Kier Transportation’s industry-leading approach is recognised with Gold

Kier Transportation is leading the industry on diversity and has become the first to achieve Gold accreditation.

The Challenge

Kier Transportation first began working with Social Value Business (SVB) in 2020 for support to develop, measure and maximise its social impact. Determined to be seen as a leader in its field, the infrastructure services provider wanted expertise on how to use its approach to tackle challenges facing the industry.

The organisation recognised the need to bring more skills into construction and infrastructure to protect its future growth and sustainability, together with the need to create a more diverse culture. Historically, construction has been seen as a male dominated industry.

Kier Transportation also faced an immediate commercial need to address social value as part of new public procurement guidance. Being able to prove social and economic benefits within tenders has become essential to winning new business.

Kier Transportation’s industry-leading approach is recognised with Gold

The Solution

SVB recommended that Kier Transportation work to achieve Social Value Quality Mark® accreditation. This would give the organisation the independent evidence needed to demonstrate its social impact. The Quality Mark acts as a symbol to others that they are working with a socially and ethically responsible business. As home of the Quality Mark, SVB is uniquely well placed to guide organisations on the requirements.

Over a 3-year period, SVB supported Kier Transportation through the different levels of the Quality Mark – each highlighting an increased level of commitment to generating value.

In the process, Kier Transportation developed a rich understanding of its different audiences – customers, communities, staff and suppliers – and how it could deliver greatest benefit. It established an ambitious social value strategy, together with the governance, processes and measurement approach needed to drive success.

At the heart of the strategy was a focus on bringing new skills and talent into the industry. Kier Transportation described the tangible initiatives it would establish to:

  • Inspire the next generation of young people into the industry.
  • Encourage more women into construction.
  • Target ex-offenders seeking meaningful career opportunities.
  • Create a culture of diversity, equality and inclusion, where barriers to entry and success would be identified and removed.

In doing so, the organisation aimed to target an untapped pool of skills, bringing new perspectives supporting innovation and ensuring future growth.

The Result

Kier Transportation achieved the Gold Social Value Quality Mark in February 2024 – becoming the UK’s first infrastructure company to achieve the sought-after award and only the second company in the UK to do so. It follows the achievement of Silver in 2023 and recognises Kier Transportation’s leadership role in linking its core activities to its role in supporting a thriving society.

As a result of working with SVB, Kier Transportation has made superb progress to embed and measure a mature social value strategy, described by auditors as ‘genuinely industry leading’. The team has grown to eight Social Value Managers, together with 63 Diversity and Inclusion champions. The organisation now co-chairs the National Highways Social Value Strategy Group – a position of influence in facilitating higher social value standards.

Donna Howard, Head of Social Sustainability at Kier Transportation, said: “We have seen many benefits since commencing our social value journey, including increasing our knowledge around social value. Achieving Silver, and now Gold, has strengthened our reputation, helping us to stand out from the crowd as an industry leader in terms of social value in the Transportation sector.

“This accolade provides recognition for the positive journey Kier has been on to truly embed social value in our business. We’ve fostered an approach to diversity and inclusion that prioritises our people, whilst also sharing best practice with our supply chain to support on their journey.

“The experience of working with SVB has been very positive – we found the team to be extremely supportive. They were on hand to provide advice to ensure we continue to raise the bar in terms of delivering the most positive outcomes for our clients and communities.”