Housing providers are approaching sustainability with a ‘tick-box’ like approach, a national study indicates.
Providers should focus less on internal regulatory issues and more on local procurement and external interaction.
The study has revealed that the majority has sustainability policies but action revolves around policing sustainability credentials and training staff.
Social landlords are just beginning to implement externally driven sustainable procurement such as purchasing from local or SME suppliers, encouraging tenants to behave sustainably or working with third sector organisations on sustainability.
The study found that:
84% of social landlords rated their current levels of external sustainable procurement as 'very low' or 'low'
Over 61% rated their work around staff sustainability training as high or very high
75% scored their work around creating a waste reduction plan as high or very high
Nearly 33% are not involved in any sustainability knowledge sharing within their supply chain
68% felt their organisation could be doing much more on sustainability
Nearly 75% believe that housing regulators hold the most knowledge on sustainable procurement solutions and are unsure how to access it.
This data indicates that landlords may have sustainability policies in place but little action is actually happening beyond their internal networks.
Dr Jo Meehan from the University of Liverpool Management School said: "One of the reasons why social landlords are not generating significant returns through sustainable procurement is because they are looking to regulators for new ideas. This is leading providers towards a compliant, 'tick-box' approach to sustainability.”
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