Bill Banks: Kingdom Housing Association is proud to be part of Scottish Housing Day 2021

Kingdom chief executive Bill Banks details how the group has been meeting the climate challenge head-on through its Sustainability Policy and beyond.

Bill Banks: Kingdom Housing Association is proud to be part of Scottish Housing Day 2021

Bill Banks

The theme of this year’s Scottish Housing Day is Housing and the Climate Emergency.

Around 15% of Scotland’s carbon emissions are related to the way we heat our homes. The Scottish Government has introduced ambitious targets to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2045 and has committed that, from 2024, gas boilers will no longer be installed in new homes. With the world’s leaders heading to Glasgow in November for the UN’s climate conference COP26, the focus will be firmly on Scotland, on the impact we all have on the environment, and on ways in which we can reduce that impact.

Kingdom Housing Association is committed to sustainability and the reduction of our carbon footprint. These are primary objectives in everything we do and it’s not something that is new for us.

For over 20 years our Sustainability Policy has confirmed our commitment to:

  • Integration of sustainability considerations into all our business decisions.
  • Promotion and development of sustainability objectives.
  • Recognition of sustainable development as a measure for a successful organisation.
  • Placing sustainability at the heart of our policies, planning, decision making and operations.
  • Promoting a culture focused on educating, training and motivating staff to conduct their activities in a sustainable manner.

Kingdom Housing Association continues to demonstrate our commitment to tackling climate change with plans to plant 400 trees to mitigate the carbon footprint of our fleet. In a typical year, Kingdom’s fleet of vans and cars travelled almost half a million miles and produced over 279 tonnes of CO2e, all of which will be mitigated by the local tree planting project.

Kingdom’s green strategy goes beyond mitigating our carbon footprint, with steps being taken across the organisation to minimise the environmental impact of the work we do.

Charging points for electric vehicles are being installed at Kingdom’s offices in Glenrothes and trials are underway for adding electric and hybrid vans to the fleet as part of a £50,000 commitment to investing in reducing our carbon footprint.

A revamped repairs allocation system will better control the geographic planning of appointments to considerably reduce the number of miles travelled and fuel used.

Landscape architects will be asked to maximise tree planting and retention within the design specification for all future developments and cycle storage is being provided for residents in common access flats.

Where possible, district heating is being provided for residents from sustainable sources such as landfill waste, as seen at Pilmuir Street, and also from recycled timber.

The Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS) and the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH) together with an ongoing window and door replacement programme means savings for tenants in terms of the amount of fuel they use and the money it costs them.

Kingdom was the first housing association in the UK to achieve Passivhaus Accreditation for an affordable social rent property. That was a decade ago and we have developed further homes to the Passivhaus standard, with plans to develop a further 30 as part of this year’s development programme.

At Kingdom, we take our environmental responsibilities very seriously. The carbon footprint of domestic housing has a real impact on global warming and the suite of measures we have adopted to help to tackle the climate emergency are part of our ongoing green strategy.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when thinking about the environment. Climate change can seem abstract and like it’s someone else’s problem. But there are lots of ways we can all make a difference. If we all start to make little changes it quickly adds up.

You’ll find lots of great information here to help you.

Share icon
Share this article: