Stepping our way to being a green charity.
Climate change is the defining crisis of our time and it is happening even more quickly than we feared. Billions of tonnes of C02 are released into the atmosphere every year as a result of coal, oil and gas production. Human activity is producing greenhouse gas emissions at a record high, with no signs of slowing down. It’s more critical than ever that we face reality and get working on solutions together.
Zetetick Housing takes pride in acknowledging the importance of providing choice and inclusion for people with learning disabilities. Our values are the BEDROCK of everything we do and it is incredibly important that we align with those values, one of which is social responsibility. Aligning our values to us means demonstrating, doing and delivering.
We all have a duty to create a good community, support each other and make a better world for everyone.
Actions speak louder than words, so instead of making empty statements, we want concrete mechanisms to make this a reality and improve sustainability in the third sector. Here are some of the steps we’re taking right now to become a more green charity.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
At each of our sites – St Leonards, Croydon, Lewes – we are focused and careful about recycling, nothing is going in our bins that shouldn’t be. To become a more green charity, we thoroughly ensure that all plastics, paper and cardboard are recycled.
Every year we have Recycling Week which is the nation’s annual celebration of recycling! We need to Step It Up – we need to do more, we need to do it now and we need to act together. Head to Recycle Now’s website for some amazing resources and information – including an alphabetised list of items and what to do with them, so handy! Click here.
A big problem of late is contaminated recycling – such as yoghurt in unwashed pots and leftover pizza crusts in boxes – which costs councils millions of pounds a year and can lead to bales of recycling being rejected and incinerated. We all need to make sure we actually empty those empties!
Hybrid vehicles for our team
One of our most recent moves to becoming a more green charity is trialling some hybrid maintenance vans, which we’re so excited about! This means that with every repair and call out undertaken by our fabulous in-house maintenance team, we are also reducing our carbon footprint!
Battery > petrol
We’re very experienced in all things gardening for the outside spaces at our properties but now we’ve converted from petrol-based gardening equipment to eco-friendly cordless rechargeable battery-powered strimmers and mowers. No emissions, no fuel, no oil and no fumes!
Renewable energy in our properties
One of the features of our service is that Zetetick pays for all utility bills for our tenants, which allows us to ensure we work with sustainable energy suppliers. Over the last year, our electricity provider has been Opus Energy, which supplies 100% renewable energy for businesses across the United Kingdom.
Choosing 100% renewable power is the simplest sustainability step you can take. With Opus Energy, the electricity comes from renewable sources including solar, wind, hydro and anaerobic digestion (AD). All the power is also backed by renewable electricity certificates.
We can rest reassured that our tenants are enjoying their homes in a more sustainable way, whether they’re relaxing in front of the TV, cooking their favourite meal or listening to their favourite song on their Alexa (you can read more about our digital inclusion pilot project here).
Up in the cloud
Across the charity, we use cloud-based storage systems for all our documentation.
Managing and processing data on a local server greatly increase carbon emissions whereas with the cloud, not only are fewer servers used, but they are powered more efficiently. Read more here.
There are also lots of ways you can reduce your own digital carbon footprint here.
Paper has a very heavy footprint – using a tremendous amount of energy and natural resources in its production. By using less you can reduce your impact on forests, cut energy use and climate change emissions, limit water, air and other pollution and produce less waste.
Across all our offices we’re cutting down that paper usage and limiting printing of emails to help us become a more green charity. It’s a great challenge, but we are aiming to be a paper-free office!
Check out this article for lots of ways you can cut down too.
Eco friendly welcome pack
All our tenants receive a welcome pack from us when they move into their homes and we are aiming to make these more eco friendly; cutting out that plastic and bringing in more things like fully recyclable coffee cups.
We are making sure to check the sustainability statements of our suppliers. For example, when buying from timber yards for any maintenance needs, do they source materials from well managed, sustainable forests to limit their environmental impact as much as possible?
Of course, reducing your carbon footprint is an ongoing process and we’re continually working towards becoming a more green charity.
To take further steps, we will shortly be contacting our landlords and property owners who we lease from and our tenants about how we can work together to become a more green charity – introducing solar panels, greater biodiversity in the outdoor spaces of our properties and implementing alternatives to gas central heating (such as using smart thermostats).
Check out some of these amazing resources so you can reduce your carbon footprint too: