Social value and National Highways

Social value is the sum of the benefits that we - and our supply chain partners - deliver for people, environment and the economy.

We’ve always built value into every aspect of our network. From economic prosperity to preserving natural habitats, we know how important it is that we make a positive difference to the communities and the environment where we work.

Although we’ve been contributing to social value for a while, we haven’t measured everything that we contribute before.

Our Social Value Plan will change this, showcasing how we already deliver social value and describing how we can do even more.

Social value webinar

Our Social Value Webinar supported the launch of our new Social Value Plan. It was hosted by our Procurement Director, Andrew Stephenson, and colleagues from across our organization. We explained what social value means to us at National Highways, why it’s important and what we’re hoping to achieve in collaboration with our supply chain by 2024.

A transcript of the webinar is also available. 

Watch the webinar

Adding social value

Examples from across our road network.

Improving students’ interview skills - A19 North East

Improving interview skills

Our A19 project team got together to help local students fine-tune their interview skills and increase their chances of finding employment.

The team used their experience to give students the feedback and tips to help them succeed, especially around challenging questions.

The initiative received a very positive response, opening up partnering opportunities with other schools and colleges in the future.

Supporting local business - A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon

A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon

While building the 12.5 mile bypass, we encouraged our contractors to support the local economy by using local businesses where possible.

For example, we engaged Kettering based company, K2 Recovery, to provide a free vehicle breakdown recovery service during the scheme's construction.

The additional work allowed K2 (a small and medium-sized enterprise or SME) to:

  • recruit locally, expanding its team from 16 to over 50 employees
  • increase its fleet from 10 to 60 vehicles.

Cleaning up the beach - A27 Arundel Bypass

A group of ten volunteers from National Highways and supply chain partners BAM Nuttall and AECOM took time out from the office to participate in the ‘Great British Spring Clean 2022’, cleaning and litter picking along the Arundel shoreline.

Litter picking Arundel shore

Our social value framework

There are four foundations to our social value framework:

Economic prosperity

We create prosperity:

  • by improving productivity through our strategic road network
  • through employment and training opportunities.

Improving the environment

We must conserve natural resources and enhance global ecosystems to support health and wellbeing. We need to make environmental decisions today that don’t compromise our future.

Our focus is on:

  • mitigating and adapting to climate change
  • the long-term health of ecosystems
  • avoiding pollution
  • reducing waste using resources sustainably.

Community wellbeing

We connect people by investing in the strategic road network. We must improve the wellbeing of the communities we affect through our work, helping people enjoy healthier lives and leaving a lasting legacy.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

We will increase opportunities for under-represented groups. We want to create a more equal society and provide an inclusive, accessible strategic road network for everybody.