Earlier in 2018, Action Sustainability, along with partners Simetrica and Arup, developed the Common Social Impact Framework (CSIF) for the rail sector.

The framework aims to measure and report the social impacts of the UK’s rail industry and was  developed by RSSB in partnership with Action Sustainability, ARUP, Simetrica and a working group of rail stakeholders, including representatives from:

  • Department for Transport (DfT)
  • Association of Community Rail Partnerships
  • Network Rail
  • HS2 Ltd
  • Skanska
  • Abellio


The CSIF now provides a common, consistent basis for understanding and measuring social impacts by:

  • Identifying the 10 key social impacts of rail
  • Providing a library of goals, indicators, metrics and monetised values for each impact (some of which require a licence prior to use), from which stakeholders can select measures to best report both positive (e.g. training of apprentices) and negative (e.g. increased noise and air pollution) impacts of activities
  • Outlining approaches that can be used for qualitative reporting

The CSIF draws from existing social impact research, literature, tools and approaches and is tailored to the bespoke needs of the rail sector. It’s applicable across the whole life of franchises, projects and programmes, but it’s not intended that any stakeholder should use all the measures and qualitative approaches.

Further information

Liz Holford, our resident social value expert and Project Manager for the CSIF development, spoke in an IEMA webinar on 28th November 2018, alongside RSSB, Skanska and Network Rail, to explain the CSIF, its benefits and application.

You can listen to the webinar recording here on IEMA’s website.