and ensured all contractors were aligned with the TOMs framework. In addition, the team completed various activities including supporting those self-isolating due to Covid-19 with grocery shopping, providing haircuts for the homeless, offering space to host local social groups and implementing social initiatives.

The project created more than £20 million of social value in the first three years of the building’s operational phase, equating to 410% of social value added per pound of contract value. The focus on social value is likely to keep growing as these tools grow more sophisticated.

Our ESG and Sustainability teams can help you to realise the full potential and social value of your assets. We can develop an asset specific social value framework and implementation strategy to ensure you maximise the value of assets and your ESG credentials.

To learn more, you can download our short guide to social value below and find out how we can help you with the rising challenges of ESG here.

Maximising social value requires a tailored approach