Climate and sustainability

The UK has set in law a target to bring all its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. To achieve this target, the government’s ambition is to improve the energy efficiency of homes, and move to cleaner ways of heating homes, in order to halve the energy use of new buildings by the end of this decade.

Decarbonising Britain’s homes is not only an essential part of tackling climate change, it also saves residents money, helps combat fuel poverty, boosts the economy and creates jobs. Housing associations want to be at the forefront of decarbonisation, but the sector is facing a huge challenge: how to cut carbon emissions and tackle climate change whilst delivering a major programme of safety remediation work and building tens of thousands of new homes. And all during a global pandemic.

To help housing associations navigate this challenge, and to support the sector on the journey to net zero, the NHF has begun a major new project on decarbonisation.


The project will:

  • Set out the scale of the challenge that we face, and define what net zero means for the sector.
  • Provide advice on calculating carbon emissions, and estimate the size of the sector’s carbon footprint.
  • Examine the key challenges that housing associations face in cutting emissions, and explore possible solutions.
  • Examine the costs of decarbonisation, and explore a range of funding solutions.
  • Deliver a sector roadmap to net zero in 2050.

The NHF has asked the affordable housing team at Savills and SHIFT, a consultancy who specialise in sustainability and the build environment, to support the project. The insight and expertise they bring will ensure that the project is under-pinned by robust data and evidence.

Over the Spring and Summer of 2021, the NHF will seek input into the project from members. The project is expected to conclude in the Autumn.

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