It Makes Good ‘Business Sense’.
Image credit: Mark Oulson-Jenkins, StudioRTR
In our previous blog on defining social value and why it’s important for your marketing, we explained Social Value as the umbrella term used to describe the difference an organisation, business or project can make to the community they are operating in.
By putting greater emphasis on social value there is sometimes a misconception that this increases costs. However, this ignores the broader, medium to longer term outcome benefits that social value can bring. For example, employment of people who have been long term unemployed leads to a reduction in the cost of welfare benefits and an increase in their personal spending power. It could also have a beneficial effect on health services, strengthen community cohesion and foster a greater sense of happiness and wellbeing.
Since the fabl was founded in 2006, we believe Social Value makes good ‘business sense’. It provides greater value for money and can help to mitigate the impact of negative external factors. We perhaps just haven’t shouted out about everything we have done over the years, but then that’s also a sign of changing times. What was previously considered a modest act of kindness and good citizenship – such as a regular donation to the local food bank – in today’s world has a measurable economic value that other businesses, organisations and customers do want to know about. Known as the ‘Three Pillars of Sustainability’, Social – Economic – Environmental – delivering outcomes in these three areas inspires a move beyond delivering only profit and loss outcomes, and a move towards producing a “Triple Bottom Line”. People then invest in you because of your investment in these areas
What does Social value look like at the fabl?
At the fabl, we support an increased awareness and application of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These are 17 different social and environmental agendas for businesses, governments and the wider international community to work towards, including zero hunger, gender equality, clean water, quality education and climate action, to name a few. First introduced in 2015, the SDGs are basically a Social Value Charter for the planet, and they are rapidly being adopted by the biggest companies around the world.
Jobs: Upskilling workforce
At the fabl, we have built a team that brings together the perfect balance of youth and experience. Our team includes young people working in design, editorial, digital and social roles, all learning from the experience of colleagues who have worked at some of the most high profile creative agencies in the world. We even have a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
We have built a team of four graphic designers led by our Head of Creative with over 30 years’ experience down to a junior designer straight out of college. Not only does this bring together the perfect balance of youth and experience, it’s important we keep our input and designs fresh and engaging with all generations, and a healthy pipeline of expertise as we take on new clients and projects.
Growth: A creative career in a rural space
Our young, local talent is attracted by the creative work we do and our exciting and varied client base. Working within our team, as you can see in our team profiles, our junior members straight from graduation and apprentice members are under the supervision of our most senior heads of departments.
We know a lot about young people in our region, how to engage them and provide the kinds of career opportunities that will make them want to stay and grow. Our office is a perfect example of a rural workplace offering opportunities.
One of the reasons why our broad spectrum of clients choose to work with us is that we have always attracted the most creative people. In rural areas like Craven, and within the Leeds City Region, creative industries such as marketing, textiles, photography, graphic design or any facets of the arts can – and do – thrive.
As a Skipton-based integrated marketing communications and brand design agency, we are the living, thriving proof that our region offers creative opportunities for careers and career development that’s equal to a city agency.
Engaging with local schools, colleges and universities on an ongoing basis
We see every project and business we work with as key to engaging with local schools, colleges and universities on an ongoing basis to attract – and retain – the best people in the region. The more opportunities there are, the greater the incentive to stay here or move to the region.
We work with local, regional and nationwide clients, but we have a vested interest that talented and entrepreneurial minds choose Yorkshire as a place to flourish; we can harness the skills and experience to support them and vice versa.
While the use of social value in procurement has been pioneered by the public sector, the private sector is catching up fast as businesses steadily increase pressure on their supply chains to demonstrate ethical and environmental good practice. If you are a school or college and would like one of our team to guest lecture, please get in touch.
Social contribution: the fabl’s out of office
As a creative agency the so-called four Cs – critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaborative problem-solving – are second nature to us. It’s therefore no surprise to find our team bringing these skills into the communities they live in away from the office. From a choreographer at the local drama group, lead violinist in the local community orchestra, to cycling and running addicts, our team is proud to raise money for charitable causes tackling dementia, food poverty, cancer research and more throughout the year at events, concerts and through regular donations. We also collaborated with a local butcher to create humourous greeting cards on a pie theme, with proceeds going to Skipton Food Bank.
Let’s talk about trees…
There’s a global focus on being carbon neutral by 2030, and with just eight years left to achieve this the fabl is committed to playing our part.
Our office team car-shares and we arrange office working hours around the bus timetable to promote the use of public transport to and from the office. Our office is based on the Broughton Hall Business Estate, we have chosen to support The Broughton Sanctuary Nature Recovery Programme. This is one of the largest tree planting schemes in England. In partnership with the White Rose Forest, the community forest for West and North Yorkshire, 160 hectares of trees (396 acres) have been planted, the equivalent of 224 football pitches.
Around 250,000 trees have been planted so far and the rewilding project will help reduce water run-off into local rivers and help protect communities in the Aire river valley, from Skipton down to Leeds City Centre, from the risk of future floods. The project is also strategically important within the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme.
This year – 2022 – the fabl celebrates our 16th anniversary. To mark this milestone, we are planting a tree for every year of our operations and further pledge to plant a tree for every print publication we create for our clients – currently around 20 per year.
This takes our contribution towards the national scheme to 36 trees this year. Through this project we are helping to grow White Rose Forest, the community forest in North and West Yorkshire, and the larger Northern forest, which will stretch from Merseyside to the Yorkshire coast.
Click here to read more about Social Value and how it can transform your marketing. When your business is ready to explore the potential of Social Value, give us a call or drop us an email and let’s chat.