Community Engagement Project

Business Example of Work with Purpose Community Engagement and Investment Sustainability Consultancy service

Focusing community engagement on creating shared value

We worked with a UK airport to develop their next iteration of the Community Engagement Strategy, with a focus on aligning the approach better with the sustainable business strategy. 


An airport has significant positive and negative impacts and needs to balance nurturing local economic growth with noise and air quality impact. What is in their power to change is also limited, and therefore collaboration with local authorities, airlines, passenger and resident groups, and landowners is key. 


The Community Engagement strategy is an opportunity to focus and amplify the positive impact, such as local job creation, SME supply chain nurturing and leveraging the scale of the airport for local resident’s benefit. 

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Tree line silhoutted header for case study description of action taken

What we did

Our first step was to identify who their key community stakeholder groups were. We researched and interviewed known stakeholders as well as identifying unknown stakeholders, and clustered them by impact and relationship with the airport. We then conducted a Stakeholder Wants and Needs assessment to identify material issues and overlayed this with the objectives and priorities of the sustainable business strategy to find alignment and gaps. Finally, we catalogued existing activities with priority opportunities so that the airport could understand what worked and start ‘from a place of strength’. 


This work enabled us to identify two key themes where shared value could be created; local economic development, and health & wellbeing of residents. Existing activities, such as a partnership with a national cancer charity and a group of miscellaneous volunteering and financial support activities, were filtered for what would have an impact and what would not. This helped to focus activities and better measure and report impact. 

Outcomes

With two clear areas where shared value could be created, the airport leveraged their staff volunteering programme to engage stakeholders in health & wellbeing. A year later they raised record monies for their health partners and with their charity partner were able to measure their impact. 


The focus on local economic development helped the airport to partner appropriately so as to engage local SMEs and suppliers on projects ranging from apprenticeship schemes, and training sessions on bidding for work and supply chain standards for SMEs. 


The Community Engagement programme is now much more aligned to the business strategy, stakeholders’ expectations, and with the increase focus it is having more of an impact on community members, engaging employees - and improving corporate relationships.