Places for People Group has published its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report for the year 2020, confirming significant contributions to initiatives across the UK, and demonstrating how the Group is addressing UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The 2020 report confirms that Places for People has generated £87.9m in social value from its affordable housing group businesses, £198.2m in social value from its Places Leisure business, as well as contributing more than half a million pounds of charitable donations to community projects. The Group also generated 13,500 opportunities for young people, as well as creating more than 650 roles for apprentices.
In a year in which many peoples’ financial situations have been stretched, Places for People also supported more than 2,600 customers with money advice through its social impact programmes.
Having first published a CSR report in 2013, Places for People moved on to incorporating its ESG achievements within its broader annual report; the decision to release a standalone report this year is a sign of the Group’s continued ESG commitments, as Chief Executive David Cowans explained: “As one of the largest property management, development and leisure businesses in the UK we have a responsibility to ensure our products and services make a positive impact on people, places and the planet. As such we have always taken a commercial approach to delivering social outcomes. This year more than ever, we have been acutely aware of the significant social, economic and environmental challenges faced by people across the globe. We are well placed to respond to them through our diverse and complementary businesses, with an ESG strategy at the heart of our efforts.”
Those supported by Places for People’s initiatives this year include people who suffered financially and physically during the first Covid-19 lockdown. To mitigate the impact on communities, Places for People established a Covid-19 Taskforce which reached out to 59,000 households. It led to 2,800 customers receiving help, including financial support and help with shopping and online services, and a further 12,500 customers receiving a regular weekly welfare call. Similar lockdown projects included a Virtual Places project, which combatted isolation by taking older people on a virtual journey to visit places they couldn’t physically reach.
Places for People also made strides in its environmental initiatives in the year, investing £2.3m in energy efficiency upgrades across its portfolio, resulting in a CO2 saving of 239,047kg, and adding solar panels to hundreds of its homes across Scotland.
David concluded: “I would like to thank the operational teams driving forward initiatives like these which have helped so many people across the country and helped maintain our commitment to a low carbon future. These ESG commitments align with the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and I look forward to reporting on the impact again next year.”
The full report is available to read and download on the Places for People website.