At Connect we’re taking steps to tackle the climate emergency and putting it at the front of our minds when it comes to our strategy going forward. Emma Gilbank, our Sustainability Projects Officer, explains further.
My name is Emma Gilbank. I joined Connect in December 2019 as the Sustainability Projects Officer. I have spent a lot of my time at Connect working with colleagues on a project called Green Impact. It involved in all of our teams working to reduce their environmental impact both at home and at work. They did a fantastic job helping set us up to tackle the bigger sustainability challenges we are facing and have set a great precedent for Connect. I’ve also been focused on planning for how we address climate challenges alongside Martyn Broadest, our Director of Homes.
Connect Housing has recently added environmental protection and responding to the climate crisis as one of the main themes of our business strategy. This is incredibly important as housing is responsible for a large amount of carbon emissions in the UK and we want to be a part of the solution.
All the countries around the world are working together to limit temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius to try and reduce the impacts on our lives and communities in the coming years, and this will require a lot of big changes in the way we live and work.
Net-zero means we reduce emissions as much as we can
The UK has committed to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and there are many local authorities, including in West Yorkshire, that have declared a climate emergency and recognised the need to bring that target forward. Net-zero means that we reduce and stop emissions as much as we possibly can; although there might be a small amount of emissions that are ‘offset’ by investing into projects which remove carbon from the atmosphere, such as planting trees.
We have been working hard on building a sustainability strategy which has ambitious commitments for environmental improvement, and we have been creating an action plan so that we can pick up the pace as quickly as possible. We aren’t just focusing on emissions, we are looking at how we can be more sustainable across the whole business, so we have aligned our strategy to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These goals are a global vision for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, both now and for the future. Find out more about the 17 goals here: www.sdgs.un.org/goals
We’ll be sharing this strategy with you very soon, and we’ll be asking you to get involved in some of the projects too!
We’ll also be starting to build a space on the website for our environmental sustainability information so you’ll be able to find out more about what we’re working on.