25 Jul 2022
The July AMIP meeting, centred around Tackling the Decarbonisation agenda and gave members plenty to think about, as we looked to the future challenges facing the sector.
Our Group CEO Mathew Baxter set the scene for the day with a Slido poll which focused on fuel poverty.
He then delivered a presentation about accessing money from Wave 2 of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, which runs from 2023 to 2025, giving an overview of bid requirements and the timetable.
Mathew also outlined the bid strategy that is being used by the Greener Future Partnerships (GFP), a unique collaboration of five of England’s leading social housing providers – Abri, Anchor Hanover, Home Group, the Hyde Group and Sanctuary Group – which is developing a potential proposal for a share of the £800m that is available.
Ben Williams, Head of Zero Carbon Retrofit, Wates Group and AJ Eaton, Director of Decarbonisation and Energy Solutions at Bell gave a contractors’ view outlining the work that their respective organisations are doing.
Ben talked about understanding and embracing PAS2035 and how it was important for organisations to be strategy-led rather than funding-led, explaining that many focus on getting money first and think about procurement later, which is the wrong way round.
Data is critical to making smart decisions, he explained, with a rich source of data becoming available through the PAS2035 process.
AJ talked about Bell’s involvement in the Green Construction Advisory Panel and plans to build a Green Academy in Exeter, creating a model that can be replicated around the country.
He talked about the importance of understanding sector demand and existing capacity when designing training programmes, to ensure jobs for students.
The way in which we “sell” the sector is vital to attracting new people into it, he explained and there needs to be a focus on how it can be a path to changing the world and solving the climate crisis.
Cost, Procurement & Carbon Specialist Paul Millican kicked off the afternoon with an informative presentation on PAS2060.
Paul talked about what greenhouse gas emissions are, why businesses are being driven to go carbon neutral and outlined the steps that organisations can take towards PAS 2060 certification, and net zero.
When looking at carbon reduction plans “everybody talks about solar panels, electric vehicles, LED lights, wind power etc but we need to offer more than the obvious and need to start looking at technology and look at what the future technologies are,” he said.
While businesses can be carbon neutral, it is almost impossible at the moment to achieve net zero explained Paul, as it can’t be achieved through carbon offsetting, which involves calculating the emissions that you have produced and taking steps to remove an equivalent amount of carbon from the atmosphere by planting trees, for example, or investing in a renewable energy project.
Mathew gave a final presentation around winter preparedness and fuel poverty, which will be the subject of a one-off online forum, organised by Echelon Improvement Partnerships on 2nd August.