Clarion Housing Group’s response to Chancellor’s speech at COP26 Climate Summit

Speaking at the COP26 Climate Summit, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced proposed Treasury rules to require most big UK firms and financial institutions to show how they intend to hit climate change targets.

Commenting on the announcement, Clare Miller, Group Chief Executive at Clarion Housing Group, said:

“We welcome the Chancellor’s recent announcement outlining proposals to ensure large UK firms set out detailed public plans for how they will move to a low-carbon future, in line with the UK's 2050 net-zero target. At Clarion we have already increased transparency and accountability around our progress in reducing our carbon emissions by making all elements of our business more environmentally sustainable.

Last year we published our first Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report for investors and this year we have published our first Social Impact Report, an aggregate of the impact delivered across our operations, including our performance in energy efficiency, resource management and protecting ecology. The report follows the themes of the Sustainability Reporting Standard for Social Housing, which we helped to develop as part of a working group.

Ethical organisations that deliver for people and their communities make an attractive proposition for investors looking for more than just a financial return. This has been illustrated by the success of our three sustainable bond issues, raising a total of £950 million to fund the development of new affordable energy efficient homes. We are also working to upgrade our most energy inefficient homes in Fenland and Tonbridge as part of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) demonstrator, run by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), to improve the energy efficiency of social housing.

This year we engaged specialist consultants to review our longer-term approach to sustainability. They looked in detail at our activities, impacts, peers, legislative environment and conducted extensive stakeholder engagement. Based on this work they developed a ‘materiality matrix’ for Clarion which forms the basis of our new sustainability strategy we will be publishing in the coming months.

The new strategy is supported by detailed road maps for the key activities of our Group: development, existing homes and communities, and operational activities that support our core work. The road maps also include pathways toward achieving Net Zero Carbon for these parts of the Group.

We are looking forward to delivering a positive future by creating and maintaining quality homes that use resources intelligently and thriving communities that provide opportunity and access to nature.”