What does net zero mean for us?

With the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) underway in Glasgow, our Chief Executive Gareth Swarbrick shares some of his thoughts on what the target for Greater Manchester to be carbon neutral by 2038 means for RBH and for our tenants and employees.

Hello there,

This week has seen the launch of the United Nations Climate Change conference, also known as COP26. Leaders from around the world are meeting in Glasgow to discuss how we can accelerate climate action.

There will undoubtably be much talk around climate impacts, carbon budgets, and zero carbon targets for the future, all of which is necessary to inform and achieve our end goal, but it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the challenge ahead. So, what does this mean for us, at a more local level, and how can we all play our part to reduce our impact on the environment?

As a mutual housing society, we are committed to taking responsibility for the environmental impacts of our business and playing our part in delivering a carbon neutral Greater Manchester by 2038. We will invest in our existing homes, making them greener, warmer, and healthier. We also aspire to build new climate resilient homes, fit for a low carbon future. We will deliver our services in a greener and healthier way, and we will encourage our partners and our suppliers to do the same. This is one of our key tasks as we work with our tenant and employee Representatives to develop our priorities for the next few years.

We can’t do this alone. Our lifestyle choices have a significant impact on the environment. From the way we live at home, the food we eat and the way we travel, every one of us can help to play a part. The first step we can all take to reduce our carbon footprint is to avoid activities that emit greenhouse gas emissions in the first place and how we live in our homes is a key part to this. This can mean the smallest of changes to your daily life, but collectively they will have a big impact. I want to share some practical things that we can all do to help.

Finally, I want to share this week's report from the Social Housing Tenants' Climate Jury, organised by the Northern Housing Consortium and involving tenants from all across the North of England. This is a fascinating and exciting report, and we'll be looking at the recommendations closely to understand where we can learn and improve.

Best wishes,

Gareth Swarbrick - RBH Chief Executive

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