Seaham-based housing association praised for its ‘green’ credentials

A County Durham housing association has landed a great result in its first external assessment of its environmental credentials.

Seaham-based believe housing has been given a silver award in a national sustainability scheme for affordable housing providers. The SHIFT report covers 21 areas of sustainability from energy efficiency in homes to use of vehicles by staff.

The report is the first time that believe housing, which provides more than 18,000 affordable homes, has received an external assessment of its environmental credentials. The report highlighted that believe housing is already performing better than the majority of housing associations at reducing carbon emissions from its offices and diverting waste from landfill.

believe housing is also in the process of introducing new sustainability policies and a detailed environmental strategy.

Nik Turner, Executive Director of Communities and Customer Services said: “This is the first time we’ve had an external assessment of our sustainability performance, so to receive the silver award straight off is really rewarding.

“This is just the start for us though. Major improvements like the £138m investment programme for our existing homes is already reducing carbon emissions. Changes to the way our people work, to reduce unnecessary travel and maximise time spent in the communities we serve, have been introduced. And we’ve brought all repair work in house, which means we can more closely monitor environmental performance.”

The SHIFT assessments are carried out by experts in their respective fields at Suss Housing. More than 25 housing associations have signed up to the SHIFT initiative in an effort to improve their environmental performance.

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