Value Distinction

Driving ethics, fairness and sustainability in business.

When you apply for the Social Value Quality Mark®, you join a movement to drive higher standards of business in the UK. You become ‘value distinct’ – an organisation that stands out for its social principles.

Creating value for your people, communities and the environment isn’t just the right thing to do, it offers proven commercial benefits.

Growth: Brands with a demonstrated commitment to sustainability are seeing average sales growth outperform other brands by fourfold*
Innovation: Sustainability leaders are more than 4 times more likely to be recognised as innovation leaders, in separate independent rankings*
Talent: One in three young people have turned down a job because the employer’s ESG commitments were not in line with their values**

Sources: *Deloitte: Social purpose and value creation: the business returns of social impact. **KPMG 2023: Younger workers voting with their feet on ESG commitments

Take an audio tour of the awards

Want to know more about the differences between Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum?
Take our audio tour to find out what’s expected and the benefits to your organisation.

Listen to Sarah’s quick audio guide.

Jane Strand
SVQM Bronze Award


Bronze marks the meaningful first step. You’re ready to make a series of pledges to create, measure and report social value. You’ll benefit from a clearer view of how your organisation creates impact for employees, communities and the environment.

SVQM Silver Award


Silver is a significant achievement. You are ready to gain insights across your organisation that enable you to benchmark your current impact. You will establish legitimate measurement methods and build upon your Bronze level commitments and pledges. And you’ll benefit from demonstrable evidence to present to your customers and shareholders.

SVQM Gold Award


This coveted award recognises true best practice. You’ve collected evidence for a full 12 months and are now ready to evaluate your impact and demonstrate the gold standard. You will have existing and robust social value practices in place and will likely have a mature social value strategy. At this level, social value is a differentiator for your business, helping you win business, attract talent and drive innovation.

SVQM Platinum award


Platinum marks the pinnacle of social value excellence. You’ve collected 2 years of evidence and are embedding social value through every part of your business. You’re seen as industry leaders and are spreading your influence and innovation outwards, for the benefit of society.

Who’s eligible?

Organisations of all sizes and sectors can apply for Social Value Quality Mark® accreditation – from multi-national companies and SMEs, to public sector organisations, universities and charities. The main requirement is a genuine commitment to doing business in a way that benefits society. You must be willing to work through our accreditation process and have your value independently audited and verified.

However, there are some higher risk industries that we don’t accredit or engage with.

What We Assess: Our Standards

Our standards guide our decision-making. These tell you what we’re ultimately looking for within each assessment category. Across all our standards, we expect to see LEGITIMACY, TRANSPARENCY and ETHICS in how they are demonstrated and reported.

  • PLAN: Social value planning is effective, robust and aligned to business goals and values. The right processes, skills, knowledge and infrastructure exist to create, measure, monitor and report social value.’

  • DEMONSTRATE: ‘Social value plans and policies are being consistently implemented with clear, positive, measurable impact, and are managed for continuous improvement.’

  • CALCULATE: ‘Financial and non-financial value is measured and calculated transparently and legitimately. Both negative and positive value created through the delivery of goods and services can be audited and reported.’

  • ECO SYSTEM: ‘Stakeholders, supplier, partners and communities are ethically and transparently engaged with. Social impact can be clearly demonstrated by audience.’

  • REPORT: ‘Both negative and positive value is accurately and fairly reported, together with insights that enable continuous development. Trust levels are captured and reported by stakeholder group.’

  • PERFORMANCE MANAGE: ‘Strategic decision-making is underpinned by social value insights and results in improvements to products and services. All departments are actively supportive and engaged.’

  • TRUST: ‘The organisation demonstrates fairness, integrity and quality through every interaction, to the extent a strong ‘social contract’ is created, based on trust.’

  • INFLUENCE & LEADERSHIP: ‘The organisation uses its position of influence to inspire and bring about positive change, internally and externally.’

  • CULTURE: ‘Employees at all levels and across all departments of the organisation actively support and enable the creation of social value.’