Putting the ‘S’ in ESG

Deeley Group welcomed more than 60 business leaders to its George House headquarters for a ‘Putting the ‘S’ in ESG’ event.

The event aimed to educate businesses on the social value aspect of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and provide a platform for an organisation which provides vital support to people affected by drug and alcohol addiction and homelessness.

Lydia Dutton, Director, Regional Sustainability Lead at CBRE, spoke at the event, before representatives from independent Christian charity Betel discussed their work.

Betel was founded in 1996 and has been operating in Warwickshire for 12 years. Its New Arley centre in north Warwickshire has supported 534 men since it opened.

Business leaders heard from Billy, Kelly and Luke about how Betel has supported them to recover from addiction, gain employment and transformed their lives.

Timon Robins, who has been with the charity for 17 years, spoke about how Betel helped lift him out of addiction and his journey to now heading up public relations and fundraising for Betel UK, while still overseeing pastoral care for men in residential recovery houses.

He introduced Betel’s plans to expand its New Arley site and create four new residential apartments to accommodate families during their recovery. The charity needs around £1 million to make the plans a reality.

Opportunities to support were highlighted, including providing professional/technical skills, plant hire, material donations, financial support and becoming an ambassador for the project.

Kent Martin, charity director at Betel UK, said: “We would like to thank Deeley for all they have done and the support that they continue to give us.

“Our New Arley centre has helped hundreds of men on their long-term recovery since it opened.

“We find that 60 per cent of the people we support have been addicted for 10 years or longer and the support we provide is vital to them.

“Across the UK we are proud that 82 per cent of Betel residents that stay with us for 12 months are employed, while 97 per cent are no longer drug or alcohol dependent.

“Our work saves the UK society more than £36 million annually. We rely on funds generated from our charitable businesses, as well as generous donations, and our work helps people to contribute positively to society and restore important relationships in their lives.”

Lydia Dutton leads CBRE’s ESG Consultancy in the Regions.

She shared practical insight into the social aspect of ESG, shared details on CBRE’s social projects and the tools it uses to measure social value.

Lydia emphasised how leaders in an organisation will be at the heart of any successful social value initiative.

She said: “Leaders in businesses have the power and responsibility to make change happen.

“It is no longer just the role of graduates and junior staff to do this outreach, high profile organisations are employing experts to execute social value initiatives.

“We are seeing changes into how social value is incorporated into the legislation, for example with the social value act, but if there is no passion from the top of an organisation it is more challenging for social value initiatives to  succeed”

“There is no one size fits all approach to social value, and it is vital to think about the nuances and social need at the outset of any initiative.”

Eleanor Deeley and Peter Deeley, joint managing directors at Deeley Group, spoke about Deeley Group’s commitment to driving social value across its projects.

Deeley Group has been a partner of Betel UK for more than five years.

Eleanor said: “As a business, social value has always been key for us and part of our work. We are very proud of the projects we have supported through the years.

“Social value should never be just a tick box and there has certainly been a move away from those attitudes in recent years in the property and construction sector.

“We are proud supporters of Betel and the charity produces incredible outcomes for those it supports. We hope that this session will help to further raise their profile in the business community and encourage more companies to support their planned project at New Arley.”

To find out more about Betel UK and to support its project at New Arley visit https://www.betel.uk/

Photo caption: Peter Deeley, Eleanor Deeley, Timon Robins, Mary Alice Martin, Kent Martin, Lydia Dutton