Isos goes green to win silver

Social landlord Isos Housing has received a prestigious commendation for its efforts to go green and reduce the impact on the environment on its work.

The SHIFT awards measure how well housing associations are doing when it comes to sustainability.

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

Isos has been a member of SHIFT since 2009 – and every year since joining, the landlord has achieved a bronze award for its efforts.

Now SHIFT (Sustainable Homes Index For Tomorrow) has measured how well Isos has performed over the past year and decided on a silver award.

Kari Best, Isos Strategy and Performance Manager, said: “SHIFT is an independent benchmark of how environmentally sustainable all aspects of our business operations are. It measures our overall strategy and management, energy use in our buildings, including homes and offices, the practices we have in place in our offices and the impact of building new homes.

“It’s great news that we have achieved a silver award two years ahead of our target date of 2016. It shows the steps we have taken to reduce our energy use and carbon footprint and make our policies and practices more sustainable.

“Crucially, being more sustainable doesn’t just help the environment. By reducing energy use and using resources more efficiently we are also able to reduce costs – and our customers can save too by cutting their energy bills, for example.”

Isos recently held a series of information events as part of Big Energy Saving Week which is run by the Energy Saving Trust and Citizens Advice Bureau. Isos staff took part in the awareness raising sessions and have since passed on the energy saving hints and tips they learned to family, friends and Isos customers.

The Isos business plan now has a target date set of 2020 to achieve the highest gold award from SHIFT.

Other steps Isos has taken to boost its sustainability performance include:

  • Produced a Green Guide for customers to help them reduce energy use.
  • Reduced the carbon footprint of Isos offices by, for example, encouraging staff to switch off lights and computers.
  • Improved the energy efficiency of its housing stock.
  • Reduced waste and encouraged recycling.

Andrew Eagles, Managing Director of Sustainable Homes, which administers the scheme, said: “These awards are all about recognising progress and achievement in improving the quality of residents’ homes. Isos 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.”