The importance we place on sustainability is part of our wider commitment, as a responsible business, to behaving ethically and with integrity.
Our objectives include developing sustainable and affordable homes, and promoting biodiversity, green living and working.
We are committed to reducing our environmental footprint. One example of this is setting challenging targets to make our social housing stock more energy efficient – something that benefits our residents as well as the environment.
We aim to have all our existing properties at a higher standard of energy efficiency in the next few years, with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D as an absolute minimum by 2025. This is just the start –by 2040 it is our ambition that Clarion will be the undisputed leading housing group for good quality, fit for purpose, well managed, sustainable and affordable homes.
We are investing heavily in retrofitting our existing homes to make sure these targets are reached. Our annual investment in making our properties more energy efficient will rise from £2 million to £6 million over the next five years.
Going forward, our new homes will be built to sustainability standards which focus on quality and low carbon performance in line with the NextGeneration Sustainability Benchmark criteria. In 2019-20, we achieved an EPC rating of B across almost all of our new build properties.
Transport emissions are also being tackled, as we pilot electric vans with the aim of electrifying a significant proportion of our commercial fleet of over 600 vehicles in the next five years.
On an individual level, through Clarion Futures, we are providing help to our most vulnerable residents to reduce their energy bills – saving money and reducing emissions in the process.
We use 100% carbon free electricity where possible and the sustainability rating agency imug|rating states that Clarion Housing Group has a “positive overall sustainability performance.”
We ensure that our consultants, contractors and partners are aware of the importance of sustainability to us. Having a commitment to sustainability is a key criteria when we are choosing who we work with.
Reducing emissions is one small part of sustainability. It encompasses people and places, and our charitable arm, Clarion Futures, is investing £150 million in our communities over the next decade, in what is one of Britain’s biggest social investment programmes. This work is focused on helping people into work or training, developing digital skills, and assisting people in managing their money and staying out of debt.
Rob Lane, Group Commercial Services director, said: “Creating truly sustainable communities where people can thrive is at the core of our mission.”
We were Britain’s first housing association to adopt the Certified Sustainable Housing Label, which incorporates 30 social and environmental criteria linked to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Ritterwald Consulting, which awards the label, has ranked us in the highest possible category for social and corporate governance factors and scored us very highly on our environmental performance. And our Sustainable Housing Finance Framework provides a structure for our investment in sustainability.