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AI-Based CSR Tool Launches to Help Firms Meet Social Value Act 

AI-Based CSR Tool Launches to Help Firms Meet Social Value Act 
12 April 2021
 

A UK tech start-up that matches companies and grant-makers with charities and social enterprises using AI has launched.

Companies such as Ernst & Young, McLaren (construction), Brewin Dolphin and Engie, alongside a number of SMEs have recently joined the platform to help them implement social value programmes and expand their corporate social responsibility efforts. 

whatimpact is an AI-enhanced match-making platform designed to improve efficiency and transparency of CSR programmes, and help companies to communicate the impact of their social value activities to their internal and external stakeholders. 

It also aims to help businesses meet the requirements of the updated Social Value Act (SVA), which makes it mandatory for companies to work for the government bodies to deliver, and to prove, social value.

 

"By working with whatimpact, we hope our people across the UK will be able to use their professional skills to help more charities and social enterprises overcome some of the business challenges they face, enabling them to have an even greater impact on the people and communities they work with.” 

–Gavin Jordan

UK Financial Services Chief Operating Officer, EY

 

Increasing Focus on Corporate Social Responsibility

 

Companies are increasingly committed to engaging with societal issues in a meaningful way, particularly in light of the pandemic. CSR remains a core part of facilities and workplace management, and it often falls to the FM to provide social value reports too.

As well as being considered generally good ethical business practice, good CSR credentials also affects recruitment and talent retention, as well as being an influencer in purchasing decisions and tendering. However, the newly enhanced SVA means that businesses seeking to procure government work must set out how they will deliver social value priorities explicitly. The legislation has changed the way companies linked to the SVA must report on their past, present and future impact and whatimpact also caters to these needs.  

Tiia Sammallahti, CEO and Founder of whatimpact.com explains:

“We are here to help save time and money for both supporters (companies and grant-makers) and recipients (social enterprises and charities), ensuring that the most impactful causes and projects are delivered with maximum efficiency. This benefits society as a whole.

"whatimpact is a fully transparent marketplace where everyone has access to the site profiles and interactions. We not only help organisations match with each other but help them report and communicate their impact to the public and other stakeholders.” 

 

AI Matching

 

whatimpact matches organisations based on shared values, UN sustainability development goals (SDGs) and geographic needs across the country, so that companies can direct donations and skills to the organisations that need them most. The whatimpact innovation caters to the needs of companies looking to strategically engage with charities and social enterprises as part of their wider mission to make a positive difference alongside their usual operations. 

 

EY Volunteers

 

EY is the latest company to sign up to whatimpact’s platform, and will offer a series of business clinics to charities and social enterprises grappling with business challenges. Based on research conducted with whatimpact on the most significant pain points facing organisations, EY has developed clinics on managing finances, achieving scale and growth, and building resilience in times of uncertainty. EY will also look to offer one-to-one coaching to help those involved continue to solve their business challenges.

“EY has set an ambitious global target to positively impact one billion lives by 2030 through our Global Corporate Responsibility Programme, EY Ripples," says Gavin Jordan, UK Financial Services Chief Operating Officer, EY.

"By working with whatimpact, we hope our people across the UK will be able to use their professional skills to help more charities and social enterprises overcome some of the business challenges they face, enabling them to have an even greater impact on the people and communities they work with.” 

 

Charities and Social Enterprises

 

The charities and social enterprises on whatimpact match the local and regional needs of companies, cross over with the UN SDGs and/or fit the five focus areas of the Social Value Act.

Some of the charities and social enterprises involved include: Race Equality Matters (which is focused on improving equal opportunities and tackling racial inequality), the Hummingbird Project (focused on wellbeing in the workplace), and RIFT (which aims to transition ex-offenders into the construction industry) – all of which meet one of the SVA’s priority areas. Added to this, WorldVision and the Single Homeless Project are just a few of the charity names on whatimpact, aligned with the UN SDGs.

Picture: a photograph of a person loading boxes into the back of a vehicle, wearing gloves and a face mask

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 12 April 2021

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