The Wates Group has been highly commended in the Enterprise Growth category at Business in the Community’s (BiTC’s) 2015 Annual Responsible Business Gala Dinner on 7 July 2015.
The Responsible Business Awards celebrate inspirational companies that are taking action to address social and environmental issues and transform their communities – from investing in the wellbeing of employees, to helping young people develop skills, or supporting small businesses to grow.
Wates was recognised for its investment in social enterprises through mentoring and the procurement of services, skills and goods. This forms part of the company’s Reshaping Tomorrow sustainability programme that aims to raise aspirations and skills locally.
Judges commended the Wates Group for pushing sector boundaries and providing clear company-wide endorsement of social enterprise growth, in a way that can be replicated throughout the sector. This is supported by the creation of a bespoke online directory, the Wates Social Enterprise Brokerage, providing details of approved suppliers for use on Wates projects across the UK.
In 2014 Wates traded £500,000 with a network of 40 social enterprises across 50 per cent of its construction projects across the UK. This was a 58 per cent increase in spend on the previous year. Since 2010, it has traded £5m with the sector, contributing to the creation of an estimated 250 jobs and providing a sustainable revenue stream to social enterprises.
Andrew Davies, Chief Executive of Wates Group, commented: “Through our Reshaping Tomorrow programme, we are working with colleagues, customers, partners and suppliers to drive the change that is needed to deliver sustainable buildings and flourishing communities.
“Reshaping Tomorrow is a vision that will guide Wates to 2020 and beyond and builds upon our core values of performance, intelligence, teamwork, integrity and, in particular, respect for people and communities. Our vision is to boost local employment opportunities through a £20m cumulative investment into the social enterprise sector by 2020.”