Solving the housing crisis in the East of England

News

22/12/2021

Creating a Flagship that is sustainable and responsible for its planet

We’ve always been ambitious and like to set ourselves challenges for the greater good. Earlier this year, we launched our new strategy, with our plans to achieve our vision to solve the housing crisis in the East of England. And our 12 operating principles and values, ensure that everything we do, is towards fulfilling our vision.

Throughout December, we’ve focused on being a ‘Flagship that is sustainable and responsible for its planet’ and our people have chatted about environmental responsibility, what we already do, and what we can do in the future.

We need to protect our planet because it’s the only one we’ve got. But that said, sometimes ‘saving the world’ can seem like an impossibly lofty goal, and even a chore. So, we want to share some of the things we’re actually doing to create ‘A Flagship that is sustainable and responsible for its planet’ to highlight our commitment and show you what we’re doing with our homes, offices, tools and cars.

 

Our tenants’ homes

Housing can play a significant role in reducing emissions – right now, buildings generate around 40% of global emissions. And as a Group, 96% of our emissions come from our existing homes. We are doing a lot to make a positive change, but there is more that we need to do. 

Following an extensive energy efficiency upgrade programme, we have improved more than 3000 of our tenants’ homes to an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) band C or above. EPC ratings evaluate a home’s energy efficiency – while a C leaves room for improvement it proves we’re moving in the right direction. It’s a win-win situation, as not only will the homes be more energy efficient and therefore environmentally friendly, but our tenants will save on their bills too.

Our energy efficient upgrades don’t stop there, either. This year, we’ve installed 303 heat pumps, 48 solar panels, and two battery storage systems. These are all ways to improve the energy efficiency of our homes that utilise more renewable forms of energy, and we’re always looking at and implementing ways of improving our new homes to be the home of the future.

 

Our offices

Our efforts to help the environment also extend to how we do things at the office. We’re doing lots to become more environmentally conscious where we can. For instance, we’re phasing out all the single-use plastics in things like coffee machines to re-usable alternatives, we extensively sort and separate our recycling, and even recycle our coffee pods, crisp packets, and any disposable face masks. 

Additionally, we no longer have single use plastic soap or washing up liquid bottles but instead use refillable glass bottles – we also buy cruelty-free kitchen products as much as possible. 

Finally, many of our teams do everything they can with tenants, customers, staff, and partners digitally. Whether that’s sending out documents via email or signing things online, we’re working on going completely paperless – did you know that even recycled paper can only be re-recycled 6 times before its fibres become too weak to hold together? 

Our tools

Our operatives are working hard be kinder to the environment too. To reduce their fossil fuel usage, they’ve moved to rechargeable battery-powered handheld power tools.  Additionally, they’ve planted 130 trees in a Bramfield woodland in which had 30 Scottish Elm trees amongst them – this species of tree was, in fact, wiped out by the million in the 19th century due to the spread of Dutch Elm. 

 

Our cars

Earlier this year we gave a warm welcome to a brand-new electric van, which we’re planning to be the first of many. Moving towards a fully electric fleet will help us reduce our carbon footprint especially considering that the sale of vehicles reliant on fossil fuels is set to end by 2030.

 

The road to net zero

We know that these are small changes, but that they can and will make a huge difference. We’re on a mission to achieve net-zero carbon by 2050 and we know there is more that we need to do. We’re all in this together, and we can make a Flagship that is sustainable and responsible for its planet. 

If you have any ideas or would like to know more, please get in touch here.