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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Kier Highways sets industry standard in Social Value

Kier Highways has become the first highways business in the UK to achieve Social Value Quality Mark (SVQM) Level 2, reflecting its commitment to leaving a positive legacy in the communities in which it works.

The Social Value Quality Mark is an independent social enterprise that assesses companies in the public, private and third sectors in the UK and internationally. Kier Group first achieved SVQM Level 1 back in 2018, and in 2020, Kier Construction became the first construction firm in the UK to be awarded the SVQM Level 2 – and now its Highways business has secured this coveted award.

The Social Value Quality Mark is based upon nine principles and 10 standards. Organisations are required to reach the minimum compliance level of 80% against each of the standards for each Level. The audits are broken down in to five stages: pre-start, research it, prove it, value it, report it.

Kier’s Highways business was required to evidence all criteria of the quality mark scoring and participated in interviews which included project leads, supply chain partners, clients and other stakeholders. This included its National Highways Area 3 and Area 9 maintenance contracts, National Highways A585 Windy Harbour to Skippool project, Birmingham Highways Limited contract, Northamptonshire Highways contract, as well as its Nordis Signs business, senior leadership, HR and innovations teams.

Various social value-based efforts led the Kier business stream to achieve this impressive score including their work in creating new jobs and skills, supporting sustainable and long-term economic development, reducing environmental impact and helping communities recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Natalie Wadley, director at Social Value Quality Mark, commented: “It really is an incredible achievement, and the overwhelming feedback is that Kier Highways is delivering authentic social value, measuring and embedding impact across its supply chain and local community partners.

“It is clear that Kier people care, and they go over and above to leave a legacy.”

Vicki Glover, HR director at Kier Highways, commented: “We’re delighted to receive the Social Value Quality Level 2 and to achieve such a strong score. This accreditation is testament to our people’s commitment in embedding Social Value into everything we do.

“Conversations during the audits were all really positive. This included feedback from our supply chain on how supportive our business is on their own social value journeys, including how we share resource and best practice. Client feedback was very similar, with comments on how Kier are seen as leaders in social value delivery. We also organised an interview with St Basil’s, who are part of the charity End Youth Homelessness, who explained how we are truly committed to improving the lives of young people through our fundraising efforts, as well as the refurbishment works we completed at their premises.

“I look forward to us continuing our Social Value journey as we work towards achieving a Level 3 SVQM accreditation.”

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