As West Yorkshire's largest social housing provider, we take our environmental responsibilities seriously.
Our Sustainability Plan to 2025 sets out our key ambitions and actions to make sure we are on the right path to
achieve our 2035 milestones of leading sustainability through social change.
With our commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions across all our business operations by 2030, we are
focussing on the wellbeing of our customers and communities and playing our part in mitigating climate change.
We have successfully secured over £2.8 million funding to make sustainability and energy efficiency improvements to
over 200 existing homes in Airedale, Castleford over the next three years.
The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) will help us deliver the project to trial a new approach to making
improvements to our homes using innovative products and providing community-based support to customers, helping
them make the most of the improvements.
We have also been trialling new heating systems, such as air and ground-source heat pumps, solar panels and improving
insulation in some of our existing homes.
This supports our target to improve the energy efficiency of all our properties, achieving a minimum EPC rating of band C
by 2030, helping to keep energy usage low and costs down.
Working with Groundwork Green Doctors, we offer customers a free energy-saving service. A Green Doctor can help
customers save money and keep their homes warm. Referrals for the service can be made
by Cash Wise and our Sustainability team for eligible residents.
WDH has been awarded over £2.8 million of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funding to deliver a project in
support of the UK Government's 2050 net zero greenhouse gas emissions target. This will also support the West Yorkshire
Combined Authority’s aim to be net zero by 2038.
The project will trial and evaluate a new approach to energy retrofitting as well as combining different innovative
products in 205 WDH-owned social rented properties in Airedale and Castleford. Taken into consideration will be fabric
improvements (walls, roofs, floors), air tightness and ventilation measures in combination rather than in isolation. In
addition to this there will be community-based ‘wrap around’ support to occupants living in the properties, as well as
providing advice and guidance to other support services available in the Wakefield district.
This funding boost will help WDH reduce carbon emissions and meet its strategic business aim of providing net zero
carbon services by 2035.
WDH's Business Strategy also aims to improve all its properties to an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of band
C or above by 2030. By achieving this, the housing provider will reduce 'in-use' carbon emissions in properties, tackling
fuel poverty and improving the health and wellbeing of it's customers.
Sustainability Manager for WDH, Simon Gutteridge said: "Research nationally shows housing has a significant role to
play in the climate change agenda as energy efficiency improvements can reduce energy demand and carbon emissions
created by the occupant 'in-use'."
He added: "The aim of this project is to take a holistic approach to energy efficiency retrofit on the estate by looking at
both people and property. Taking a whole house approach makes sure energy efficiency measures achieve their saving
potential, maximising on the benefits and resulting in energy bill savings and makes sure 'unintended consequences',
such as damp, mould and condensation, are avoided."
Our work doesn't just start and end at the front door. We understand how important outside spaces can be for wellbeing,
as well as making communities look nice. That’s why we have planted over 2,000 since October 2021. Planting more trees
has a positive impact on the environment by helping to reduce air and noise pollution, as well as encourage more wildlife.
Access to green spaces and the outdoors can also bring communities together, improving physical and mental wellbeing.
Grass verges have been transformed into vibrant, wildflower meadows that help to improve biodiversity. Our first
wildflower meadow sown early last year in Knottingley, has now grown into a beautiful habitat for pollinators such
as butterflies, bees and hoverflies. We will be introducing even more wildflower meadows at several locations in our
communities in 2022.