L&Q has released its first ever sustainability report as it seeks to inform stakeholders about the work being done across the organisation and to pave the way for further investment in its sustainable activities.
Evaluating a range of indicators – from renewable energy procurement and corporate carbon emissions to employment generation and the gender pay gap – the report outlines the housing provider’s track record in these areas as part of a wider sustainability agenda.
The approach includes the creation of an ESG dashboard, reporting core measures for each segment of environmental, social, and governance that work towards the spirit of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The leading housing association will develop a decarbonisation strategy for existing homes by 31 March 2022, setting out its roadmap to achieve EPC band C by 2030 and net-zero by 2050.
L&Q has also committed to social targets, such as delivering at least 8,000 new homes by 31 March 2024, of which 50% will be affordable, and supporting 8,750 residents through their financial support service, Pound Advice.
Alongside environmental and social criteria, L&Q is working to improve governance representation by doubling the proportion of board members from black and minority ethnic backgrounds to 30% and the percentage of women to 50% by 31 March 2024.
A member of the G15 group of London housing associations, L&Q says the approach will help it to measure and manage impact, with transparency and accountability at the forefront.
The report complements L&Q’s recently published Sustainability Finance Framework, which will enable the housing association to use a range of loans and bonds to boost environmental and social outcomes.
‘We are not complacent’
Fiona Fletcher-Smith, chief executive at L&Q, said: “As one of the UK’s largest housing associations, we want to be at the vanguard of making improvements to society, the economy, and the planet.
“Publishing a holistic approach to sustainability will make that possible, holding us accountable for delivering environmental and social investment that will help people to thrive and communities to prosper.
“Our Sustainability Report highlights the positive impact L&Q is making, but it is also a tool to drive further action in the future.
“We are not complacent, we want to do better, and the process of reporting against these important criteria will help us to do that year on year.
“In particular, we are keenly focused on reducing our carbon footprint, which will not only help to tackle climate change, but also support the wellbeing of our residents – both financially, through a reduction in fuel poverty and utility bills, and personally, in terms of health and quality of life.”
Fletcher-Smith added: “As a sector, we know we are facing a monumental challenge to create the financial capacity required to meet all of our objectives, including a major investment in our existing homes to meet the building safety and green agendas, as well as our responsibility to build high quality homes for those in greatest need.
“The scale of the challenge means this isn’t something that any of us can do alone – there has to be collaboration with our supply chain, investors, and like-minded organisations.
“We are operating in uncertain times, but L&Q is an organisation with strong governance, outstanding people, and a proven track record of delivering on its social purpose.”
Image: An L&Q warehouse development
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