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23 Jan 2023

Blog: Taking action for people and the planet

Throughout 2021/22, we focused our strategic actions on lowering carbon emissions, enhancing biodiversity and reporting on the considerable social value delivered through the work of Peel L&P. Working with our partners we take action for people and the planet which can be seen in our recently published Sustainability & ESG Report.

Peel L&P’s Sustainability & ESG Director Jo Holden now reflects on our latest report and the actions we are taking to create a better world for future generations.

  • “Being a trusted partner requires more than just words, it requires action” - Steven Underwood, Chief Executive

Temperatures reached record-breaking highs of over 40°C over the summer of 2022[1], and dropped to as low as -10°C in some areas this winter[2]. The country is still in post-Covid recovery, yet new challenges such as sky-high energy prices and poverty affecting 20% of people in the UK[3] mean it is clear that those with the power to make a difference must act. Now.

  • What can be done?

Now, more than ever, companies like Peel L&P have a responsibility, not only to commit to global action such as making progress against the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)[4], but to share this progress. We must lead by example, encouraging others to discuss their own targets, disclose their results, and improve on this year after year. By establishing clear ESG reporting structures, we create a way to hold ourselves accountable and encourage substantial improvement.

  • What is Peel L&P doing?

Since 2020, we have produced an annual sustainability report, tracking our progress against company-wide targets and ensuring transparency through our actions. This year is no different, with our FY22 report detailing the action we’ve taken to meet our strategic five-year targets. We are proud to have been able to report an 18% reduction in energy consumption and sent zero waste to landfill for the fourth consecutive year. By establishing annual reporting, we are able to showcase not only our yearly progress to stakeholders, but also identify the areas which will require more in-depth review in the forthcoming year.

Setting clear priorities is key to an effective and realistic sustainability plan. Despite the strongest efforts of our team, we cannot save the world single-handedly (though we’d love to try). Therefore, this year’s report identified the actions taken with partners over the previous twelve months which contributed towards our priorities of lowering carbon emissions, enhancing biodiversity on our sites, and spotlighting the social value provided by our work across the company.

  • Who is involved?

Almost everything we do is in partnership with our stakeholders. Through a sustainability-specific survey that received over 140 responses, an increase of 22% from the previous year, we identified our top joint priority as being a transition to Net Zero Carbon, based on input from both stakeholders and Peel colleagues. Page 10 of our ESG report displays our collaborative ‘materiality matrix’, showing the transition to Net Zero Carbon, introduction of renewable energy and low carbon energy solutions, creation of local jobs and provision of training, and engagement with the communities in which we are active, as the most important and impactful priorities for our stakeholders.

  • So, what have we done?

This year, we focused on embedding sustainability into the foundations of our projects. Through a partnership with Nottingham University, the Waterfront UTC Careers Day, and the five-year projects with Northstone and St Peter’s High School, we have shared our passion for sustainability with hundreds of young minds, and provided them with a strong, community-based footing to drive their careers forward.

Projects like these will only inspire future community development. Projects such as at Wirral Waters achieved a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’ and therefore joined the top 10% of all buildings for its green credentials. Northstone has developed an array of sustainable features in its communities, like an impressive 25% cost saving in heat and power when compared to other new homes, and adaptable home-heating, lighting, and security systems designed to increase energy efficiency. Sustainability starts wherever you are, and we’re taking huge strides to ensure that everyone has access to the first stepping stone in their journey.

Of course, these are projects we are truly proud of, yet are by no means an exhaustive list. We continue to be endlessly invested in the work done across the company, integrating sustainability into everything we produce. The stats below, taken from pages 21 and 22 of our report, demonstrate the wide-reaching impact of our community investment, and show how the steps we are taking will push forward our transition to Net Zero Carbon.

 

  • The Importance of Community

The work we do would mean nothing if it didn’t aim to inspire both current and future generations into loving and protecting nature. Pages 27 to 31 of the report are brimming with community stories of advocation for biodiversity, including at Glasgow Waters, wildflower planting on the Bridgewater Canal, and our aspirations to develop a blueprint for biodiversity banking across the entire North of England. By doing this, we aim to inspire passion for nature, proving to the public just how important it is to our future.

Our vision of community encompasses all of our people at Peel L&P too. For more information on the projects undertaken and progress made this year, please find our FY22 Sustainability and ESG report here. To share your ideas or provide any feedback, get in touch with our team!

 

[1] https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/binaries/content/assets/metofficegovuk/pdf/weather/learn-about/uk-past-events/interesting/2022/2022_03_july_heatwave_v1.pdf

[2] https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/about-us/press-office/news/weather-and-climate/2022/cold-week-with-snow

[3] Poverty in the UK: statistics - House of Commons Library (parliament.uk)

[4] https://sdgs.un.org/goals

Learn more about sustainability at Peel L&P here.