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Orbit Group turns green into Gold at the SHIFT Awards

Orbit Group last night became one of only six housing providers in the UK to be awarded a Gold Sustainable Homes Index for Tomorrow (SHIFT) accreditation for its environmental performance.

Benchmarked against 53 other housing providers, Orbit’s achievement was announced at an awards ceremony in London as part of the annual Homes Conference.

The accreditation comes at the end of a comprehensive SHIFT assessment by Sustainable Homes, who used rigorous measurements to determine energy efficiency in Orbit’s offices and homes, examining performance in areas such as CO2 emissions, water usage, climate change adaptation, and waste management.

Contributing to Orbit’s Gold rating was the installation of PV solar panels and new boilers at its Coventry office, which have reduced the business’ energy costs by £10,000 during the first six months of the year.

John Barnham, head of sustainable investment at Orbit Group said: “It’s a great accolade to be awarded this Gold SHIFT accreditation. I’m hugely proud and thankful to many colleagues throughout Orbit. Carrying out this assessment allowed Orbit to challenge our everyday operations, from reviewing our travel policy and waste generation, to reducing our paper consumption and energy usage. The accreditation also recognises our progress against our target of ensuring our existing homes have a minimum EPC rating of C by 2020 and that all new homes are built to Orbit’s Warm Homes Standards.”

Andrew Eagles, managing director of Sustainable Homes said: “These awards are all about recognising progress and achievement in improving the quality of residents’ homes. It’s important to remember that when we talk about ‘environmental performance’, it’s not some abstract ‘nice-to-have’ badge. For residents, investing in this stuff means lower bills – as well as a higher quality of life. SHIFT members are at the forefront of sustainability. They have committed to independent assessment and are working to reduce their impacts.”