Derwentside Homes wins prestigious environmental award

Derwentside Homes has earned a prestigious award for the hard work it is doing to reduce its environmental impact.

The North Durham housing provider has taken a number of steps in recent years to be more sustainable across all of its business operations.

Led by environmental and sustainability officer Lynne Campbell, efforts have focused on cutting energy use – and the organisation’s carbon footprint – limiting waste, improving recycling rates and reducing the amount of water it uses.

Since 2013, Derwentside Homes has been a member of the Sustainable Homes Index For Tomorrow (SHIFT), which measures how well housing associations are doing when it comes to sustainability.

And this year, Derwentside Homes has achieved a bronze award which means its performance has been carefully benchmarked against other housing associations.

The award was given out at a ceremony at Olympia in London last week, organised by Sustainable Homes which administers the scheme.

Lynne Campbell of Derwentside Homes said:

“SHIFT independently benchmarks how environmentally sustainable all aspects of Derwentside Home’s business operations are. All aspects of our sustainability performance are put under scrutiny including our overall strategy and management and how much energy our buildings, including homes and offices, use and how we are trying to reduce it. It also monitors the measures we have in place in our offices to improve out our environmental performance and the impact of building new homes.

“By achieving a Bronze SHIFT award, it demonstrates the real steps we have taken to reduce our energy use and carbon footprint and make our policies and practices more sustainable.

“But being more sustainable isn’t just good for the environment. Reducing energy use and using resources more efficiently also reduces our costs. That allows us to reinvest resources in local communities. By taking steps, for example, to reduce the energy efficiency of our housing stock, our customers also save money on their energy bills helping people who are in fuel poverty.”

The SHIFT awards are recognised by the government and housing bodies including the National Housing Federation and the Chartered Institute of Housing.

Andrew Eagles, Managing Director of Sustainable Homes, said:

“These awards are all about recognising progress and achievement in improving the quality of residents’ homes. Derwentside Homes should be proud of the strides they are taking to improve – especially at the moment when cash from the government is so limited.

“It’s important to remember that when we talk about ‘environmental performance’, it’s not some abstract ‘nice-to-have’ badge. For residents, investing in this stuff means lower bills – as well as a higher quality of life. SHIFT members are at the forefront of sustainability. They have committed to independent assessment and are working to reduce their impacts.”