Housing association ramps up sustainability focus with new climate change strategy and delivery plan

Derek Robertson

CALEDONIA Housing Association has launched its climate change strategy, supported by a delivery plan, which is tipped to lead to a ‘significant reduction’ in the organisation’s carbon usage.

The plan covers all areas of Caledonia’s business and role as a landlord and employer and seeks to work with contractors and suppliers to reduce carbon emissions in supply chains, as well as tackling waste management.

The organisation added that the plan is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), which provides Caledonia with an overarching framework to realise its climate ambitions.

There are a number of key areas which will be targeted. It is acknowledged that housing contributes significantly to emissions, and a review of investment in new and existing homes will focus on energy efficiency. Investment in communities will look to increase green space and landscaping for carbon capture.

Caledonia said it recognises its responsibility as an employer, so will provide training to all staff so they can develop appropriate operating practices and procedures that will address the climate challenges the organisation faces.

Other actions include a low carbon transport plan which will cover commuter and business travel. Annual travel surveys will be introduced which, coupled with the promotion of active travel, will allow staff to look at the personal changes that they can make.

The measures will assist Caledonia Housing Association to become carbon net zero within Scotland’s target of 2045. The strategy and plan have been developed by the Climate Change Working Group, consisting of tenants, staff and governing body members.

Derek Robertson, Caledonia board member and chair of the group, said, “We know that climate change is challenging and complex and it will take collective effort across the globe to address the issue. As a housing organisation, we are acutely aware of the energy we use to build and manage affordable homes.

“This plan is the first step of many we will take in the months and years that lie ahead.”

Julie Cosgrove, chief executive, Caledonia Housing Association, added, “The plan builds on the recommendations from the Climate Change Working Group. This work has been supported by input from specialist consultants to set out a pathway to net zero and our intention is to seek to appoint specialist staff to support our response to the climate emergency.

“Now that a strategic framework and statement has been agreed, Caledonia Housing Association will be working to make an initial assessment of its plan for carbon reduction which will include clear targets and timeframes linked to the action plan.”