UK: New Tool Launched to Help Measure Rail Industry’s Social Value

A new tool has been launched to help measure the social value of rail investments, infrastructure projects and day-to-day operations.

RSVT sustainability banner
RSVT sustainability banner

The Rail Social Value Tool (RSVT) will help rail organisations forecast, monitor and evaluate the social value of their activities in terms of the impact they have on individuals and communities and the positive and negative social, economic and fiscal values they generate in areas such as the natural environment, cultural heritage, housing and inclusivity.

The online tool has been developed by the Rail Safety Standards Board (RSSB) and Loop – formerly known as Social Profit Calculator.

It was co-funded by Network Rail, which was also one of the early adopters involved in extensively testing the app since last November.

Liz Holford, Network Rail’s Sustainability Strategy Manager, Social Performance, said:

“The launch of the Rail Social Value Tool is an important milestone which enables our industry to make a step-change in how we understand and manage our impacts on people.

“We’re already using the tool to forecast and maximise the social value of station redevelopments and infrastructure enhancements as well as current projects and some completed ones, and we’re looking forward to using it further to manage and improve the impact our railway has on society.”

The RSVT measures 449 key performance indicators across 12 social value impact areas to enable the measurement and monetisation of a wide range of areas, including:

  • Safety improvements
  • Jobs created, apprentices employed and training provided
  • Air quality changes
  • Increased biodiversity
  • Improved accessibility and inclusivity
  • Employee and community volunteering
  • Co-designing of infrastructure and services with communities

Organisations can sign up to use the tool at

Gerard Toplass, Group Chief Executive at Loop, said:

“This is a first for the industry and our software team worked in true collaboration with RSSB to develop a simple and accessible tool that can be used throughout the supply chain and is aligned to the sector’s needs and objectives.

“Over the next five years we look forward to further developing the tool and helping the rail sector continue to deliver measured social value.”

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