Our vision & values

In this section you’ll find information about our vision, and the values and ambitions behind it. We’re constantly evolving and developing, so these values might change over time. Whatever they are though, six priorities will always be at the heart of what we do. These are:

  • to respect one another
  • to encourage innovation
  • to work together
  • to strive to be the best
  • to be honest
  • to put the customer first.

Only by doing all of these will we be able to achieve our 2020 vision.

Mission statement, culture and values

Our mission is Building Communities. This is done by working together to improve the social, economic and environmental prospects of people and communities. This mission forms the basis of our 2020 Vision. This vision is also guided by our passions, principles and resources.

The delivery of Orbit’s 2020 Vision will be achieved through a culture driven by ‘Profit for a Purpose’. This means that Orbit is a values-based business which makes a profit so that it can deliver its purpose of Building Communities. ‘Profit for a Purpose’ is about maximising efficiency and resources through a commercial approach; harnessing insight and innovation; and investing in our people to create a dynamic culture of trust, enterprise and achievement.

Our values drive our culture. These are:

  • honesty
  • respect
  • excellence
  • innovation
  • partnership

We expect our staff to live these values every day, and show them in the way they treat customers and each other. Watch our culture narrative to find out more:

Value for Money

At Orbit we take Value for Money very seriously. In this section you can find our Value for Money Self Assessments (Statement) and our Value for Money framework. This explains how we drive efficiency across Orbit as part of a campaign of ‘Making it Count’.

What does Value for Money mean?

Delivering Value for Money (VFM) is an integral part of Orbit’s corporate ethos and values; our ambition is to run an efficient and effective organisation whilst providing value for money services to our customers. Our Customer First framework makes the commitment to “fully satisfy agreed customer requirements, at the lowest internal cost”. In the very simplest terms this means making the best use of the resources available for the provision of homes and services, whilst achieving quality standards agreed with our customers. We challenge ourselves to ensure the best use of our resources by first understanding the benefits and measuring them, thus enabling us to realise those benefits over the lifetime of the investment or project. Providing Value for Money will improve our services and release resources to provide more houses, improve our existing homes and enable us to invest in our products and services and the communities where we work.

Other ways to ‘Make it Count’

In order to manage the homes we own effectively we also have something called a Portfolio Management Tool to show us what properties are used for, what they cost to repair and how much income they generate.

We have also saved millions of pounds by really focusing on how we buy goods and services – this is called procurement and you can find details of how we do this in our Procurement Strategy.

Supplier Payments Terms - FY16/17

  • Proportion of valid & undisputed invoices paid within 30 days in accordance with regulation 113 - 72%
  • The amount of interest paid to suppliers due to a breach of the requirement in regulation 113 - Nil

The Government have recently issued guidance under r113 of the Public Contracts regulations, that asks Housing Associations to publish performance regarding payment of suppliers. The table complies with this request and shows how many invoices Orbit have paid within 30 days and how much interest Orbit has paid due to late payment.

Corporate social responsibility

Orbit is one of the largest social enterprises in the UK. We implement a commercial approach and take measured risks to deliver our social mission of “Building Communities”. We make a profit, but our surpluses do not go to shareholders. Instead we invest all our profit back into the business, so that we can sustain a wide range of activities that make a difference to people’s lives.

We believe in responsible business and work hard to stay true to our values and integrate responsible business principles into everything we do.

Social Value

A joint report by Orbit Group, Social Enterprise UK, Wates Living Space, PwC and the Chartered Institute of Housing entitled Communities Count: The Four Steps to Unlocking Social Value, reviews the impact of the Social Value Act on commissioning, procurement and contract management in the housing sector. It is the largest and most comprehensive survey since the introduction of the Social Value Act, examining the views of commissioners, their progress in delivering social value, and the role of social enterprise.

Watch Christoph Sinn (Research and Policy Manager, Orbit Group), Andy Hobart, (Managing Director, Wates Living Space), Nick Temple (Director of Business, Social Enterprise UK), and Mark Graham (Director, PwC) talk about the main messages form the report in this short video.

Download our Communities Count summary, or the full Communities Count report.

We have stated that we wish to improve the economic, social and environmental prospects of people and communities. Creating social value is therefore an integral part of our organisational ethos. Read our draft Social Value Policy here.

Click Here to find out more about Erith Park and its social value.

Impact Measurement

We are committed to measuring our impact. In 2013 we published a review of our social, economic and environmental impact between 2008 and 2013. In July 2014 we published a review of our impact in 2013-14 and will continue to produce an annual update each year.

2020 project

Building Communities

Everyone at Orbit is focused on achieving the mission of Building Communities by working together to improve the social, economic and environmental prospects of people and communities.

That’s why in 2013 we launched our 2020 Vision, with nine really ambitious targets to provide the best homes and services possible for our 100,000 customers. Read our 2020 Vision and Outcomes document

Our goals to 2020

We wanted to aim high. Our nine targets to achieve by 2020 are:

Housing Choice

  • Deliver 12,000 new homes
  • Provide a full range of home rental and ownership options
  • Provide a flexible housing ‘journey’ for customers

Community Investment

  • Provide 10,000 training and capacity building activities to support empowerment, opportunity and jobs
  • Deliver £30m of investment into communities, including external funding
  • Achieve a minimum energy rating of Band C in our homes

Customer Offer

  • Ensure 75% of customer transactions are taking place online
  • Provide a range of tailored services which satisfy 90% of customers
  • Provide financial and energy efficiency advice to 20,000 people

Vision infographic screen

Other publications and research on 2020

We asked six of the country’s leading experts to give their opinion on what the world would look like in 2020 in areas like sustainability, social policy and the economy. Their ideas were published in the Housing 2020 Report, and you can view a video of the launch event. We also worked with the London School of Economics (LSE) and more than 100 local people to understand what services they wanted now and in the future. The LSE findings are in the Bigger than Business summary report.

In November 2013 a report on the future of neighbourhoods was published by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR). We were involved in the report and you can find a copy here: Love thy neighbourhood

If you have any questions about Orbit 2020, you can email Orbit2020@orbit.org.uk.

Openness and transparency

Our commitment

Orbit Group is committed to openness, transparency and accountability. This commitment is to our customers, local communities, partners, regulators and other stakeholders.

Our duty

As a Registered Social Housing Provider (“RSHP”) the Group is not currently a “public authority” within the meaning of section 3 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“the Act”); therefore, the requirements under the Act for “public authorities” to disclose certain information held by them does not, at present, apply to the Orbit Group. The Homes and Communities Agency 2011-2015 Affordable Homes Framework requires the Group to publish expenditure over £500.

Our policy

In the interests of transparency and openness, we believe that we should provide such information that we consider useful and relevant to stakeholders and customers.

This document sets out our current practices, what we intend to publish in future and our proposed practices. This is also supported by the Orbit Group's guidance on Freedom of Information.

We have consulted with our customer representative bodies on our approach and on this document. We have informed our regulator the Homes and Communities Agency.

Equality and diversity

 Equality Diversity

We’re committed to making equality and diversity part of our organisational culture and 2020 vision. We aim to be fair to everyone and to respond positively to society’s diversity at all times.

This commitment underpins our 2020 Vision and ensures that:

  • all customers are treated with fairness and respect
  • all customers receive a range of quality services, opportunities and homes that meet their needs and aspirations
  • places are created in which people can live and thrive through investment in neighbourhoods
  • customers are given opportunities to allow them to be more effectively involved in the organisation
  • we develop and invest in colleagues, so Orbit is recognised as a great place to work.

For more information on our approach to equality and diversity, please read the policy document.

Sustainability strategy

Orbit’s sustainability strategy focuses primarily on our customers, our homes and our operations. Our priority is to deliver the Group’s strategy using measurable action plans to provide properties that are energy efficient, support our customers to live in comfort and affordably heat their homes, enable our customers to save energy and save money where possible and enhance life chances through improved health, opportunities and finances.

Orbit Living Older Persons Strategy

Orbit Living has recently developed an Older Persons strategy which has been agreed by Orbit Living and Orbit Group Boards.

By developing a cohesive strategy that recognises the priorities of the local authority, health and social care partners, we will be in a better position to deliver a range of services that meet the needs and expectations of older residents. It will also enable us to plan the development of new housing for older people and make the best possible use of the properties we already have.

The strategy also recognise that many of the offers that we can make to older persons in our communities may equally be of benefit to other customers, for example, younger people living with disabilities, and therefore will seek to ensure that services and initiatives are inclusive in order to enable and empower as many people as possible.

View the executive summary of the strategy (including an action plan) below:

Orbit Living Older Persons strategy

Statement on Slavery & Trafficking - Transparency in the Supply Chain

This statement is intended to comply with the requirements of the Modern Slavey Act 2015 and sets out Orbit's position at the end of the financial year 2015/16.  The statement will be updated annually.

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Group Operating Framework

An overview of Orbit, our structures and how we work.

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