Investing in social good


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The decisions made by investors investing into the built environment in which we all live have an enduring impact on our lives.

We have been working with the Social Market Foundation, looking at how environmentally sustainable real estate needs to have broader benefits for its inhabitants as an equitable society is more resilient. With increasing legislation focusing on the environment improvement of real estate assets, how can this be balanced with ensuring social value is considered.

Bringing together views from investors leading voices across the real estate sector, we published a paper in March this year providing an investor snapshot to the impact of positive social outcomes on their investment decisions. Click here to read this paper.

This builds on the work we have been doing as an organisation over the last ten years, working with a number of leading organisations helping our clients to understand social value.

From 2016 to 2018 we partnered with Oxford Brookes University to explore how to measure a broader value of a place incorporating factors including cultural, social, and environmental value. Titled Highly valued, hard to value, this in-depth research campaign established a rationale and framework for measuring the social value of development.

Following this report, we moved into the second phase of our research by convening a working group with leaders from the public and private sectors to explore the barriers and opportunities to changing and broadening existing methods of valuation. 

From these discussions, we commissioned the consultancy RealWorth to develop the rationale and suggest practical ways to initiate change in the real estate sector. We produced a report (Establishing the real value in development) setting out a methodology for financial valuation of the societal impact of development with recommendations to enhance existing methods of valuation for both the public and private sectors.

In 2021 we published our 'Positioning cities for prosperity' report following an 18 month initiative exploring the link between cities and prosperity. We brought together leaders across communities and businesses to look at how we create the towns and cities of the future as well as examine real estate’s role in providing the platform for society to thrive. The impact of Covid-19 bisected this exploration. The pandemic, which has accelerated conversations around social value and climate change, arguably makes the need to understand how the built environment can drive prosperity in cities and urban centres even more pressing.

We continued this discussion in Autumn 2021 speaking to those investing in real estate about prioritising social value in the built environment. To read our discussions, please click here.

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