Zero Net Carbon Emissions for the Scottish Housing Sector by 2045

Scottish Housing Day 2021 (15 September) aims to highlight the positive impact housing has on people and communities across Scotland. This year, the event places a focus on housing and climate change. An eight-point plan sets out how Scotland’s social housing sector can achieve zero-emission housing by 2045 and support tenants in reducing their energy consumption to achieve carbon savings. While Scottish Housing Day aims to achieve net-zero emissions across the entire social housing sector, there are smaller components that can be addressed to reduce our carbon footprint.

Nigel Deacon, National Account Director, addresses some of the key wins that we can bring to the table for reducing carbon emissions:

Increased Recycling/Minimising Waste

By creating waste/recycling hubs in accessible locations for residents and making them easy to use correctly, we encourage them to segregate refuse/recyclables and dispose of them in the correct container. Providing temporary storage space for items awaiting collection for re-use, such as surplus furniture, textiles or electrical goods, strongly supports the circular economy, as these items would otherwise just be thrown away.

Biodiversity Enhancement

The inclusion of green roofs, green wall or hibernacula elements in external structures provides opportunities for invertebrates, birds, etc to shelter and feed within the built environment.

Reduced Vehicle Movements 

Providing additional waste/recycling storage capacity allows councils to reduce collection frequencies, vehicle movements, fuel usage, Co2 emissions directly into the atmosphere. Stores that are designed to minimise side-waste, fly-tipping and contaminated bins will reduce additional unscheduled collections.

Recycled/Recyclable Materials

Modular product manufactured from a high proportion of recycled/recyclable materials reduces reliance on cement/concrete/brick/timber and also on-site wastage.

Green Travel Options

Carbon emissions can be further reduced by using sustainable forms of transportation such as walking and cycling. One of the biggest obstacles to this in a social housing environment is the availability of secure storage close to people’s homes, so providing residents with secure cycle and mobility scooter storage will reduce reliance on cars, particularly for short journeys.