Later today, LV= will become one of the latest companies to join the Social Enterprise UK, Buy Social Corporate Challenge (BSCC). Along with a number of colleagues from LV=, I’ll be joining an event at Parliament where our involvement will be formally announced. An exciting time for us!
As one of the UK’s leading mutuals, helping our customers, members and the wider society has always been something that has been important to us which is why it made a lot of sense for us to sign up to the BSCC. In getting involved, we’ve basically made a commitment to increase access to our supply chain for social enterprises and help Social Enterprise UK meet its target of achieving £1 billion of corporate procurement spend with social enterprises by 2020.
Each year, we spend around £1 billion across our entire supplier chain. If we can look to spend just some of that with social enterprises who are trying to make a difference and help others, then we absolutely should. As far as we’re concerned, it’s the right thing to do.
Although it’s only being announced today that we’ve officially signed up to BSCC, we’ve been looking to work with social enterprises since the beginning of the year and we’ve already got two partners. For example, we work with WildHearts Office who supply everyday items like paper, pens and pencils. From our spend alone, they are then able to provide 600 micro-loans to people across the developing world. Typically, the people who use these loans start or develop a business, the profits from which are used to educate their children, and it’s stories like this that make you realise how making a small change in the way you conduct your business can make such a huge difference elsewhere in the world.
While at the moment we’re only working with two suppliers, we obviously want to work with many more. To help achieve this, throughout the summer months, we’re planning on inviting a number of social enterprises into our business for a bit of a ‘meet and greet’, where they can get to know us and vice versa. We’re really open to working with as many social enterprises as we can across our entire supply chain. So much so that, whenever we’re looking for a new supplier, we’ve committed to shortlisting at least one social enterprise, providing they can actually do the job!
We’ve obviously only just started on this journey, so we have a long way to go but we’re excited about the role we can play in helping Social Enterprise UK achieve the goal of £1 billion by 2020. LV= has been around for 175 years, so it’s fair to say that we have a strong sense of social purpose rooted in our history and this is something we’re keen to carry on into the future.
Head of Procurement at LV=