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Adactus Housing Group - Carbon Management Plan

Adactus Housing Group has reduced its carbon emissions by 25% within four years, a year ahead of schedule, helping to reduce customer costs.

Energy saving initiatives at Adactus Housing Group

Background

Adactus Housing Group provides more than 13,000 homes and employs over 500 staff in the North West of England. As a provider of social housing, the group aims to deliver positive social outcomes, which includes taking action on climate change through reducing its carbon footprint.

Taking action on environmental issues has been at the forefront of Adactus Housing Group’s operational strategy since 2005, and it is playing a leading role in reducing carbon emissions in the social housing sector. In 2010 the group participated in the Carbon Trust’s Public Sector Carbon Management Programme, and as a result a detailed Carbon Management Plan was developed.

With the support of the Carbon Trust we were able to identify at an early stage that our offices and communal housing schemes were responsible for 90% of our emissions. This enabled us to focus our Carbon Management Plan on those areas which would have the greatest impact. The guidance, expertise and tools provided by the Carbon Trust were invaluable.

Natalie Twomey, Environmental Projects Manager, Adactus Housing Group

Staff engagement

The board at Adactus Housing Group set a target of a 25% reduction in carbon emissions by March 2015 from a 2009/10 baseline. 

Twomey believes that one of the most obvious outcomes of the Carbon Management Plan was the level of energy awareness that it generated amongst staff throughout the company.

 

We felt that it was important to tackle environmental sustainability across the organisation. Carbon reduction therefore became a key business plan objective, and senior staff from all departments were involved in the Carbon Management steering group set up to oversee the production of the Carbon Management Plan. We recruited a ‘Green Army’ of enthusiasts from different offices to spearhead a successful awareness raising campaign amongst the staff. At the start of the campaign, 80% of our staff were leaving their monitors switched on when they were not in use, whereas a recent survey showed that 80% are now switching off.

Natalie Twomey, Environmental Projects Manager, Adactus Housing Group

Transport

A smarter driving scheme has been piloted to help staff to drive in a fuel efficient way. The scheme also focuses on fleet management, ensuring that journeys are planned in the most fuel-efficient way. Lower carbon emitting vehicles have also been added to the company’s fleet. These actions have helped to stabilise the group’s carbon footprint for transport, despite an overall increase in the size of the fleet.

 

We focused on simple improvements to begin with, such as ensuring that staff were working with optimum energy efficiency in mind and then we made sure that the offices had sufficient insulation, double glazing and heating controls.

Natalie Twomey, Environmental Projects Manager, Adactus Housing Group

Building optimisation

The replacement of communal lighting in social housing with more energy efficient equipment was another simple measure which has reduced their annual energy bills, and this alone amounted to £9500 in savings a year.

Creating change on a larger scale, Adactus Housing Group built a high efficiency office in Manchester, which opened in 2012. This replaced three existing energy-inefficient offices in the City. The new office space uses air source heat pumps and solar photovoltaic technology to provide low carbon heat and power to the building. The move has reduced their annual energy bill by £9100, despite a general increase in prices over the past few years.

Results

In March 2014, a year ahead of schedule, Adactus Housing Group achieved a 25% reduction in its carbon emissions compared to those in 2009/10, reducing its annual energy bill by £250,000 in the process.  

 

There was no single thing that caused this reduction in carbon emissions. It was a combination of everything, including staff awareness, the new Manchester office, communal lighting and building improvements. As a result of the Carbon Management Plan we have more robust data and are better equipped to monitor our carbon emissions, which puts us in a good position to deliver further improvements.

Natalie Twomey, Environmental Projects Manager, Adactus Housing Group

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