Hit the playlist button on the video player to bring up 3 video
case studies about our commitment to the environment.
Meeting the sustainability challenge
The government has set a target to lower total carbon emissions by 80 % by 2050. We’re using new and innovative solutions to help us save carbon in 3 key areas — offices, new developments and existing homes.
Retrofitting existing homes
We continue to make our existing homes more energy efficient and cheaper to heat. We’re installing:
We’ve also started to install biomass boilers in our schemes. They burn logs, pellets or woodchip which saves money and energy.
We’ve done extensive work to influence the Government’s Green Deal policy. Our staff have worked closely with the National Housing Federation to put forward a response to the plans. We’re now considering how we can best use the new legislation to make our homes more energy efficient.
Green technologies are incorporated into all our new homes. Our multi-award winning development at Wolverton Park uses solar panels to provide homes with heat and hot water. Wind turbines are used to generate electricity for public lighting.
We help customers save money on their fuel bills and protect the environment through information videos and our energy price comparison service.
Green spaces promote community cohesion and have a positive impact on health and wellbeing. Our award-winning £16m Green Spaces for People programme is making a difference to local wildlife and biodiversity.
We reached an important milestone with ISO14001 certification - a standard that demonstrates our commitment to the environment. We’re looking at ways to save all the time: low-energy PCs in all our offices saves around 85 tonnes of CO2 every year. We've also implemented an environmental management system which allows us to monitor our performance more effectively.
Our staff are continually working towards making our offices greener. We’ve even produced a short film to help our staff save money and energy whilst they’re at work.
We’ve become a lot better at measuring and managing our performance over the last few years. Our actual energy use, waste, CO2 emissions and costs are now measured every year. We saved 2.42 million business miles in 2013/14 through video conferencing, reducing emissions by over 30%.
Bents Cottages is a development of 31 properties for older people. It was built in the 1960s and so the original heating system had become worn and inefficient. This was wasting over 22,000kg of CO2 every year.
We decided to overhaul the development so that it was fit for purpose and more affordable for residents. Our team replaced their old gas boilers with a pellet biomass boiler.
Idris Bapu, sustainability contracts manager explains:
“We expect that the boiler will produce around 75% of the annual heat load for the buildings. As part of the project, a solar thermal heating system now helps to supply extra hot water and the building was also fitted with solar thermal and solar photovoltaic panels. In total we predict that the various energy improvements will result in a 90% reduction in heating emissions.”
Thermal imaging reports from before and after the replacement clearly shows the benefits. Walls appear well insulated where cavities have now been filled. Thicker loft insulation and double glazed windows will also make a big difference in reducing the total heat demand for the building.
South Shields MP David Miliband was impressed with the scheme when he visited Bents Cottages in May 2012. David said: “The reduction in fuel bills will make a real difference to residents.”