Orbit’s social value certified by HACT

Orbit’s approach to measuring the social value of its activities has been certified by HACT following a recent audit.

Orbit has been working in partnership with HACT to ensure it continues to demonstrate best practice in social value and as part of this, invited HACT to undertake a review of its current approaches to data collection and social value calculations.

The audit confirmed that Orbit had met high data quality standards and correctly calculated the social value of projects and activities delivered in the financial years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 totaling £42.7 million in social value.

Afzal Ismail, Group Executive Director for Orbit Corporate Services, commented: “We’re delighted to achieve this certification from HACT which reflects Orbit’s strong commitment to deliver £100m in social value by 2025 and our ability to accurately report to our lenders, ABN-AMRO and Barclays for part of our two sustainability-linked loans. The feedback and support from HACT are helping to inform our journey towards demonstrating our impact and value for money to customers and becoming a best practice social value business.  We have already started work on implementing their recommendations including the development of our social value framework which we will be launching very soon.”

Frances Harkin, Head of Services for HACT added: “Orbit has shown itself to be a best practice business and leader in delivering meaningful social value outcomes. The organisation has shown consistent improvements across a varied portfolio of programmes, particularly in modelling, monitoring and measuring the social value it creates. As a pioneer in this space, and as an early adopter of the UK Social Value Bank, Orbit’s social value framework will enable them to evidence the social impact they create on an ongoing basis.”

Earlier this year, Orbit announced its second sustainability linked loan which followed the publishing of its Sustainable Finance Framework.

Orbit was an early adopter of the Sustainability Reporting Standard (SRS) for social housing and published its first ESG report in 2021. It established its Net Zero Carbon Roadmap in 2021 and Biodiversity Approach, which aligns with the framework of the UN Convention on Biology Diversity, in 2022. That year, Orbit also achieved ISO14001:2015 certification for its environmental management system by the British Standards Institute (BSI) and announced that it had successfully reduced its operational carbon third (39%) since it established a baseline in 2018.

For more information about Orbit’s approach to sustainability, go to: orbitgroup.org.uk/sustainability/