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Orbit Earth

We have committed to reducing our impact on the environment and have established a programme to achieve this called Orbit Earth. Under this programme, Orbit will actively enhance our environment, creating and improving places and spaces for communities to thrive. Our objectives are:

  • Climate action to become net zero carbon
  • Enhancement of outdoor spaces to improve the quality of natural resources including biodiversity, land, water and air
  • Sustainable consumption to manage resources, materials and products responsibly

You can learn more about Orbit Earth and our environment approach in our policy document.

Read more about Orbit Earth

Operational impact

We are committed to reduce our operational carbon footprint and, as a result of actions already taken, we have seen a significant reduction in our carbon footprint since our first year of reporting. The main drivers for this reduction are our new agile ways of working, renewable electricity in our offices and landlord supply, together with other energy efficient measures in our property and fleet.

  • 7329 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) total carbon footprint in 2020-21
  • 21% reduction carbon footprint against our baseline year of 2018-19

Investment in homes

We continue to work to reduce the carbon emissions of our homes in line with the Government’s target to achieve net zero carbon by 2050. Our cross-business Carbon Forum monitors and manages the Group’s Net-Zero Carbon programme, providing oversight of the delivery of the Orbit net-zero carbon plan and helps to foster a culture of collaboration and innovation to explore new technologies, and co-investment and funding opportunities.

We have initiated a phased ‘fabric first’ investment approach for installing carbon reduction measures in our existing homes, against the aim to that all our homes meet EPC levels A-C as a minimum requirement by 2030. As a result of this programme, over 80% of our existing housing stock now achieve EPC band C or above. 

Alongside investment in our existing properties, our Innovation Hub is exploring new technologies to support retrofit requirements, and we are undertaking a number of pilots, including heat pump and PV roof panels with battery storage that will enable any electricity generated to be stored and used at a later point.

Finally, as a housing developer, it is essential that we also ensure that all new home we create are also fit for the future and there is minimum need for future retrofit work.

Our new design specification and housetype range includes improved thermal efficiencies, reducing future retrofit requirements, measures to reduce water and energy usage and the introduction of EV charging points for all appropriate newbuild properties.

80% of homes at EPC C or above

Decent Homes 99.9%

Commitment to achieve minimum of EPC Band C for all homes by 2030

Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) Demonstrator project with Stratford-on-Avon District Council

Enhancing our green spaces

  • We are committed to ensuring that the green spaces we care for contain a rich biodiversity encouraging nature to grow and prosper, as well as a space for our customers to enjoy and improve their wellbeing.
  • We are working with the Wildlife Trusts to create detailed habitat surveys of some of our estates to help us to develop future enhancement plans that will make our estates both more enjoyable for our customers but also more biodiverse, with greater varieties of plant and animal wildlife.
  • It is anticipated that these plans will range from maintenance regimes to capital enhancements. This approach aligns with the Wildlife Trusts' 30by30 campaign and we are piloting it on four representative estates to test its viability.

“Being sustainable on all levels is important to us which is why we’re an early adopter of the social housing sector’s ESG approach, the Sustainability Reporting Standard. As a landlord and builder of new homes, we have always fully acknowledged that we have an impact on the environment both directly, through our business operations, and indirectly, through our supply chain and customers. How we build and maintain our homes, how we run our offices, and the partners we work with, all have environmental implications.”