Our social responsibilities
Our approach to sustainability
We are award-winning when it comes to our approach to sustainability and the environment.
Accord leads the sector on sustainability and we strive to minimise our impact on the environment by continually looking at ways in which we can save energy, minimise waste, protect wildlife and prevent pollution.
Accord made history five years ago when it became the first housing association in the country to open a factory manufacturing low carbon advanced housing manufactured (AHM) timber homes. LoCaL Homes is a timber frame manufacturer that produces high performance closed and open panel housing systems. The homes are designed and manufactured to provide flexible solutions that can be tailored to individual needs and functions. This includes everything from floor layout and external finishes, to building form and shape. The housing products are low cost to build, fast to erect, reduce on-site waste, reduce traffic movements and offer the residents living in the homes lower running costs than brick and block built properties.
Our existence as a social organisation has its origins in commitment to fairness and social justice. Our customers are living in some of the most hyper-diverse wards across the country and we work with people from many different nationalities as well as people who have physical disabilities and mental ill health and others who are vulnerable in different ways. We understand that different people need different things and it’s about providing services and opportunities which are fair but which are delivered in the appropriate way to that individual or community. We are also committed to developing an organisational culture that values people as individuals, recognising the contribution each person can make. The Group has signed up to the Chartered Institute of Housing’s Equality and Diversity Charter showing our public commitment towards greater equality and diversity in housing. This means fairness is:
- Driven from the top
- Informing our business planning
- Shaping our organisational culture
- Supported through staff training, development and engagement
- Part of knowing who our customers are
- Involving our customers in shaping and scrutinizing services
- Ensuring we represent the communities which we serve
- Support the communities which we serve.
- Addressing stigma around mental health at awareness raising events
- Dispelling stereotypes of young people through events led by young people themselves
- Blogs about social justice and our work with offenders by Chief Executives
- Over 100 dementia cafés held, part of £50,000 initiative to support people with dementia and their carers
- Following a staff opinion survey, the Group launched the ‘Fairness introduces...’ articles covering key facts on a range of topics including visual impairment, deaf awareness and addiction
- Refuge opened therapeutic music studio for children affected by domestic abuse and children release their own song on iTunes
- New learning interventions launched to raise awareness of domestic abuse
- Celebrations for International Women’s Week, Black History Month and religious festivals such as Ramadan, Eid and Diwali
- What is transgender? Specialist training session providing guidelines on defining transgender, common myths and the facts behind them
- Forced marriage staff roadshow
- Accord becomes a registered third party reporting centre for hate crime.
Safeguarding training is now mandatory for all staff across the organisation.
As part of our commitment to Fairness, Accord complete the NHS Workforce Race Equality standard (WRES) on an annual basis. Our latest submission, and associated action plan, is shown below.
European Union Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS)
We were the first housing association in the UK to achieve EMAS. Key achievements include:
- £1.5 million energy efficiency works
- Innovative £3 million ERDF-part-funded retrofit works
- 1,500 Photovoltaic panel installation project
- 100% CESP-funded boiler replacement programme
- ECO project to upgrade stock
- High SAP rating of over 74, in top 10% nationally
- Aim to reduce our CO2 emissions by 26% to 32% of our average home by 2020
- Target to develop Code for Sustainable Homes Level 6 Homes.
For further details, please download our 2016 EMS statement.
Development expenditure reports
To see our development expenditure, click and download the reports below: