ENGIE Community Interest Company shortlisted for the 2017 Responsible Business Awards

Our Parklife, which ENGIE established in 2014, has been shortlisted for The Experian Award for Building Stronger Communities.

The award recognises business initiatives that power opportunities to deliver long term social and economic benefits to their communities through the investment of time, money, skills and resources.

ENGIE’s company purpose is to ‘improve the lives of the communities and customers that we serve’ and the Our Parklife model was a solution conceived to support the overall ‘Convergence’ regeneration ambition of the London Legacy Development Corporation for the Olympic Park.

The social issues in the Olympic host boroughs surrounding the Park are complex with all listed in the top 20 most deprived boroughs nationally (indices of multiple deprivation) and at the local level in the 10% most deprived Lower Layer Super Output Areas SOAs in England in 2010. The Our Parklife Community Interest Company (CIC) was a pilot to test how private, charitable and social enterprise stakeholders could combine forces to provide social, economic and environmental benefits for these local communities. The unique partnership comprises:

Our Parklife acts as a catalyst for local regeneration by connecting local communities and people to the Park through employment, volunteering, training and service provision. Any income received for services is reinvested back into the Park with the long term ambition to close the gap in performance and prospects between the wealthiest and poorest communities and in so doing bringing benefits for all. The benefits to date include:

In 2016, Our Parklife coordinated and managed more than 850 volunteers giving up over 13,700 hours of their time. Being shortlisted for this award is recognition of the hard work of the Park Champions and the successful collaboration of the founding partners over the last three years.

ENGIE invested over £90,000 as a start-up grant over three years and provides ongoing central admin support including finance, commercial, insurance, legal, IT and HR for the Our Parklife CIC. The initial three year business plan has now been replaced with an annual business plan that sets out the key deliverables for the CIC for each year.

By developing Our Parklife as a CIC ENGIE has been able to develop a sustainable financial model that allows the entity to benefit from other sources of funding and deliver revenue generating services to support its aims. The CIC allows ENGIE to continually learn from its stakeholder engagement activities to ensure its services remain relevant. The Our Parklife project was also key in securing ENGIE first place in the Sustainable FM Index in 2016 which compares the sustainability performance amongst 23 facilities management companies.

In the award submission, Graham Parry, Director Youth Employment & Skills, Groundwork London commented:

“We have worked alongside ENGIE for six years on designing and delivering a solution for maximising social added value through the EFM contract on QEOP. From the outset, we found them to be very receptive to the bold objectives that were proposed.  The very significant commitment in time and investment that they made to co-create the CIC is one of the best responses I have seen across our many years of corporate partnering. The commitment has been sustained through the three + years of operation. Of all the impressive outputs […], the one that stands out for me is hitting a local labour target of 67%, a figure that more than doubles the industry standard. I am looking forward to continuing working alongside ENGIE over the next phase of OPL’s development.”  

Download the full Our Parklife Annual Report 2016 to find out more about the positive social impact of its work on local communities and plans for 2017.

Find out more about Our Parklife here.