The Young Foundation’s 2023 analysis of FTSE100 activities in relation to the ‘social’ dimension of their ESG strategies, we found wildly varying activity, no standard reporting structures, nor any sensible way of clustering the dimensions of how a business can contribute to tackling social challenges or support social outcomes.

As a result, we proposed a simple Four-Scope Social Framework, pictured below. This is aligned to the ‘Scope One to Three Framework’ for Greenhouse Gas emissions (with which most businesses are now familiar).

Our Four-Scope Social Framework gives multiple starting points for a business’ ‘social journey’, depending on their readiness and their capacity. It beyond employee engagement, health and safety, or proxy financial measures for calculating social value towards something genuinely impactful and long-term.

Four steps to success

The Young Foundation’s Four-Scope Social Framework comprises:

Scope one: People The dominant, starting focus for many organisations, Scope one measures how far a businesses provides a safe, fair, representative and well working environment, and a diverse workforce.

Scope two: Suppliers Another area where businesses have a good degree of control is through their procurement and supply chain, incentivising and expecting other businesses to create lasting social value. Scope two assesses the social sustainability of an organisations’ suppliers and its role in supporting their social journey.

Scope three: Communities Many larger businesses describe local communities as ‘stakeholders’ and are often keen to improve the trust, relationships and impact they have on community wellbeing. Scope three assesses the extent to which local people and communities needs, priorities and aspirations are prioritised by a business.

Scope four: Collective impact Creating sustained, meaningful social value in a place – or on a particular social issue – takes more than one business, and will often take years, not months. This work necessarily takes place in the context of a transition to net zero and nature recovery. Scope four supports businesses through this more complex arena of activity. It assesses a ‘readiness’ for a transition to net zero which does not leave people behind and supports collaboration across sectors to contribute to a just transition across a locality.

Read our report

Build your social impact

We are delighted to be working with The Crown Estate, with our Four-Scope Framework supporting their mission to develop ‘lasting and shared prosperity for the nation’.

If you would like to talk to our team about delivering the ‘S’ of your company’s ESG commitment, please contact


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