Pan-European consultancy RITTERWALD has announced that Places for People has become the first UK placemaking and property company to align its environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting with the Certified Sustainable Housing Label (CSHL).
The CHSL is independently awarded by RITTERWALD, which announced that Places for People has become the first in the country to report against both the CSHL and the Sustainability Reporting Standard for Social Housing, a sector-wide ESG standard created by housing providers and investors.
The announcement comes as Places for People launches its ESG Report for 2021 which was formally unveiled at a COP26 fringe event in London this week.
In awarding the Group the coveted label, RITTERWALD ranked Places for People as a ‘Frontrunner’ in the CSHL Social Dimension criteria, demonstrating its significant generation of social value.
Austen Reid, UK Director at RITTERWALD, said: “Places for People is a business that has long pioneered change, demonstrating an incredible commitment to the communities in which it works with a consistently high level of investment to help people and places. When combined with the Group’s environmental consciousness, and ongoing openness to new and efficient technologies, it is a deserving recipient of this accreditation.
“Reporting against our label offers an external verification to demonstrate Places for People’s progress as it continues to embed sustainability across its group of companies and registered providers.”
Creating communities that are good for people and planet
The Places for People ESG 2021 Report further demonstrated the company’s efforts this year including investment in existing Group properties to make them as efficient as possible for customers, as well as several social value projects. These include supporting more than 20,000 customers through Covid-19 emergency response projects, helping 9,000 people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless, supporting 1,700 people into education, employment or training and helping 1,200+ customers get online.
David Cowans, Places for People Group Chief Executive, added: “As we gathered among other industry leaders at the COP26 fringe event, discussing the pioneering techniques that need to be widely adopted across our sector, I was proud to unveil our report, and demonstrate our ongoing commitment to better building and protecting both people and planet”.
“We are an organisation that has for many years committed to creating efficient, attainable and affordable homes, whilst simultaneously investing in the communities around them, creating opportunities for local people and investing in new technologies and better building practices that will help us continue to reduce our impact on the environment.
“This is the 8th year in which we have released a report setting out our social and environmental impacts, initially through our CSR reporting and now with
ESG - and each edition has included the work that is being done across our Group.”
A report that acknowledges increasing ESG commitments
The report came as industry leaders attended a COP26 fringe event. Speakers included Clara Bagenal-George (founder, LETI), Sharon Darcy (director, Sustainability First) and Professor Geoff Thompson (MBE, founder and chair, Youth Charter, deputy chair Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022, and board member, LLDC) each of whom took to the stage to discuss the role of young people in the fight against climate change.
The event was hosted at East Wick and Sweetwater, a development in London’s Olympic Park in which Places for People is creating more than 1,800 new mixed-tenure homes in joint venture with Balfour Beatty Investments across five new neighbourhoods.
Having first published details of its CSR pledges in 2013, Places for People moved on to incorporating its ESG achievements within its broader annual report; for the past two years it has released a standalone report in order to acknowledge the Group’s increasing ESG commitments, as David concludes: “We have a responsibility to ensure our products and services make a positive impact on people, places and the planet. As such we take a commercial approach to delivering social outcomes – something which we have illustrated within this report. ESG is a key part of how we are futureproofing our businesses.”