Together Housing has published its first Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report, showcasing our social impact on communities where we work. The ESG movement has been growing in the social housing sector, and making a social impact is a key objective in our Corporate Plan. The Plan has three main themes:
- Having a social impact
- Delivering high performance
- Creating great places to live
This first ESG report provides us with an excellent opportunity to evidence our commitment to environmental, social and governance matters and provides a base for us to build on.
The report details our work through the 2021/22 financial year, including innovative employability, housing, placemaking and wellbeing projects.
Through our charity, Newground Together, we fund a variety of voluntary and community projects and groups to help improve quality of life and opportunities to work for local people. Last year we supported 339 residents into work, and more than 1,200 training outcomes were achieved in our communities.
We are committed to developing much needed affordable housing, providing good quality, safe homes, supporting new and existing residents through the challenges they may face, and improving our environment for the benefit of us all. Last year we built 231 new homes and over 80% of them had an energy performance rating of B or above.
As a social housing provider, we are committed to doing the right thing for our communities, investing long term. The past year has been particularly challenging. For many people, the Covid-19 pandemic brought home the importance of their local area and the value of high-quality, local services and environments. At the same time, the pandemic also affected particular groups and communities disproportionately in terms of its health, social and economic impacts. As a result, last year saw us issuing more than 7,500 fuel vouchers to residents and more than 1,200 community grants. Through our Place Shaping Strategy, we are mobilising a major programme of place-led investment across our largest housing estates, integrating the strategies from our Corporate Plan. Through this programme new parks, green spaces and community buildings can be created, improvements to the public realm achieved. New and remodelled homes will be delivered. New opportunities for training, employment, enterprise and shared prosperity are being identified. New policies for place management, lettings and resident engagement are also being assessed to ensure the benefits of the investment are sustained long term.
Over the last year, we have also had a particular focus on developing our carbon reduction approach, making considerable progress with much more to come. To reach the national target of net zero by 2050, radical action is needed now. That’s why our Carbon Reduction strategy has helped us to install 216 solar PV and battery systems into homes and replace 289 gas boilers with renewable heating systems.
We’ve made good progress this year and there is more to do. This is just the start of our ESG story.