Leading contractor Wates Construction is encouraging businesses across the East Midlands and the Northern Home Counties to explore building relationships with social enterprises (SEs) as it reveals it has recorded a spend of over £325,651 in the two regions’ SE sectors in the first half of 2018.
Wates’ biggest spend in the Northern Home Counties has been with Recycling Lives, a unique business that uses its recycling and waste management operations to directly support and sustain a number of charity programmes. These include food redistribution to support charities, offender rehabilitation to reduce reoffending and services to tackle homelessness, as well as job creation from its growth.
Wates has spent £121,438 with Recycling Lives in the Northern Home Counties region, with the two organisations working closely together at the HMP Stocken project in Rutland, where Wates is building a new £24m development on behalf of the Ministry of Justice. Recycling Lives has delivered a range of waste management solutions as part of the project.
The new scheme will include a 206-bed house block, a kitchen, an activities building and an extension to existing car parking facilities.
Wates has committed to spending over £20m with social enterprises by 2020, with each of the group’s business units employing at least one SE on each of its projects.
Research commissioned by Wates last year revealed that expenditure with social enterprises generates 77% more social value – or £1.77 for every £1 spent – than when procuring services from commercial businesses. In the period up to July of this year, Wates generated £576,402 of social value for the Northern Home Counties and the East Midlands regions.
Ian Vickers, Managing Director, Wates Construction Home Counties, said: “One of the most rewarding aspects of our job is doing what we can to support organisations that have a social cause at the heart of their ethos, while also making valuable contributions to our projects. We’ve developed a strong relationship with Recycling Lives, and its work on HMP Stocken has been integral to its smooth running. We look forward to working with Recycling Lives on many more initiatives in the coming months and we hope the success of our approach inspires other businesses to work with and include SEs within their supply chains.”
Simon Edwards, Commercial Director of Recycling Lives, said: “We use recycling partnerships to change lives – for every commercial contract we deliver, we create social impact through our three social programmes. Our partnership with Wates Construction has not only supported the development of construction projects but also contributed to the creation of millions of pounds in social value.”