- Challenge sees leading businesses aim to spend £1 billion with social enterprises – businesses which trade for a social purpose
- Buying from social enterprises embeds positive social impact into everyday business spend
Lendlease is the latest business to sign-up to the Buy Social Corporate Challenge – a ground-breaking initiative seeing leading companies aim to cumulatively spend £1 billion with social enterprises.
There are approximately 100,000 social enterprises in the UK, businesses set up to address social and environmental issues which reinvest the majority of their profits back into meeting their mission. They contribute £60 billion to the UK economy and employ two million people.
The Challenge encourages companies to look at their entire supply chain from where a company buys its office snacks to the organisations it works with on site. Lendlease has already switched its stationery supplier to social enterprise provider WildHearts, who fund micro-finance projects supporting female entrepreneurs from poorer countries; and are in the process of bringing on more partners.
Paul King, Managing Director Sustainability & Social Impact, at Lendlease said: “It makes perfect sense for us to join the Buy Social Corporate Challenge. Sustainability is at the core of what we do and is a critical element of our role and responsibility as a developer. Joining this Challenge will help us increase the positive social impact we can have as a business and it’s great to have the opportunity to do so.”
From coffee creating jobs for the homeless and soap manufactured by the visually impaired to film companies opening up creative industries to young people - there are social enterprises working in nearly every sector. The Buy Social Corporate Challenge aims to build markets for social enterprises by encouraging businesses to buy from them, using their core everyday spend to support people and communities both in the UK and abroad.
The construction industry offers many opportunities for social enterprises with businesses operating in fields ranging from food provision to waste management. Social enterprises also open up supplier diversity by creating opportunities for disadvantaged groups in the labour market, as well as being often deeply rooted in their local communities.
Commenting on Lendlease joining the Challenge, CEO of Social Enterprise UK Peter Holbrook said: “The Buy Social Corporate Challenge continues to grow, and it is fantastic to have Lendlease on board. The best way to support social enterprises is to buy from them and through joining the Challenge companies can use their everyday spend to make a positive difference to the world we live in. We hope Lendlease’s involvement encourages many more businesses to sign up - it’s money you’re going to be spending anyway so why not use it to change lives?”
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