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Housing association's environmental credentials recognised

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Housing association's environmental credentials recognised


Published by Ailsa Macmillan for Derwentside Homes Ltd in Housing and also in Communities

A County Durham housing association has proved its commitment to caring for the environment after being awarded a sustainability accreditation.

Derwentside Homes signed up for the Sustainable Homes Index For Tomorrow (SHIFT) scheme, which assesses the activities of more than 60 social housing providers and rates their performance in environmental sustainability.

Having now undergone its first assessment, Derwentside Homes was delighted to be awarded a Bronze SHIFT Award.

The organisation’s project surveyor, Lynne Campbell who has led the project, said: “We take our environmental responsibilities very seriously and are continually striving to make the company’s operations more sustainable.

“We decided to join the SHIFT scheme so we could compare our environmental performance with that of other similar companies in order to highlight areas that we do well in and those that can be improved upon.

“We’re very pleased to have been awarded the Bronze SHIFT accreditation at our first attempt and are looking forward to building on this success in the future.”

Sustainability of tenants’ dwellings has been improved by Derwentside Homes through efficient building works, such as lo-flush toilets that use less water each time they flush and taps that are sensory activated.

In kitchens, aerator taps reduce water usage by 25% and kettles have been replaced with efficient water boilers that reduce the amount of time water boils.

One of their developments, Greengates House offers a home to thriving populations of wildlife and insects.

Derwentside Homes also carried out a fleet review to ensure that vehicles are fuel efficient, fit-for-purpose and appropriately sized.

Geraldine Kay, Chief Executive at Derwentside Homes, said: “As a housing association we are immensely proud to receive the Bronze SHIFT Award.

“We aim to deliver environmentally friendly homes to make them modern and family friendly places to live.

“Derwentside Homes can only hope to continue this and build more environmentally friendly and sustainable homes in the future.”

The SHIFT Index is a sustainability benchmark and best practice learning network, developed by Sustainable Homes in partnership with the Tenants Services Authority, World Wildlife Fund UK, Bank of Scotland Corporate and the UK Green Building Council.

Between them, SHIFT’s 60 members own and manage over 1 million properties housing over 2 million people - representing nearly 5% of England’s 22 million households and 26% of the country’s 3.8 million social rented homes.

During the accreditation process four areas of Derwentside Homes’ services were assessed for their environmental impact - the company’s existing buildings, its new-build developments, its office practices and its strategy and management.

Having been awarded the Bronze accreditation, Derwentside Homes will now use recommendations from the SHIFT assessor to make further improvements to its environmental practices, with a second assessment carried out at the end of the year.


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