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Sustainability

Investing in long-term success

Our approach to sustainability

We are committed to delivering real socio-economic benefits to the communities in which we work and consistent returns for our shareholders.

Sustainability is what can be achieved when we work together. Our approach connects the social and environmental value we create for people, places and communities with long-term financial returns for our investors. It means fostering unique partnerships to secure the socio-economic success of our developments; transforming under-loved town centres, urban places and brownfield sites into vibrant neighbourhoods; developing resilient assets and investing in our people.

We tackle our material sustainability impacts in the context of our focus on complex mixed-use regeneration developments, our specialism in PPP projects and the management of our investment portfolio.

The connection between the social, environmental and financial aspects of our performance means our approach to sustainability is integrated into our existing governance structures and management procedures. Sustainability is part of the broader conversation around specific projects at Board level, and is incorporated into the overarching brief used for all regeneration projects and asset management strategies.

 

Key focus areas

1

Our communities

We maximise the positive placemaking impacts of our projects. We work to improve wellbeing and build pride in communities by providing new and valuable facilities, jobs and investments which boost local economies.

We bring people together from the start, working in collaboration through the planning and development process to involve the local community and create places that meet local needs.

Our Circus Street development in Brighton, for example, is turning a derelict former municipal market into an innovation quarter and a powerhouse for regeneration in the city centre.

2

Our environment

We are diligent in the identification, management and reduction of environmental risks so we can create sustainable places that meet the aspirations of clients, partners and local authorities with regard to environmental quality standards.

The Boiler House at The Old Vinyl Factory exemplifies this approach. It is constructed of cross-laminated, sustainably sourced timber, while modular offsite construction techniques are being used at the site’s school.

3

Our buildings

We aim to measure and monitor the sustainability impact of our buildings and deliver regular, transparent reporting on our performance. We seek to support our tenants and suppliers in monitoring and reducing their environmental impact, including energy, water usage and waste management.

In FY19, we delivered:
  • a 12% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions
  • a 27% reduction in like-for-like electricity consumption
4

Our people

We recognise that the health, wellbeing, productivity and skills of our people are vital to our future success.

We invest in staff training, educational development and wellness initiatives, while providing a stimulating workplace that supports an engaging, collegiate culture. Our approach is underpinned by our values of intelligence, imagination and audacity.

In FY19:

  • 88% employee satisfaction with U+I as a place to work
  • >300 hours of volunteering by staff, raising over £30,000 for Shelter
  • 89% of employees enrolled in our Vitality wellbeing programme
  • 56% of employees benefit from subsidised gym membership
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