The North East housing association believe housing has become the first in the sector to achieve a world standard for carbon neutrality.
The County Durham landlord is the first housing association to achieve One Carbon World’s Carbon Neutral International Standard and to participate in the United Nations’ Climate Neutral Now initiative.
The pioneering commitment forms part of the housing association’s work to reduce carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency.
The UN’s Climate Neutral Now initiative was launched in 2015 to encourage action towards a net zero emissions world by 2050. One Carbon World is a carbon neutral organisation and partner of the initiative which offers organisations advice and support on measuring and reducing their carbon emissions.
Achieving the Carbon Neutral International Standard required believe housing to measure its carbon footprint for all its business activities and to take actions to reduce it as much as possible, before offsetting any emissions that cannot be avoided.
In addition to its social commitment, the housing association willl now champion sustainability and support reforestation programmes as a way to compensate for its carbon emissions.
Nik Turner, believe housing’s executive director of communities and customer services, said: “It’s a fantastic achievement and we are extremely proud to be the first housing association to achieve this standard. When we talk about preventing or reducing environmental impact, it would be easy to be overwhelmed by this challenge. However, we have in place a comprehensive green plan that ensures that all the small steps we take contribute to our overall vision.’’
“By committing to make energy-efficient improvements, reduce emissions and accelerate our use of technology like electric vehicles, we can make a difference. Achieving these internationally recognised standards is proof of that, and we’re thrilled to be leading the way in the housing sector.’’
Alongside making its own environmentally friendly changes, believe housing will work with its customers to help them find ways to save money on energy use and reduce their own carbon emissions.
Achieving the Carbon Neutral International Standard and participating in the Climate Neutral Now initiative formed a key part of believe housing’s ‘green plan’ which it is now putting into action.
The detailed plan also includes a commitment to introduce smart technology on new homes believe housing is building, to reduce energy use, and to upgrade the energy performance of its 18,000 existing homes.
Andrew Bowen, chief executive officer of One Carbon World, said: “It is fantastic to welcome believe housing to the UN Climate Neutral Now Initiative. They have gone above and beyond the requirements to join the initiative in achieving carbon neutrality and demonstrate how strongly they are committed to sustainability and the wider community.”
Image: Nik Turner, believe housing’s executive director of communities and customer services. Credit: believe housing.