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SCAPE Scotland launches Social Partnership Portal

Scape Scotland
The Social Partnership Portal Founding Members Black background

Should construction projects have a social conscience? There’s a lot of willing to work with small and socially conscious businesses, and yet connecting can be complex. Now, buyers and suppliers across the UK can benefit from a new social supply chain platform created by SCAPE in partnership with Local Supply Chain (LSC) and 25 leading construction companies.

Introducing The Social Partnership Portal

The new digital platform will enable industry buyers to easily source and engage with an extensive network of socially focused suppliers, to work on built environment projects across Scotland. Designed to support organisations focused on social and environmental outcomes, the online tool will also provide improved access to contractors working across our suite of construction, civil engineering and consultancy frameworks, as well as other built environment projects. Our net zero-ready frameworks are used by more than 1,200 public bodies across the UK and cumulatively represent £3bn in buying power in Scotland.

The Social Partnership Portal, which was initially conceived and developed by our Social Enterprise Working Group, is supported by a visionary group of founding members made up of more than 25 leading UK contractors, key industry stakeholders Constructionline and SMAS, and supported by Social Enterprise Scotland.

Community benefit is a key principle within the Scottish government’s Procurement Policy Notes (SPPNs) which are designed to shape best practice in public sector construction. The SPPNs have recently been updated to reflect Britain’s exit from the EU and place significant emphasis on social value within procurement, including increased use of local and national social enterprises.

The Social Partnership Portal is free for social suppliers to use and gives them the opportunity to achieve verified status as a social enterprise. Suppliers will be accredited with Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum status depending on their social enterprise credentials, including grant-based income and the percentage of profit reinvested in social or environmental causes. Suppliers seeking to achieve Platinum status will also benefit from dedicated support from Supply Change, a social enterprise dedicated to furthering the work of fellow organisations with a social purpose.

Suppliers and contractors can sign up to the platform and access the database by visiting www.socialpartnershipportal.co.uk.

As a voice for the public sector and its construction partners, we have a responsibility to take the lead and ensure that every project is delivered for the benefit of local communities across Scotland.

Lillian McDowall, senior business manager of SCAPE Scotland

Lillian continued, "Since the pandemic, a greater emphasis has been placed on procurement to deliver, not just in terms of cost, but also the value a building can add to the community through the course of its life – from construction through to operation. By sourcing and engaging with social suppliers across the built environment, contractors can clearly evidence how they are reinvesting in local communities and helping to create jobs, promote skills and support the ongoing recovery.

Our ambition is for the Portal to become the go-to platform for social procurement in the built environment sector, bringing together socially-focused suppliers and contractors to champion the benefits of conscientious construction. It represents an important part of a suite of tools designed to ensure we maximise the social benefits that can be achieved through construction.”

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