How can we build social value in the UK's construction industry?

Author: Dan Ruscoe

As a leading construction recruitment and logistics provider, we are committed to upholding the highest standards of environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles and driving positive social value within the communities we serve. Social value not only enhances the reputation and competitiveness of construction companies but also contributes positively to society.

The construction sector has a significant impact on the environment, so it is crucial for all businesses to minimise our carbon footprint and embrace sustainable practices while empowering people and the communities in which we operate through inclusive opportunities and supporting local businesses through mentorship programmes and a diverse supply chain, among other strategic initiatives.

Why is social value important in the UK’s construction industry?

Recent statistics highlight the significant impact of social value initiatives. For instance, the UK construction industry generated £1.08 billion of social value from contracts worth £4.57 billion in 2022, providing a 30.33% return on investment (ROI).

According to EG, the focus areas of the industry in terms of ESG and social value are the workforce and achieving net zero. The article highlights that the UK Green Building Council states that 20% of the UK's built environment emissions stem from embodied carbon in construction and refurbishment projects, a quarter of the nation's total emissions, which is a critical challenge that demands action and innovative solutions from the construction industry.

The National Social Value Standard (SVS) has launched a new framework that includes metrics for tracking negative values and aligns with the HM Treasury Green Book wellbeing guidance, ensuring a more comprehensive and diverse range of metrics and valuations.

Our commitment to ESG and social value

The statistics gathered over the past few years demonstrate the importance of prioritising social value across the industry, from planning and design to construction and operation, to deliver positive outcomes for society and communities.

As a business that offers both recruitment and logistics services to the construction industry, our goal is to take a holistic approach to ensure we are contributing positively through all aspects of ESG, as follows:


  • We are deeply committed to environmental sustainability through initiatives that reduce our carbon footprint, protect ecosystems and drive industry-wide change.
  • Our key focus areas include becoming net zero by minimising waste, emissions and water usage while increasing renewable energy adoption.
  • We support reforestation, source sustainable materials and engage in biodiversity conservation projects.
  • We also encourage sustainable practices, knowledge-sharing and ethical sourcing across our supply chain to drive positive environmental impact.


  • Our social initiatives centre on empowering individuals to foster community belonging and prioritise health and wellbeing.
  • We facilitate access to training and employment opportunities that enable upskilling and future career growth.
  • We uphold stringent health and safety standards, extending our commitment to on-site inductions and pre-employment orientations.
  • We actively engage with local organisations to address issues like food insecurity and digital exclusion, aligning our charity and volunteering efforts to strengthen community bonds and enhance quality of life.


  • Responsible governance underpins our operations through business support, mentorship programmes and a diverse supply chain that bolsters local economic growth.
  • We hold local workshops on interviews and CV writing to foster professional development in partnership with industry stakeholders.
  • Our commitment to ethical practices, transparency and regulatory compliance ensures accountability.
  • We adopt robust risk management strategies to further reinforce our long-term sustainability and responsiveness to the concerns of employees, clients, suppliers and communities.

Our social value initiatives

We believe in walking the talk, so MCG Construction has several social value initiatives already running or in the pipeline to be rolled out soon: 

  • Partnering for inclusive opportunities: one of our key partnerships is with the Career Transition Partnership (CTP), a joint venture between the Ministry of Defence and Right Management Ltd. Through this collaboration, we provide resettlement services for individuals leaving the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Marines, ensuring a smooth transition into civilian life and the workforce.

  • Fostering greener practices: our approach to recycling and waste management underscores our environmental sustainability commitment. We use ClosedLoop recycling for the safe removal and remanufacture of Proplex sheets from construction sites. We have also established a supply chain partnership with Powerday, a leading UK materials recycling service, to transport waste materials from our projects along the Grand Union Canal and disposing of them in a responsible and sustainable manner.

  • Embracing second chances: we firmly believe in offering individuals a second chance at rebuilding their lives. Our active engagement with HM Prison & Probation Service enables us to support individuals leaving prison, facilitating their integration into client projects and providing them with meaningful employment opportunities. We also embrace legislative changes that make it easier for over 120,000 former offenders to secure employment by eliminating the need to declare certain custodial sentences, removing a significant barrier to their reintegration into the workforce.

  • Extending opportunities to all: our commitment to inclusivity extends to individuals from diverse backgrounds, including disabled individuals, care leavers and those with a history of homelessness. We work closely with organisations such as Job Centre Plus, Construction Youth Trust and The Poppy Factory to extend employment opportunities to a wider audience, fostering a sense of belonging and empowerment.

  • Nurturing future talent: we recognise the importance of nurturing future talent and exposing young minds to potential career paths through various partnerships and programmes. We are actively engaging with the Youth Engagement Schools Trust (YES Trust) to explore opportunities to foster an interest in construction among 13 to 16 year old school students, as well working with our partners to provide materials for practical learning and access to sites for field trips.

  • Empowering the unemployed: our collaboration with independent provider Rosscon Training involves hosting employability sessions, interview coaching and CV writing workshops. This initiative is geared toward supporting the unemployed and NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) individuals, guiding them back into the workforce and equipping them with the necessary skills to thrive.

Looking ahead to a brighter future

At MCG Construction, our commitment to ESG and social value shapes our actions and decisions. Our industry plays a pivotal role in shaping the world around us, and we are determined to leverage our expertise and resources to create a more sustainable, inclusive and equitable future.

As we continue to explore innovative solutions, we invite you to join us on this transformative journey. Whether you're a client seeking a reliable and socially responsible construction partner, a talented individual seeking meaningful employment opportunities or a community organisation looking to collaborate on impactful initiatives, we welcome you to get in touch.

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