Network Homes launches revised Sustainability Strategy
25 October 2021
In February 2021, we published our first Sustainability Strategy which sets out our approach to a more sustainable future and the steps we want to take to get there. As this is an emerging area of focus for us and the country, it’s important we continually review, adapt and amend it to ensure responds to the changes within and outside our organisation that may affect our approach. We’ve used resident feedback, supported by findings from the Sustainability Homes Index for Tomorrow (SHIFT), to revise and improve our strategy, giving it greater emphasis on engaging with residents.
Why we updated our strategy
In March 2021, we held our first resident engagement online event: ‘What does Sustainability mean to you?’ which highlighted the importance of involving residents and incorporating their contributions around sustainability to our strategy. The findings from the Sustainable Homes Index for Tomorrow (SHIFT) 2021 report, which provides an independent assessment of how housing organisations are performing against challenging environmental targets, also reported that Network Homes is currently falling behind other major housing associations in relation to engaging with residents around sustainability issues and environmental performance.
Last year, SHIFT rated us at Bronze standard, ranking 35th out of 40 most recent SHIFT assessments. We took on board and implemented the recommendations. As a result, this year, we achieved a SHIFT Silver standard and now rank 11th out of the 40 most recent SHIFT assessments. This means our overall performance has improved by over 21 points from SHIFT 2020 to SHIFT 2021 with improvements across all areas of the assessment, especially in the Strategy and Management section. There’s still more work we need to do as highlighted in this years’ SHIFT report and feedback from residents at our first event about sustainability.
Changes to our Sustainability Strategy
The new strategy places a greater emphasis on resident engagement, which is now a key pillar in our commitment to sustainability. It acknowledges the crucial role that resident engagement can play in informing residents about the ways they can make a difference, as well as empower them to save both energy and money. Other changes include:
- a greater emphasis on the existing homes chapter and a deeper understanding of retrofitting costs
- a section around carbon emissions in construction within the new build chapter
- more details throughout the paper regarding procurement, bench marking and Government’s funding.
Want to know more about how we’re working towards a sustainable future?
We’ll be holding another online event for residents about our approach to sustainability soon, which will be your opportunity to find out about the progress we’ve made on your feedback from the first event we held in March. You’ll hear more from our Environmental Sustainability Group Chair and Executive Director of Finance on the revised Sustainability Strategy and annual SHIFT report, and you'll get to provide feedback on how we can continue to improve on sustainability as an organisation. Look out for more information about this which we’ll publish on our website.