Industry standard

Kier: Highways sets the industry standard for social value

Kier Highways has become the first motorway company in the UK to achieve Social Value Quality Seal (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 businesses in the public, private and third sectors in the UK and internationally. Kier Group reached the first SVQM level 1 in 2018 and 2020, Kier Construction has become the first construction company in the UK to be awarded SVQM Level 2 – and now its Highways business has secured this coveted award.

The social value quality mark is based on nine principles and 10 standards. Organizations are required to achieve the minimum level of compliance of 80% against each of the standards for each level. Audits are broken down into five stages: pre-start, research, prove, assess, report.

Kier’s Highways business had to prove all the quality mark scoring criteria and participated in interviews with project managers, supply chain partners, customers and other stakeholders. This included its Area 3 and 9 National Motorway maintenance contracts, the A585 Windy Harbor National Motorway project in Skippool, the Birmingham Highways Limited contract, the Northamptonshire Motorways contract, as well as its commercial, management, of HR and Innovation from Nordis Signs.

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

Natalie Wadley, Director of Social Value Quality Mark, commented: “This is truly an incredible achievement, and the overwhelming feedback is that Kier Highways is delivering genuine social value, measuring and integrating the impact on its supply chain and local community partners.

“It’s clear the people at Kier care, and they go above and beyond to leave a legacy.”

Vicki Glover, Director of Human Resources at Kier Highways, commented: “We are delighted to receive the Social Value 2 Quality Level and achieve such a high score. This accreditation demonstrates our staff’s commitment to embedding social value in everything we do.

“Conversations during the audits were all very positive. This included feedback from our supply chain about supporting our business in their own social value journeys, including how we share resources and best practices Customer feedback was very similar, with comments about how Kier are seen as leaders in delivering social value.We also hosted an interview with St Basil’s, part of the End Youth charity. Homelessness, who shared how we are truly committed to improving the lives of young people through our fundraising efforts, as well as the renovations we have done to their premises.

“I look forward to continuing our journey of social value as we strive to achieve SVQM Level 3 accreditation.”