Leonardo Unlocking Social Value with leading British manufacturers

Posted on 3 May 2022 by The Manufacturer

On 25 April 2022, Leonardo hosted more than 25 companies spanning UK aerospace and industry to share the latest thinking and a range of perspectives on “Unlocking Social Value”.

The Social Value event took place at the new iAero aerospace collaboration centre in Somerset, which is located next to Leonardo in Yeovil, the ‘Home of British Helicopters’. The assembled companies in cutting-edge technologies from across Leonardo’s UK supply chain represented a cross-section of the best in British engineering and manufacturing.

The day focussed on the opportunities, challenges, and areas of collaboration presented to UK businesses as Social Value grows in significance in Government procurement. The forum generated an open discussion on the role companies can play in working together on initiatives to enrich local communities, skills, and the wider industry.

The UK Government has defined Social Value around five key themes: Equal Opportunity, Tackling Economic Inequality, Fighting Climate Change, Covid-19 Recovery, and Wellbeing. These are all areas Leonardo is already heavily exploring and involved in. Leonardo views Social Value as a core and constant consideration for its current and future activities, as it magnifies the company’s contribution to industry and society.

The event featured talks and discussions from CBI, The 5% Club, and case studies from members of Leonardo’s UK supply chain such as Aerotron and member of Team AW149 UK Ford Aerospace.

Leonardo's Social Value event was held on April 25,2022 at the new iAero aerospace collaboration centre in Somerset. Credit: Leonardo

Leonardo’s Social Value event was held on April 25,2022 at the new iAero aerospace collaboration centre in Somerset. Credit: Leonardo UK

On the event, Jane Cumisky, Head of Sustainability at Leonardo UK, commented: “It was fantastic gathering so many different representatives from manufacturing companies across the country and hearing from prominent voices like CBI and the 5% Club on Social Value initiatives, in addition to the work being undertaken by our supply chain, such as Ford Aerospace and Aerotron. Both of these companies are prominent players in their respective communities.

“As a business, Leonardo is committed to working together with industry and our people on Social Value. It is already at the heart of what we do whether that’s green engineering and solutions or ensuring an innovative next-generation workforce as we look to the future of our business and the world of tomorrow.”

Sara Tomley, Deputy Director – CBI South West, said: “Embedding social value is becoming best practice for businesses of all sizes and sectors. It can open doors to new business opportunities, encourage firms to benefit their communities, and help staff recruitment and retention – catalytic factors for economic growth. The dark days of the pandemic showcased the private sector as a force for good. But businesses cannot rest on their laurels, so, working alongside public sector partners, firms can help address the needs of their local communities and the big challenges of our time – levelling up and net zero.”

Mark Cameron OBE, Chief Executive of the 5% Club, stated: “I was delighted to represent The 5% Club at this event led by Leonardo, in which the company provided important insight to its SME 2 supply chain – this time on to how best to ‘Unlock Social Value’. This potentially complex area was explored by a range of informed and influential speakers, and it was great that The 5% Club was able to help relay how positive action in areas such as workplace learning – e.g. Apprenticeships and Graduate Schemes – can improve the skills and working lives of every employee, both today and into the future. We are proud of the leadership displayed by our Patrons such as Leonardo, and this is just another in a long line of great examples where it acts to make a real difference to the benefit of wider UK society.”

Chris Ford, Managing Director at Ford Aerospace Ltd, said: “It was a fantastic event which highlighted the positive steps made on government procurement contracts to include Social Value as part of the bid evaluation. We learned more about what initiatives Leonardo and other organisations are doing in this sphere and it was a joy to present the multiple activities Ford Aerospace Ltd has been doing for many years that adds tremendous social value to our region in the North East.”

Andrew Leslie, Technical Director at Aerotron Composites Ltd, shared: “The session at the iAero centre was a great opportunity to learn more about how we can address the responsibility we all share to enhance the Social Value that businesses need to provide to our local communities. It was a great space for us to share what Aerotron Composites Ltd has been doing in this area and what we have planned for the future. Continuing to invest in the North Cambridgeshire area and generating skilled jobs in our community is key to our business plan and working with Leonardo on the AW149 project is a vital part of this strategy.”