Social Value

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Corporate Social Responsibility?

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) allows businesses and corporate to make a positive impact on society through their own business practices. CSR helps business achieve economic, environmental, and social goals while meeting their own corporate goals.

CSR can include a business being environmentally friendly, promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace, giving back to local communities, and ensuring business decisions are ethical.

What is Social Value?

Social value is the extra benefits local communities and people receive from negotiated contract commitments. For example, if a contractor has agreed to build a new community centre and employs 3 apprenticeships from Rotherham in that project, those apprenticeships would be classed as social value.

Essentially social value is using public money to create extra social, economic and/or environmental benefits to Rotherham.

What is the different between CSR and Social Value?

On the surface CSR and social value sound very familiar but there are key differences. In social value businesses are legally required to fulfil negotiated social value commitments and progress on commitments are monitored. Unlike social value all CSR commitments are ‘goodwill’ gestures and are not tied to a council contract.

The benefits of social value are specifically linked to Rotherham (or South Yorkshire), its local people, and communities whilst CSR commitments do not have to be in Rotherham (or South Yorkshire) and can be felt nationally and sometimes globally. Below are examples of both CSR and social value:

Example 1: Company A has pledged to train 10 apprentices throughout the UK in the next 3 years as part of the organisation’s commitment to improving skills and jobs amongst young people (This is CSR)

Example 2: Company B has successful won a RMBC tender and as part of the tender bid has committed to create 10 apprenticeships in Rotherham over the course of their 3 year contract (This is social value)


Within the boundaries of the Rotherham borough.


Your business does not need to be located in Rotherham to provide a Social Value commitment. The Council utilises the National TOMs as its mechanism for the measurement and management of social value commitments. The Council has selected from the National TOMs those measures where it feels there will be the greatest impact to address some of the issues being faced. However, we are not being prescriptive as to which of these measures you must deliver.  The National TOMs acts like a menu of options for you to consider and you are able to select those you are confident you are capable of delivering if you were awarded the specific contract. It is acknowledged that if you are not based in Rotherham then you may not have the same ability to employ local people, however, there is opportunity for you to consider how much money you could spend directly in Rotherham through the use of local supply chains, and as a result do these local supply chains employ Rotherham residents? There are also opportunities to provide unemployment support (i.e. CV writing sessions, interview preparation skills) or professional advice to local Voluntary and Community Sector Enterprises (VCSEs). Be creative in your approach and think of the things you could be doing, not just the things that you are doing.