Our environmental initiatives
At NCHA, we’re committed to implementing processes that will help us to have a more positive impact on the environment.
Procurement and contracts
- We’ll define our environmental expectations within our supplier code of conduct and check that they comply with it.
- We’ll specify environmental requirements for all tenders over £20,000. We’ll give preference to suppliers who show how they will support our Environmental Standard as part of the procurement process.
- We’ll reduce our plastic use and packaging where possible, while examining the procurement of recycled goods and materials.
- We’ll procure electricity from renewable sources.
New and existing homes
- We’ll develop our own standard for new developments based on the government’s National Design Guide.
- We’ll review the best options to heat homes after restrictions on fitting new gas boilers come in 2025, ensuring that these options are sustainable, reliable and economical.
- We’ll seek to align product use across new build and existing homes, maximising opportunities for retrofitting new sustainable technologies.
- We’ll ensure all homes under our management achieve EPC Band C (minimum 69 SAP rating) efficiency by 2030. This means we’ll be making them as energy efficient as possible, whilst reducing bills and carbon emissions.
- We’ll align our development and asset strategies to the government’s Clean Growth Strategy and Future Homes Standard.
- We aim to replace all our petrol and diesel vehicles with low or zero emission alternatives, taking advantage of any scrappage or low emission incentives.
- When replacing fleet vehicles, we’ll specify low or zero emission vehicles, according to our business needs.
- We’ll develop a new head office which meets the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method’s ‘excellent’ standard, aspiring for an ‘outstanding’ standard. This helps us to make sure every stage of the building design is completed to a high standard.
- We’ll survey remaining workplaces, looking for opportunities to improve energy efficiency. For example, we’ll try to improve insulation, fit low energy lighting, use natural ventilation and cooling, and install green energy supplies.
- We’ll assess the requirement for electric charging points, providing an incentive for colleagues and visitors to switch to clean transport. We’ll also encourage colleagues to cycle or walk more by providing facilities such as, showers, changing rooms and lockers where appropriate.
- We’ll review how we use technology to create virtual meeting space, reducing mileage and saving time.
- We’ll review our IT equipment, installations and use. Currently it’s responsible for around 50% of our office energy costs. Therefore, we’ll try to design high energy equipment out where possible (e.g. by using cloud services instead of local air conditioned servers).
- We’ll continue to implement processes, technologies and communications to reduce unnecessary and wasteful printing.
- We’ll examine the potential savings of recycling rather than replacing IT equipment.
- When it’s safe to do so, we’ll look at ways to increase incentives for colleagues to share transport, use more efficient vehicles or use green transport.
- We’ll review options for homeworking through our Agile Working Corporate Project, saving on journeys and the cost of energy in offices.
- We’ll analyse the potential impact of turning down heating in offices and common areas, while maintaining health and safety requirements and customer satisfaction. Current estimates suggest that energy use reduces by 5% per 1o C.
- We’ll renegotiate our electricity and gas contracts, seeking reduced costs, while preferring renewable energy sources.
- We’ll reduce water pressure at inlet valves, encouraging less waste through water run-off.
- We’ll look at options to recycle waste water or rainwater, as well as the benefits of installing hot water recovery systems.
- We’ll examine the savings of fitting water quality filters. Current estimates suggest that this could save up to 15% in central heating costs.
- We’ll examine options to increase secure waste paper recycling facilities in our offices.
- We’ll increase recycling facilities in our offices for non-paper waste, removing individual waste bins and encouraging colleagues to recycle responsibly.
- We’ll examine opportunities to recycle construction materials, including paint, by donating it to charities and taking part in local recycling initiatives.
Carbon offsetting and biodiversity
- We’ll look for opportunities to plant trees as each tree offsets around 0.2 tonnes of CO2 each year. We’ll also look for ways to create more communal green spaces for customers, such as pocket parks and allotments.
- We’ll examine options to join and incentivise suppliers to join recognised carbon offsetting schemes.