We endeavour to operate responsibily in a changing world.

Our sustainability aims are important to us and our customers now, but they are also vitally important to future generations. We want to make sure our work meets current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. 

Everyone, from our residents and employees, to our suppliers and stakeholders, has a crucial role in making sure we meet our sustainability objectives. We are engaging with all of these groups to put our plans into action. 

Our sustainability strategy sets out our sustainability vision and aims. You can read the strategy here: Sustainability Strategy 2020 - 2023

Vision

We aim to find the right balance of environmental, social and economic objectives. Our vision sets this out in the three P's: people, planet and prosperity. 

People - To enable our residents to live free from all forms of poverty, in a healthy environment where they can fulfil their potential in dignity and equality.

Planet – To protect the planet from degradation and over-exploitation, to enhance biodiversity, to reduce our ecological footprint, and to take action on climate change.

Prosperity – To empower our residents to live fulfilling and prosperous lives, and for theirs and our development to be in harmony with nature.

One Planet Living

Did you know that if everyone on the planet lived as we do in the UK, we would need three planets to produce and absorb the natural resources we consume?

This is why we have adopted the One Planet Living framework, which has been developed by Bioregional. One Planet Living is based on ten principles, and works towards the ideal that we reduce our ecological footprint to within the means of our planet - it's the only one we have! 

These ten priniciples cover:

  • Health and happiness - this includes encouraging active, social and meaningful lives to improve health and wellbeing. 
  • Equity and local economy - creating safe, equitable places to live and work which support the local economy. 
  • Culture and community - nurturing local identity, celebrating our heritage, empowering communities and promoting a culture of sustainable living. 
  • Land and nature - protecting and restoring land for the benefit of people and wildlife. 
  • Sustainable water - using water efficiently, protecting local water resources and working to reduce flooding and drought. 
  • Local and sustainable food - promoting sustainable farming, encouraging healthy diets which are high in local, seasonal organic food and vegatables. 
  • Travel and transport - reducing the need to travel, encouraging walking, cycling and low carbon transport. 
  • Materials and products - using materials from sustainable sources and promoting products which help people reduce consumption. 
  • Zero waste - reducing consumption, promoting re-using and recycling to achieve zero waste and zero pollution. 
  • Zero carbon energy - making buildings and manufacturing energy efficient, and using and creating renewable energy. 

We are working to develop our own One Planet Action Plan, with consideration to each of the ten principles. We are working with our staff, residents, suppliers and stakeholders so that they all have the opportunity to contribute and take ownership of the plan. 

Find out more about our sustainability projects below. 

 

Sustainable homes

Whole House Retrofit Project

Houses in the UK currently contribute around 27% of the overal UK carbon emissions, and 80% of today's houses will still be here in 2050. So we need to find solutions now to make them zero-carbon ready. 

We have secured government funding through the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund to deliver the Whole House Retrofit Project. This project is starting in Kingsthorpe, and is targeting homes which are expensive to heat and energy inefficient due to their age and the way they were built. 

Residents in eligible homes will enjoy improved insulation, ventilation, new windows and new heating systems. They will find their homes easier to heat; see a significant reduction in their energy bills; and issues with ventilation, damp and condensation will be improved. Once work is complete, the homes will be some of the most energy efficient properties we manage. 

Feedback from residents and data from the new systems will be used to make sure the work has been effective. We'll be working with researchers from the University of Northampton’s Institute for Social Innovation and Impact to assess the impact on residents’ health and wellbeing. It is hoped this will mean the project can be extended to other homes across the town.

Anglian Water smart shower timer trial 

We're working in partnership with Anglian Water to trial 2000 smart shower timers in our properties. These shower timers offer a range of benefits to residents, to us and to the environment. By making residents aware of the time they spend in the shower, we hope it will encourage them to cut down the amount of time spent in the shower. For every minute less spent in the shower, 15 litres of water could be saved. This is great for the environment and saves a lot of water!

The timers include exciting new technology which monitors the temperature and humidity in the bathroom. This will help us to be proactive about recognising homes where there's a risk of damp and mould occuring, as the timers will send us an alert if there's a potential problem. We'll use this information to be proactive and stop this becoming a bigger issue. This could include information on improving ventilation, us arranging an inspection to check everything's okay, or taking steps to make repairs if they're needed. 

Sustainable Communities

The Paint Shop

We've teamed up with Community RePaint to collect leftover, reusable paint and sell it to members of the community at a reduced price - we don't make a profit on sales. This keeps paint affordable for local residents, and helps those on low incomes who might otherwise struggle to buy paint to decorate their homes. 

The benefits to local businesses or tradespeople who donate paint are: 

Our paint processing fee is considerably lower than the cost of disposing the paint through the proper trade routes;
It’s better for the environment, as the paint will be used instead of going to landfill; and
The knowledge that the paint has been put to good use, and it’s helped residents put their own stamp on their homes.

The shop opened in March 2020, and despite closing for periods throughout the year due to COVID-19 restrictions, over 1100 litres of paint were donated - enough to decorate nearly 650 average-sized rooms. This paint was sold on for £1/2 a litre! 

Wildlife Project

Starting in Autumn 2020, we helped residents care for the environment and local wildlife, and to grow their own food. The first stage of this project involved three giveaways. 

Autumn

Residents turned their gardens into havens for hedgehogs, birds and other wildlife. We provided box sets giving residents everything they needed to create wildlife habitats in their gardens. 

The sets were free of charge, and supplied as flat pack items with everything they needed to put them together. The items could also be used in communal gardens for those who live in flats. 

Winter

The winter offer included a selection of trees suitable for small gardens, selected for their colour, interest for wildlife or fruiting potential. Residents could choose from Crab Apple, Rowan, Hazel, Silver Birch, Apple or Wild Pear. Around 120 trees were snapped up by residents, who were delighted to receive them and have been sharing photos of their progress. 

A number of the trees were donated to local schools, as not all children have access to a garden at home. The schools told us the children were really excited to plant the trees, and we're excited to see how they grow!

Spring

For Spring, we encouraged residents to try their hand at growing their own food. Those who requested them received fully constructed planters, compost, seeds and a hand tool - everything they needed to get started! 

West Northants Sustainable Food Place

We are proud to be part of this partnership, which exists to improve the sustainability, accessibility, quality and affordability of food in West Northants. 

This partnership includes:

  • The voluntary sector, including Northampton Hope Centre and Northants ACRE
  • Environmental groups like Transition Town and Circular economies network
  • Northamptonshire Public Health
  • West Northants Unitary Council
  • The University of Northampton
  • Northampton General Hospital
  • Made in Northampton (local food producers)

The organisations in this partnership aim to improve the quality of food by:

  • Taking a strategic and collaborative approach to good food governance and action;
  • Building public awareness, active food citizenship and a local good food movement;
  • Tackling food poverty, diet related ill-health and access to affordable healthy food; and
  • Tackling the climate and nature emergency through sustainable food and farming and an end to food waste. 

Find out more about the West Northants Sustainable Food Place