Social impact workshop
Royal BAM Group is one of 15 partners, from eight EU countries, taking part in the EU-funded Horizon 2020 project - Buildings as Material Banks (BAMB). The aim of the project is to move from a linear and static built environment, towards a circular and dynamic one. A circular business model could help reduce waste by diverting material from landfill, but also have a positive impact on local communities, generating social value through the creation of new jobs and skills for future generations.
I am passiontate about this topic, so when BAM was invited to collaborate with other BAMB partners to lead a social impact workshop in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, I jumped at the chance to use my previous experience to help design and deliver the workshops.
The aim of the workshop was to test a social impact methodology to identify how the construction life cycle could drive a circular economy and create social value. In particular, we focused on the Green Design Centre, a pilot project in the city of Mostar, to understand how a building could be catalyst for driving social change in a city, and also look at the wider links to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
During the two-day workshop we introduced the attendees (who included representatives from local communities, government bodies, NGOs and local businesses) to the BAMB project, the circular economy and Green Design Centre. Once the context was defined, I also introduced them to a social impact methodology and the UN SDGs.
On the second day, the participants identified social issues in Mostar, and used the methodology to prioritise them in relation to the different stakeholder groups. It was a really interesting day and was great to see how one project has the potential to bring so many benefits. After these workshops, I gathered the feedback and created a 'Social Value Development Plan' for Mostar:
The model recognises the Green Design Centre as a catalyst for change in Mostar, but expands wider than just that project, identifying four key outcomes that could help the country progress towards the SDGs:
1. Promote Mostar as a vibrant city to live in, work in and visit
2. Develop a sustainable economy
3. Create a dynamic platform for exchange of knowledge and experience
4. Protect and enhance the environment
Each outcome has actions that if implemented, could help the city move in the right direction with the result contributing to a related SDG. It has been suggested that this new Social Value Development Plan will be used within the Mostar 2024 campaign. It would be great to see how this plan is implemented and how the city develops overtime.
It was great to have the opportunity to collaborate with BAMB partners to use my experience and theoretical knowledge for an international project. It was enlightening to hear the interpretation of circular economy and social value from the participants and compare their stance to where we are in the UK. I look forward to hearing how Mostar develops as a city and will endeavour to follow its progress in implementing the Social Value Development plan and its Mostar 2024 campaign.
Syreeta Bayne is the Community Engagement Manager (National) for BAM Construct UK
To talk to us about social value, contact us.
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