Leaders in sustainable development join Social Value UK
Professor Erik Bichard and Phil Higham have joined Social Value UK/Social Value International as organisational members following the launch of their company RealWorth. The company primarily values the social and environmental change of built environment projects, programmes and investments. They have wide set client groups ranging from developers and investors in property, through to membership bodies and local authorities, social landlords and place-making social enterprises. Their approach is based on the use of multiple social, material and ecological valuation methods, and is underpinned by the pair’s long association with the development and construction community.
Erik is based in Liverpool and developed the methods employed by RealWorth while working as a Professor of Regeneration and Sustainable Development. As an individual member he was invited onto the Social Value UK Council and also serves on the Social Value International Methodology Sub-Committee. He is a former executive director of the UK National Centre for Business and Sustainability and a Trustee of the social enterprise the FRC Group. Erik said: “while conventional methods of valuation used by built environment professionals mainly focus on the market-based and the physical, RealWorth puts a value on the social and environmental changes experienced by people who are the most affected by development decisions”.
Phil, a Manchester-based chartered surveyor, has had a full and varied career in international development and leadership roles at companies including Laing O’Rourke and Rider Levett Bucknall. Phil said “we have always thought that society in general, and the built environment industry in particular, fails to value the importance of social and environmental factors when making decisions that affect people’s lives. Our business has been created to redress this shortfall.”
The company has secured a contract with an innovative social enterprise in Pittsburgh that empowers local people to improve the environmental conditions of their underinvested neighbourhoods and is in the final stages of negotiations to be appointed a key advisor to one of the largest mixed use development schemes in the north of England.
News of RealWorth’s innovative approach has also spread to Malmo and Vienna where Professor Bichard has spoken of the need to value things differently to avoid further division in society.
For more information see the RealWorth website.
RealWorth will also be taking a lead on the Social Value UK ‘Social Value in the Built Environment’ working group, which will launch in the new year. We are very excited about this, for more information or to request to join, visit our Working Groups list.
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Christina Berry-Moorcroft, Membership and Communications Coordinator, Social Value UK
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RealWorth is a consultancy that represents a unique blend of skills combining academic and commercial expertise to help our clients to create better and more sustainable outcomes for their organisations and wider society.
About Social Value UK
Social Value UK is the national network for anyone interested in social value and social impact. We work with our members to increase the accounting, measuring and maximising of social value from the perspective of those affected by an organisation’s activities, through our Social Value Principles. We believe in a world where a broader definition of value will change decision making and ultimately decrease inequality and environmental degradation. To achieve our mission, Social Value UK provides training and assurance services, as well as hosting regular meetings and events, creating new tools and resources, and running campaigns. Through supporting and working with our members, and as a National Member Network of Social Value International, we are creating an international movement for change.