Sanctuary Group

Third Sector • Worcester

Sanctuary Group is a not-for-profit housing association utilising knowledge partnerships on its decarbonisation journey.

Sanctuary Group's story

Sanctuary Group is a not-for-profit housing association whose decarbonisation journey began in 2020, with their first environmental strategy. Since then, they've achieved a 41% reduction in their operational carbon emissions, retrofitted 2,100 homes to a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) band C and completed a full assessment of their Scopes 1, 2 and 3 carbon footprints.

Sanctuary group are a founding member of the Greener Futures Partnership, a consortium of five of the UK's largest not-for-profit social housing providers. So far, this partnership has:
- Secured £40 million of funding from the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund to retrofit 5,500 homes to EPC band C, in which Sanctuary Group is the lead bidder.
- Launched a research project in conjunction with specialist housing consultancy Altair, looking at the benefits and challenges of different methods of measuring energy efficiency.
- Commissioned an in-depth report, 'Social Housing Retrofits for the Future', from researchers and academics at Northumbria University. This provides best practice for technical implementation of retrofit, customer engagement, and tackling financial challenges.

In 2022, following a successful funding bid, Sanctuary launched its first-ever Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), an innovation project that will help all partners rethink how to build sustainable and affordable homes.

Sanctuary Group also focus on biodiversity by:
- Mapping their green spaces to better understand their diversity of plants and animals.
- Raising awareness and engaging with customers and colleagues, to inspire nature-positive actions and volunteering opportunities.
- Reviewing their specification for biodiversity in the gardens and communal spaces of their developments.

Sanctuary group are also looking to explore how they can adapt to the effects of climate change, as they recognise they need to be prepared for their homes and operations to be affected by more extreme temperatures and weather events. They're looking at long-term ways to protect their customers and colleagues against these changes. Part of this work is partnering with RSK Consultancy's Centre for Sustainability Excellence, to create a climate risk register, which has identified two key future risks for Sanctuary Group:
- Increased demand for cooling systems, as the climate warms, which will increase both costs and health risks to customers nationally.
- Damage caused by high winds, subsidence, and infrastructure disruption will produce increasingly frequent issues for their operations and maintenance of homes.

As a member of the United Nations Race to Zero campaign, Sanctuary Group will continue to work to cut their net zero carbon emissions, as well as research and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Useful learnings from Sanctuary Group

Think about your strategy and about the biggest challenges you have so you can get started on tackling those challenges one step at a time.

Sanctuary Group's metrics

Community engagement.

Feeling inspired? Discover more about this story...



Response to climate crisis

Mitigation & Adaptation




Third Sector, over 10,000 people

Shared by

Midlands Net Zero Hub

Updated Feb, 2024

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