We currently live in a world where we’re faced with extreme weather, natural disasters, food and water inequalities, rising sea levels and more. These are just a handful of the challenges that climate change presents.
At Abri it’s our duty to respond to the climate crisis. Like many other industries, the housing sector is committed to reducing carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 – a target set by the UK government. It's time to turn a challenge of a generation into an opportunity of a generation, it’s time to take action.
In 2022 we launched our environment and climate change strategy which sets out our pathway to achieving net zero in our workplace, new and existing homes and our communities. Our ambition is to achieve net zero carbon emissions in our operations by 2030, and zero emissions across our supply chain and homes by 2050.
Making our operations cleaner and greener
Carefully planning our next steps is key in helping us reach net zero emissions in our operations by 2030. We’re continuously looking at how we can work and live more sustainably, we’re doing this by:
- Piloting EV charging stations, electric maintenance vans and an incentive scheme for Abri staff to switch to EV
- New waste standards that set recycling and waste reduction targets to decrease waste, increase material recovery and promote best practice
This summer we set out on a significant year-long process to install a new HVAC system (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning system) in our head office. Not only will the new system improve the air quality in the office for colleagues and visitors, but the updated system will also reduce our energy consumption, lowering our carbon footprint and operational costs.
Making our homes sustainable and energy efficient for our customers
The climate emergency isn’t the only challenge we currently face, hitting closer to home, our customers are experiencing a housing and cost of living crisis at the same time, making it challenging for people to make ends meet. At a time like this, there is a great need for quality homes that are affordable and sustainable.
To work better, smarter and greener we’ve partnered with four other housing associations to form the Greener Futures Partnership, representing over 600,000 customers in 300,000 homes. Together we’re taking a sector-leading approach to sustainability; joining our efforts to improve the energy efficiency and affordability of our housing, to empower the lives of customers.
Providing shelter to customers is our passion. Warm, secure and sustainable homes are key ingredients to creating happier and healthier communities. As well as building more sustainable homes, we’re also working on making sure that our existing homes reach a minimum of EPC C target by 2030.
Abri is investing more than £161m into improving the quality of our customers’ homes between now and 2026 through something called retrofitting. ‘Retrofitting’ isn’t a term many people are familiar with yet, but essentially it involves the installation of more energy friendly features in your home like solar panels, air source heat pumps, energy efficient doors and windows and insulation.
When homes are energy efficient, they save our customers money as they’re easier to keep warm and quicker to heat. An energy efficient home also reduces condensation and the likelihood of damp and mould. Not only does retrofit save customers money in the long run, but it also reduces the carbon footprint of their home and has great health advantages too. Retrofitted homes benefit from improved air quality and ventilation systems, reducing the likeliness of respiratory related illnesses.
Getting closer to nature: integrating biodiversity into the heart of our communities
It’s time for Abri to get closer to nature. In the next seven years we’re working on making more space for the natural world on our existing land, delivering all our new homes sustainably and helping customers understand the importance of biodiversity.
Biodiversity is the natural environment around us. If you take a closer look, you’ll see an ecosystem that involves wildlife like animals, plants, insects, and microorganisms that work in tandem to support life on planet earth as we know it. Biodiversity is necessary to you, to Abri and the rest of our community; it provides us with basic essentials from clean air to the resources we use when building new homes.
Many species are declining, so knowing how to look after nature can make a great difference in boosting their population which is why Abri have a dedicated grounds maintenance team that incorporate sustainability into our greenspaces. The team recognise the value and beauty in anything from a community garden to an unused overgrown area of grass. For example, you might think weeds are a nuisance, but did you know that many species of insects live on weeds? They keep animals at the bottom of the food chain alive.
So next time you see an overgrown area that we look after, it might be deliberate. No, not abandoned but simply letting nature take its course and encouraging wildlife which is necessary for our long-term survival.
Making our world cleaner and greener wont only benefit our 100,000 customers, it’s for the greater good. We’re committed to making sustainability the heartbeat of everything we do; giving everyone in our communities an opportunity to flourish.