CBRE Global Workplace Solutions (GWS) has committed to engaging with more social enterprises by joining the Buy Social Corporate Challenge, a ground-breaking initiative led by Social Enterprise UK (SEUK).
CBRE and a selection of other high-profile businesses have committed to contributing to the overall target of collectively spending £1 billion with social enterprise suppliers.
Social enterprises are businesses which use their profits to help tackle pressing social or environmental issues; from creating jobs for the homeless, diverting waste resources away from landfill, to rehabilitating ex-offenders. There are approximately 100,000 social enterprises in the UK, contributing £60 billion to GDP, and an increasing number of them operate in B2B markets.
Through purchasing from social enterprises, CBRE is going beyond the traditional conceptions of corporate social responsibility to embed diversity and inclusion into its core business. For example, 40 per cent of social enterprise leaders are women (compared with just 17 per cent of mainstream SMEs), 13 per cent of social enterprise leaders are from a BAME background (compared with just 5 per cent of mainstream SMEs) and 37 per cent of social enterprises have a director with a disability.
Kerry-Anne Dilley, EMEA Regional Sourcing Director at CBRE GWS said: “The government backed Challenge aligns to CBRE’s commitment to responsible and sustainable business practices and will help social enterprise suppliers to grow their revenues and impact by tapping into CBRE’s corporate purchasing power. Furthermore, engaging with social enterprises will further our dedication to delivering innovation – according to SEUK research 56% of social enterprises introduced a new product or service in the previous 12 months, far outstripping mainstream SMEs at 36%.”
Peter Holbrook, CEO at SEUK, added: “Through buying from social enterprises, businesses are using their procurement spend to help build stronger communities and a better world. It is fantastic to have CBRE officially join the Buy Social Corporate Challenge – taking the next steps to further embed positive social and environmental impact into their supply chains. We look forward to working with them on the Challenge and introducing them to more social enterprise suppliers.”