QTS receives social value distinction

QTS Group has become the first dedicated rail company in the UK to receive the Social Value Quality Mark®, one of the country’s most rigorous social value accreditations.

In April 2022, the specialist contractor received the Social Value Quality Mark Level 1, which is awarded in recognition of the organisation’s commitment to researching, measuring, and reporting its social impact and value. 

Defined as ‘the impact created for society by the actions and legacy of an individual or organisation’, the trademark acknowledges a company’s influence on customers, communities, employees, and the planet. 

There are four levels to the mark: Commit, Forecast, Evaluate, and Embed, with each recognising an increasing commitment to delivering true social value.

To achieve the accreditation, QTS Group completed a lengthy audit process and has made a series of pledges in line with the nine social themes that are aligned to the National TOMS Framework (2019) and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

Within its pledges, QTS Group has committed to helping improve the physical and mental wellbeing of its staff, driving local jobs creation, transitioning to net-zero by 2050, and promoting diversity and inclusion across all areas of the business.

QTS currently runs several programmes and partnerships with organisations in both England and Scotland, aimed at delivering social value. This includes its Youth Athletes Programme and a long-term partnership with the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative in Scotland. It also supports five UK charities, chosen by its staff – Andy’s Man Club, The Kris Boyd Charity, Whiteleys Retreat, KIND, and Samuel’s Smile. 

More than 50 organisations have been accredited nationally, including some of the UK’s best-known names. The Social Value Mark is awarded to values-driven organisations, that cultivate and recognise the highest known standards in values-led business by the Social Value Mark CIC, an independent social enterprise.

Alan McLeish, Managing Director at QTS said: “It is a huge honour to be the first dedicated rail business in the UK to have achieved this Social Value Quality Mark. I am very proud of our demonstrated history in helping to drive social value in the communities we live and work in, so it’s fantastic to have been publicly recognised for this. 

“Our legacy is extremely important to us, so QTS is committed to creating a lasting positive, social, local, and environmental impact, through the way that we choose to act and operate as a business.

“It is really inspiring to see how passionate our team is about further increasing our positive impact on society, and monitoring our progress is a key part of this. We’re extremely proud of the work we have done so far and look forward to advancing our social value goals even further in 2022 and beyond.”

Richard Dickins, MD of Social Value Quality Mark, said: “Today’s consumers increasingly make their decisions based on how companies treat their staff, the environment and society. Through the Quality Mark we cultivate and recognise the highest known standards in values-led business. 

“This award recognises QTS’ outstanding commitment to create, report and embed social value. We are delighted to remain their social value partner as they move through up through the levels.”

Image credit: QTS / Carrick Academy

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