Link Group demonstrates sustainability leadership with ESG accreditation

Link Group demonstrates sustainability leadership with ESG accreditation

(from left) Ad Hereijgers, RITTERWALD’s director of business development and sustainability lead and Andy Jack, Link Group’s sustainability manager

Link Group has become the first social and affordable housing provider in Europe to receive top ranking in an international accreditation for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG).

Link is assessed for the Certified Sustainable Housing Label (CSHL) administered by international residential consultancy firm RITTERWALD. It is a Pan-European ESG accreditation that measures housing companies’ corporate ESG credentials.

This year, Link was ranked ‘Frontrunner’, the best possible ranking, in all three dimensions: Environmental, Social, and Governance; and is the first organisation of its kind in Europe to achieve this.

Link placed ESG at the heart of its services when launching its Sustainability Strategy in 2022. It outlines how Link uses environmentally friendly practices to reduce its impact on climate change. Examples include building energy-efficient homes and retrofitting properties, reducing waste, promoting sustainable living environment for tenants and employee wellbeing.

The strategy highlights how Link strives to be socially sustainable, creating a sense of community amongst tenants, promoting diversity and inclusion, and engaging with stakeholders. This includes reducing poverty, increasing well-being, and listening to customers by developing innovative solutions.

It also describes how Link ensures sustainability is at the forefront of decision-making and governance to keep Link sustainable and safe for the long term.

Link has built on its Sustainability Strategy through its first-ever Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report in 2022. It connects the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals directly to Link’s services, embedding them with its vision and values.

Link’s second ESG Report was launched in 2023. It highlights how ESG metrics cover a range of services across Link, including upgrading existing housing stock, building new homes to high energy efficiency standards, providing well-being and accessibility support, and ensuring ESG is at the heart of decision-making.

Jon Turner, Link’s chief executive officer, said: “I am absolutely delighted Link has received this excellent international recognition of its work on ESG through the CSHL. This acknowledgement has been achieved through the hard work undertaken by our sustainability team as well as many other teams across our business.”

Andy Jack, Link Group’s sustainability manager, added: “There are many examples of how Link has embedded ESG in its work on the latest report on ESG. I am conscious that there is still much to do, and we will certainly not be complacent as we move forward. However, this is a brilliant achievement, which I believe has been a long time coming, and I hope it really inspires everyone across Link to continue to make lives better for our tenants and communities.”

Denisa Lück, senior consultant at RITTERWALD and working on this year’s accreditation with Link’s sustainability team, said: “Link Group was certified with the Certified Sustainable Housing Label for the first time in 2020. Since then, we have seen Link to improve each year in their ESG performance. Link enhanced their data management and performance in crucial criteria like energy consumption and production of renewable energy. RITTERWALD is proud of Link´s achievements and delighted to congratulate the first label holder that reached ‘Frontrunner’ status in all ESG dimensions.”

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