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Social Value Portal

Why to use positive evidencing to show real change

In today's world of social and environmental sustainability, many organisations discuss their commitments and achievements. But providing evidence remains a key step for meaningful change. 


In the UK, extreme weather and rapidly rises in the costs of energy and groceries have highlighted the importance of sustainability in recent years. And organisations need to help out with real action, rather than empty words.

That's why it has never been more important to positively evidence the work you do.

Evidencing and why it matters

‘Greenwashing’ - or in other words, claiming to be doing more to protect the environment than you really are - has left people having to discern which claims from organisations are real and which are fake.

Today, in the world of environmental and social sustainability, we’ve seen organisations make claims around their promises or activities without evidence. And this doesn’t just apply to environmental reporting – it can happen with social responsibility claims, too.

With so much “fake news” out there, there is a huge need for organisations to prove the real value they contribute to society. And those organisations, whether in the public, private or third sector, now face more scrutiny from people and communities too.

While the government has issued a net zero strategy, it isn’t showing much focus or a robust pathway to deliver net zero. It also isn’t making any significant inroads to real change, skipping out on urgent actions like insulating UK homes, improving access to green space for millions, and a fair transition for workers in high-carbon industries.

So, it’s essential that we all step up to the challenge, whether in local government, voluntary organisations or businesses.

How are we going to make positive change?

Evidencing socially responsible ‘good’ activities through mechanisms like the Social Value TOM System™ ensures that you have the proof and the evidence to back up your claims. The consistency of the TOM System makes it possible to show your progress in real terms, without overstating what you promised in the first place.

There are many resources available to help you evidence the work you do, including:

  • The Competition and Markets Authority’s Green Claims Code
  • Business Weekly’s handy guide to avoiding overstating environmental claims
  • Social Value Portal's Greenhouse Gas Calculator, which helps organisations track their emissions

We'd also encourage you to learn how our members develop credible and evidenced Social Value reporting with the TOM System.

Ultimately, we all have a responsibility to demonstrate that we are having a positive impact - let's work together to build trust and create lasting change.    

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About Social Value Portal

Since 2017 Social Value Portal has been at the forefront of the Social Value movement. As creators of the endorsed Social Value TOM SystemTM, hosts of the annual Social Value Conference and founding members of the independent National Social Value Taskforce – they set industry standards and lead the business agenda.

Their unique mix of consultancy, cloud platform and programmes offer organisations the complete solution to accurately measure, manage and report Social Value – and create lasting impact.

In 2022, SVP achieved B Corp status, scoring above average in all assessed. The company’s aim is to promote better business and community wellbeing through the integration of Social Value into day-to-day business activity across all sectors.

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