At Copper, we know from first-hand experience the value that construction and infrastructure projects bring to communities and society. That is why we are thrilled to provide support to the Association for Consultancy and Engineering in the development of the Client and Market approach module of the Value Toolkit.

The Value Toolkit is a key component of the Construction Playbook launched earlier last week and aims to embed value into the heart of the infrastructure decision making. The Toolkit has potential to move the construction industry closer to a value-based future.  Historically, value has often revolved about the financial merits of a project – the Toolkit is designed to challenge and overhaul this way of thinking to add value to wider social, economic and environmental aspects. Writing in Infrastructure Intelligence Hannah Vickers, Chief Executive of the Association of Consulting Engineers set out that: “We need to move beyond a singular focus on the balance sheet towards wider benefits for local communities and society. Only by doing so will we be able to effectively meet some of our biggest challenges – from levelling-up regions to climate change.”

At Copper, we have worked to ensure the Toolkit is understood and tested by industry. Whilst the Toolkit will be launched in Spring 2021, our support has aimed to not only inform industry, but also to engage with them, ensuring there is an opportunity for industry to feed the views into the development of the Toolkit. Whilst the premise behind the Value Toolkit is simple, some of the concepts contained in it are complex. A big part of our role has been to distil these ideas into an accessible format – supporting the team with creating web copy, infographics and securing media coverage.

Working on this project, our attention has also naturally turned to what the Value Toolkit will mean for Copper’s clients and for major infrastructure projects. By understanding the essential steps in value-based decision making and in the Client and Market approaches, we are able to best advise our clients in delivery model assessments and providing value-based insight.  The reality is that the vast majority of local people care most about the impact of infrastructure on their day to day lives, not balance sheets or spreadsheets.

A critical part of our job is set out how infrastructure will improve the lives of local people. Often the benefits to local people are enormous – we have worked on projects that have connected previously isolated communities. We have seen infrastructure projects provide new employment and education opportunities, creating life opportunities and boosting social mobility. Some of the projects we have supported have enhanced the natural environment, either through improving the air that we breathe or helping the UK meet its Net Zero Targets.

As communications professionals we constantly think about the value of the projects that we work on, and how we can communicate the benefits of this value to local communities. The Value Toolkit will provide infrastructure projects with a tangible resource to measure and define this value in major projects and enable this to be embedded this into decision making.