Accent publishes first Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report

Accent Housing, a national provider and developer of affordable housing, has published its first ESG report. Accent’s core social purpose is to provide safe, sustainable and affordable homes for all customers. This report outlines how Accent delivers on our core social values, while striving to meet the Sustainability Reporting Standard for Social Housing, and relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Accent is a forward-thinking organisation, and a drive for improvement is intrinsic to our culture. Publishing our first ESG report allows us to celebrate past work, but to also make a commitment to how we embrace change and pursue new ambitions to find the best possible solutions and services for our customers.  

Paul Dolan, Accent Housing CEO, said “Our first ESG report provides a baseline position to monitor our progression in holding ourselves accountable to improve our approach to environmental, social and governance performance. It sets out our organisation-wide commitment and allows us to return each year to measure our achievements against this benchmark data.

We are committed to being a fair, diverse, and stable employer, which is why we are delighted to have once again been awarded the highest governance rating of G1/V1 by the Regulator of Social Housing. This positions us well within the wider housing sector, together with our Strategic Partnership with Homes England.

 As a national housing association, Accent operates across 71 diverse local authority areas. We are proud of our national footprint along with the positive local impact we make, working within individual communities to help our customers. The support that we provide to customers responds to the specific needs and challenges of each community, and includes employment, food and fuel poverty, financial inclusion and health and wellbeing.”

Caring for our customers also means caring for their environment. With our ambitious energy-efficient development plans, our adoption of the Carbon Literacy Statement, and our retrofitting projects modernising our homes; we are putting sustainability at the fore so that we can drive value for customers now and in the future.

Sarah Ireland, Executive Director for Strategy and Growth, said “Accent are fully committed to providing affordable and sustainable homes for our customers, not just through our new-build developments but also by retrofitting our existing homes. One of our biggest goals is to help our customers tackle fuel poverty and make their energy bills as affordable as possible. Retrofit and modernisation works will help us achieve this, which include the installation of better ventilation, improved doors and windows and more insulation.

By 2030 all our homes will achieve an EPC C or above rating, which is a driving factor behind our ambitious retrofit programme. Last year we were awards £1.25m of grant funding from the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund. We are well on the way to delivering our sustainability agenda, with retrofit works across the UK.

Our ambitious development programme is key in Accent’s mission to help address the national shortage of affordable housing for those in need. With a total of 1,304 homes in the pipeline, these new homes will all be built to the highest energy-efficient standards. Sustainable and innovative modern methods of construction will be used to allow for lower running costs for our customers.”

Amid a cost-of-living crisis, driving value for customers has continued to be the main priority for Accent this year. Striving to reduce costs and ensure our customers feel supported, not dependent, is critical to all areas of our work, and all colleagues continue to put the customer voice at the forefront of our delivery and decision making.

2024 will be a key year for Accent Housing, as we continue on our journey of service improvements, retrofit works and deliver new homes through our development pipeline. Our commitment to environmental and social impact will be woven throughout everything we do, with our dedication to customers at the heart.

You can read the ESG report on our website here.

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