Social Capital Accounting – Putting a Value on your Social Impact

The concept of financial capital is well understood. Social Capital thinking applies this same financial process to measure the impact of your business on individuals and communities around the world.

This can help a business assess in quantitative, monetary, and potentially financial terms, how their activity impacts society and their own bottom line.  This can help ensure a long term, profitable future for the organisation.

The business case

Applying Social Capital Accounting within business decision-making or reporting can help businesses focus on and innovate around the more crucial sustainability issues and identify cost savings, reduce risks, improve revenue streams and enhance reputation.

It can help you to:

  • Screen and identify the best location for your activities (e.g. schemes/investments)
  • Identify the most material Social Impacts, for your business, both positive and negative.
  • Evaluate and demonstrate the scale of the potential impacts – in particular your positive Social Impacts.
  • Reveal how your company can reduce risk and maximize positive impact and deliver business value.

To get the full picture, our experts can also help you measure and manage your Natural Capital Impact and support you on the journey to become Net Positive.

Call us on +44 (0)1865 591000 or email us to find out how we can apply Social Capital Accounting to your business or project.



Applying Social Capital Accounting to your business

We use the latest techniques to help measure and put a value on your Social Impact including your impact on communities, health, livelihoods, skills, local economies and infrastructure.

We can do this at multiple levels, including the following:


1) Corporate or business unit Evaluate overall company strategy and operations, for example, to see which sites, activities, products and suppliers present the greatest risks/costs and opportunities/benefits.
2) Programmes or initiatives Assess particular programmes or initiatives, for example, to determine which one(s) to prioritise and where, based on the greatest risks/costs and opportunities/benefits.
3) Projects or
Investigate specific projects or activities, for example, to minimize associated risks/costs and maximize opportunities/benefits.


How do we do this?

We have developed a process and set of metrics, including monetary valuation, based on the latest guidelines and methodologies [1] for Social Capital Accounting and assessing net impacts.   The process is set out below.


Stage 1: Measure

We will:

  • Help determine your objective.
  • Define the scope and boundaries.
  • Identify relevant material impacts (and dependencies).
  • Quantify and value relevant Social Impacts, differentiating between values to your business (supply chain) and values to wider stakeholders.

The team at Sustain Value has over 20 years experience identifying, measuring and valuing social impacts in a targeted and highly cost-effective manner. ClimateCare will work closely with Sustain Value to help scope out and measure an appropriate set of parameters to guide development of the Plan and selected Change.

Stage 2 – Plan

The ClimateCare team have a 19 year track record of creating and delivering award winning sustainability programmes for businesses around the world. Our programmes are designed to be low risk, consistently delivering results on time and to budget. They are quick and simple to manage while delivering real resonance and value for money.

Depending on your requirements we will work with you to:

  • Interpret results
  • Set financial and social impact objectives
  • Provide a report setting out potential actions, costs and benefits


Stage 3 – Change

With nearly two decades experience of delivering effective Social Impact programmes – our team are well placed to work alongside you to help manage and improve your Social Impact.

We can help you:

  • Design and deliver projects to reduce your negative and deliver positive social impacts, robustly and cost effectively
  • Measure and report results.
  • Monitor and adapt

Also apply Natural Capital accounting to get the full picture of your social and environmental impacts.

Contact us to find out more about our social impact assessments

Or alternatively, call us on +44 (0)1865 591000


[1] This includes for example, A Guide to Social Return on Investment, The London Benchmarking Group, The Gold Standard Water Benefit Standard.