What is Social Value
At Bear Cleaning Ltd we take our commitment to Social Value seriously. The definition of Social Value states
“Social value is the value that people place on the changes they experience in their lives. Some, but not all of this value is captured in market prices. The Principles of Social Value provide the basic building blocks for us to make decisions that take this wider definition of value into account, in order to increase equality, improve wellbeing and increase environmental sustainability” (Social Value UK)
The aim of our policy is to set out how we will work achieve this.
Our ambition to grow the business is underpinned by a desire to contribute to our local economy through employment, but also provides an opportunity to fulfil a more meaningful social purpose.
Bear Cleaning was established in 2015 by Ted Hunter and provided a gutter clearance service. Working for several years as a plasterer, Ted repaired many walls and ceilings damaged by damp and leaks. More often, this was attributed to blocked gutters and subsequent water damage. In 2017, Ted was joined by Kate and Bear Cleaning Services became Bear Cleaning Ltd. This enabled us to extend our service offering to include wheelie bin cleaning alongside other exterior cleaning and opened us up to the commercial sector. We are extending our services further in March 2022 with the introduction of waste collection to Warwick & Stratford districts. We are also actively seeking out tender opportunities to extend our commercial offering.
Bear Cleaning Ltd is a family business. Initially supported by Kate’s Dad, he provided financial and practical support, offering his time to clean the wheelie bins whilst the rounds were built & it became financially viable, finally ending his regular involvement at the start of the pandemic. Kate’s brother also works with us on an ad hoc basis and our 19-year-old son is currently working with us during his gap year, with aspiration to join the company in the future. More recently, we have recruited three additional members to the team.
The idea of family is at the core of our values. Our aim is for all members of the team to feel like they are an extension of our family. We previously worked as a social worker and police office and have both suffered with mental health issues as a result. We understand that our recovery was undoubtedly aided by the support we received from our family & friends. Fundamentally, we hope to become compassionate employers so that our ‘family business’ extends to our employees, to ensure that they too can benefit from the support a family has to offer.
As part of a longer-term recruitment plan our focus will be on offering employment to ex-servicemen who find themselves homeless or in financial difficulty. Our aim is to offer a ‘hand up’ rather than a ‘hand out’, so that the role can be used as a stepping stone, an opportunity to better a current position or (hopefully) to grow with our company as we grow & develop the role accordingly.”
At Bear Cleaning Ltd we believe strongly in our values which focus on:
- Being an employer of choice. We want prospective employees to actively seek us out as compassionate, supportive, and responsive employers, with a reputation for investing in and developing staff.
- Being environmentally aware. Our focus is on utilising the most sustainable solutions for each of the different revenue streams within our business. This includes, fuel efficiency, waste disposal, vehicle conversion and chemical use.
- Being transparent & compliant. With integrity at the core of our business, it is our mission to raise the standards of our sector through best practice, education and awareness. This includes accreditation, licencing and legal compliance, alongside seeking out & developing best practice guidance.
- Being economically effective. A financially successful business creates the foundations from which to build social purpose. Our focus is on providing stable and progressive employment opportunities, whilst promoting resilience, developing skills and integrating people back into the workforce. The aim is to enable them to feel valued and contribute towards society.
This policy is applicable to the following stakeholders within our business:
2. Employees (or Associates)
3. Strategic Partners (Directors or shareholders)
4. Supply Chain
We will engage with them to ensure we are delivering our aim to provide a truly personalised customer experience that offers a range of services that provide peace of mind, affordability and maximum return on their investments
Delivering our Social Value Policy
As the business continues to grow, we will work with our stakeholders to develop and deliver our Social Value policy organically, by reviewing current success as well as incorporating new areas the following ways:
1. Ensuring Good Governance
Creating this policy is the first step to a more formal adoption of Social Value Policy as part of our core structure and business practice.
We will undertake appropriate Social Value actions that strengthen our organisation, and review and report on our Social Value at Director level to ensure it is effective and reflective of our stakeholder and environmental needs.
We will share our Social Value policy and activity publicise to ensure transparency in everything we do.
We will work to go above and beyond compliance to all legal obligations related to our core function and assess whether our suppliers and partners to do the same within their own businesses.
We will provide a quality of service that puts our customers’ needs in line with our business, creating profit in a way that retains a strong Social Value focused reputation and brand now and in the future.
2. Investing in People
We will work in consultation and partnership with our stakeholders to ensure that we are an accessible organisation that follows Equality, Diversity and Inclusion laws that lead to fair treatment, dignity and respect.
We will provide services that aim to be fully reflective of our stakeholder needs and use local suppliers where possible.
We will provide our employees with opportunities to continually develop through experience, training, promotion and contribution of ideas to the business.
3. Supporting the wider community
We will connect with our wider community and use our influence to highlight opportunities where our employees, directors and external stakeholders can contribute positively towards our society as a whole.
We will support local communities where possible, either through fundraising, or the donation of profits, goods or services.
We will look to engage with local national or international community, environmental or economic campaigns and plans that benefit a fairer and more equitable society.
- Protecting our planet
We will monitor the impact that our organisation and associated activities are having on the environment and implement changes that focus on mitigating our overall footprint.
We will make conscious decisions on our procurement, aiming to firstly reduce our consumption requirements, and to source eco-friendly products when this is unavoidable.
We will aim to re-use and upcycle on existing items, reducing the amount that is newly produced or likely to go to landfill. We will recycle or compost our waste (where possible) and look at ways of being more energy and water efficient as we grow.
We will consciously consider both our physical and digital carbon footprint, acknowledging that getting a hybrid working balance will be challenging as we move towards a more digital future.
We will share our good practice and knowledge with others so that they can become more educated in the crisis our planet is currently facing, encouraging them to reduce their own carbon footprint as part of our client, partner or supply chains.
- Measuring and reporting our impact
Where possible we will report on our Social Value impact monitoring against the targets set within the associated Social Value action plan. We will communicate our results to our stakeholders and the public on a regular basis, and produce an annual report highlighting success, review and improvements going forward.
We will review the action plan throughout the year and remediate any identified issues to ensure we are achieving the highest level of customer satisfaction and impact.
Date: 10th February 2022
Name: Kate Hunter
Position: Managing Director
Date of review: February 2023