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Five tips for answering social impact tender questions

All our commercial competitions at Sellafield Ltd include a social impact question. This helps to ensure that the winning supplier delivers a social impact benefit as a result of their work with us.

Our social impact team help to set those questions and help to evaluate the responses. So, we asked some of them to share their top tips.

Do your research

The best responses will be those that demonstrate that the supplier understands our communities, their issues, and their ambitions, and that align to our social impact strategy.

And there is a wealth of information available to help you.

Tenderers should familiarise themselves with our social impact strategy and other supporting documents including the Opportunities and challenges within West Cumbria report”. – Tracey West

Familiarise yourself with Copeland and Allerdale priorities and key social and economic statistics. Demonstrate your understanding of them in your tender response and show how you share those priorities. Also make sure you know what’s happening on the ground in terms of social impact and who’s involved so that you can enhance, rather than duplicate, what’s already going on.” – Karen Dickens

Think social impact, not corporate social responsibility

In recent years we have moved away from traditional corporate social responsibility, focussing instead on achieving measurable and sustainable social impact.

As our approach has changed so too has the language we use. Understanding and using the following terms is a great start to show that we are all on the same page" - Michael Moore

  • Social Impact - The change that you are making by doing something.
  • Social value – The additional benefit to the community over and above the direct purchasing of goods, services and outcomes. (how much the people it impacts on, find it useful)
  • Sustainability – the quality of being able to continue over a period of time, the input sustains outcomes beyond the contract term.
  • Outcome – The target outcome(s) you are aiming for through the delivery of the stated activities. The outcome should support the identified social impact objective.

Seek clarification if you need to and engage with the team when you win

Once a formal commercial tender is underway the social impact team can’t engage with you directly. But they can still provide answers to questions. Simply post your question via our Complete Tender Management portal and your question and our response will be made available to all companies involved in the tender.

If you win the contract, your social impact commitment will be monitored along with your delivery of every other aspect of the contract. Please do engage with the social impact team. They can help you achieve great social impact, give advice on projects and connect you with others in our community and supply chain.

Don’t commit to interventions unless you know you can deliver them. During the contract period, your social impact activities will be measured as part of the contract management process.” – Karen Dickens


We strongly believe that we can achieve more together than we can alone. Some of our most successful social impact projects have been co-created with the community and delivered in partnership with others.

Our social impact team can help broker those collaborations.

Co-design initiatives and utilise the knowledge and skills already out there, for example this could be with local stakeholders, local authorities and service providers.”– Tracey West

Collaboration is key to achieving more social impact. Plan to, and show how you will, work with Sellafield and others already engaged in this work in order to achieve more for our local communities.” – Karen Dickens

Create sustainable outcomes

Our collective legacy – our impact on our local communities – should sustain beyond any contract period.

So rather than thinking about the number of projects you could support, think in terms of the outcomes that those projects will deliver, tomorrow and for months and years to come.

You don’t need to try and address all of our objectives in your answer, but you do need to think about the outcome that you are trying to achieve rather than outputs and how the project will be sustainable after your contract end.” – Tracey West

For more tips from our social impact team, including a check list of things to consider before hitting submit on your tender response, come and join us in our SiX Facebook Group.

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