We’re committed to sustainability and our Sustainable Housing Framework aims to improve our impact on lives, communities and the economy in which we operate. We believe Clarion can positively impact global sustainability initiatives and have, therefore, aligned the measurement and reporting of our activities to these standards.
In order to benchmark ourselves against the market and the housing sector, we’ve undergone external assessment of our approach to sustainability. We’re the UK’s first affordable housing provider to adopt the pan-European Certified Sustainable Housing Label. This means that funding gained under our Sustainable Housing Framework will be used to finance or to refinance assets or activities classified as sustainable by the Certified Sustainable Housing Label.
imug | rating, a sustainability rating agency, acting as a Second Party Opinion provider has published its independent review of our Framework in the attached Expert Opinion.
We hope ongoing certification will raise awareness both in the housing sector and within Clarion. As we aim for continuous improvement we’ll undergo the regular external assessment required to maintain this accreditation.
As a major housing provider, we’re aware of our responsibility to account for not only our economic and social impact but also our environmental impact. We’re striving to reduce the carbon footprint of our housing stock and the emissions of other pollutants. With the urgency for action on climate change, we’re strengthening our commitment to balancing social housing, environmental action and economic resilience.
Implementing our Sustainable Housing Framework
Using internationally recognised social bond principles, green bond principles and green loan principles our Sustainable Housing Framework contains four core components.
We allocate proceeds under the framework to specific projects with a sustainable character (project financing) or housing stock classified as eligible for impact investing (company financing).
To assess the eligibility of our assets our buildings are separated into three groups. The residential core portfolio is stock held for the long term and includes homes rented to customers on low incomes and/or in receipt of state benefits. The non-core portfolio is defined as residential housing developed for sale on the open market. This portfolio is not considered eligible for proceeds raised under the Sustainable Housing Framework. The commercial portfolio is defined as all non-residential units. This portfolio is not considered eligible for proceeds raised under the Sustainable Housing Framework.
Based on the eligible housing stock the share of assets that could be financed by sustainable financing instruments is determined. The composition of our existing assets and liabilities is assessed further to calculate a sustainable “safety buffer” designed to ensure that capital raised at a company level is only used to finance sustainable assets. We will report this annually to provide assurance to our funders.
Our Sustainable Housing Team has been created to ensure compliance with the project selection and management process and the project risk management process we have implemented. This team is also responsible for monitoring compliance with the framework and for supervising the usage and development of the sustainable “safety buffer”.
A project selection and management process ensures allocation of sustainable net proceeds to suitable sustainable projects. While these are typically new-build affordable housing schemes, investment in existing qualifying assets (our core affordable housing portfolio) is also eligible.
Each year, we’ll be publishing a financial and impact report on our website. The impact report will detail the progress made regarding selected indicators for sustainability in the housing industry identified by the external labelling party for the pan-European Certified Sustainable Housing Label. These metrics will also be assessed by an external rating agent (providing a second-party opinion) for compliance with the label.
Progressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals
There are three dimensions to sustainability: societal, environmental and economic. Our goal is to balance these. As a social landlord, we have a strong influence on the lives and wellbeing of our residents.
Through Clarion Futures, we’re investing £150 million in our communities over the next decade, generating over £1 billion in social value. Clarion Futures works at every level in our communities, focusing on key social issues including work, training, digital skills, debt and financial exclusion – as well as providing facilities for our residents to prosper and grow. With our scale, reach and diversity, these efforts add up to one of the largest programmes of its kind in the UK.
We put great emphasis on customer satisfaction and the sustainable development of neighbourhoods, while resident involvement influences how we deliver services.
Through our efforts towards constantly improving in all three areas, we’re committed to pioneering a sustainable housing sector in Europe. In doing this, we can also have a positive impact in line with a number of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
SDG 1: No poverty
Clarion Futures offers support, employment, skills and opportunities across the UK and works towards reducing fuel poverty and digital and financial exclusion. Access to affordable housing also plays a significant role in determining physical security and increasing economic inclusion.
SDG 3: Good health and wellbeing
Maintaining and promoting the health and wellbeing of our residents is a central element of all our operations. For example, Clarion Futures Communities creates allotments, open green spaces, community centres and playgrounds on our estates to contribute to the health and wellbeing of our residents.
SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth
Our Clarion Futures jobs and training programme runs a free employment and training service which includes work placements, apprenticeships, employability training and a job brokerage service. The service has supported more than 4,000 people into jobs and training, including vulnerable and long-term unemployed people.
SDG 10: Reduced inequalities
Our Youth Ambassador programme is inclusive of young residents, helping them build their confidence and access employment. We also have resident networks focusing on reducing inequalities for LGBT and disabled people. We are also committed to maintaining a diverse and inclusive workplace and have achieved bronze level status in the National Inclusion Standard.
SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities
We exist to build homes and create communities, playing our part in tackling the housing crisis. What sets us apart is our long-term commitment to the people who live in our homes. Our model is not to build and then move on to the next site. We are long-term stewards of place, committed to building sustainable, thriving communities.
SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production
Recent developments in the construction industry promise increased possibilities for the recycling of building materials using circular economy principles endorsed and encouraged by us across our supply chain. We co-funded the UK Green Building Council’s research into the benefits of incorporating circular economy principles into a project brief.
SDG 13: Climate action
Our new homes and retrofits include measures that help to meet energy efficiency standards and contribute to reducing C02 emissions. Our target of continually improving our housing stock energy performance is key to driving this. For our operations, all new offices include energy efficiency in their design and we are undertaking pilots of electric vehicles.
SDG 15: Life on land
As a housing provider, we have direct control over valuable open spaces in urban locations. We try to find the right balance between our aspirations to offer affordable housing and safe environments for a broad population and protecting and enhancing the environment.
SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals
Our network of external partners helps us achieve our environmental and social aims. These include the UK Green Building Council, Housing Associations' Charitable Trust, National Housing Federation, Business in the Community and Inclusive Employers. And through the Love London Working programme, we’ve helped get more than 4,000 long-term unemployed people into work over the last three years.
Find out more
To find out more about our Sustainable Housing Framework, please email: email@example.com