“One construction company we are working with in Sydney, for example, has located to an area with many girls’ schools, and it is working with these schools on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) initiatives to get the pupils to come in and see the business and how it works, and hopefully have some new recruits in the future,” O’Connor says.
The report also suggests balancing the economic rationale of location decisions – that is, the access to employees and cost of doing business – with social and environmental factors.
“Prioritize locations that offer good connectivity, good amenities, health and wellbeing facilities, connection to the local communities and green spaces,” the report states.
For companies with the appetite to generate social value at a grass roots stage, making the decision to relocate to an underdeveloped community can foster regeneration as well as improve social outcomes for both workers and residents.
For a Madrid-based financial firm considering whether to retain its city-centre office or relocate to a less established area, social value amenities alongside key real estate metrics like rents and vacancy rates, led the company to move.
“Again, we go back to people. The attraction and retention of talent is the biggest cost for any organisation, more so than the rental of the building, and so your company’s social value is increasingly becoming part of the package to entice the best,” says O’Connor.