Southern Housing Group - Sustainability strategy

a collage with footprint, houses and paper representing the southern housing case study

We created a new sustainability strategy with a major G15 Housing Association. Together we addressed existing homes, new builds and organisational aspects in full.

Southern Housing Group is one of southern England’s largest housing associations. They provide more than 30,000 homes for over 77,000 people across all housing sectors including social, shared ownership, affordable rent, private rent or sales.

Our brief was to work closely with the Head of Quality & Design and Head of Strategy & Policy to develop a group-wide environmental sustainability and net zero carbon strategy. It would cover new and existing communities and operations.

“I highly recommend Futureground for the quality of the work delivered, the ease and enjoyment of working with the team"

Granular level inquiry

The focus here was organisational strategy. We had to get under the skin of the association and work rapidly with an ambitious, under-resourced and busy client team. What’s more, they were in transformation following the departure of the existing sustainability team.

As an external resource we had to quickly establish credibility and trust with all key stakeholders to gain traction. Partway through we discovered related and parallel work streams adding to some of the complex challenges faced.

Listening First

Liaising with key client representatives, we took a ‘discover and develop’ approach to address the full context and understand why the previous strategy had been unsuccessful in delivery. We were open and inquisitive, feeling the impact on staff and finding new ways to collaborate. As such, we:

  • Mapped and navigated context with materiality assessment, peer review and out-of-sector insights to understand reflections.
  • Co-created a robust framework with buy-in from engaging key internal stakeholders through facilitated workshops around ‘what great looks like’.
  • Identified and prioritised target action across key business units, areas of impact and thematic focus areas.
  • Aligned sustainability ambitions and approach with wider corporate ESG-linked funding workstream.

"They distinguish themselves from the mainstream by delivering a truly tailored outcome genuinely co-created with their clients."

Devising an action plan

Liaising with key client representatives, we took a ‘discover and develop’ approach to address the full context and understand why the previous strategy had been unsuccessful in delivery. We were open and inquisitive, feeling the impact on staff and finding new ways to collaborate. As such, we:

Liz Williams, Director of Strategy and Policy at the time of the project, fed back to us, I highly recommend Futureground for the quality of the work delivered, the ease and enjoyment of working with the team, and the way they distinguish themselves from the mainstream by delivering a truly tailored outcome genuinely co-created with their clients.”

We are delighted that Southern Housing Group is moving forward with positive change, seeking to do more environmental good with a collaborative approach that will stick.

Need help co-creating or delivering a new sustainable strategy for your organisation, programme or project?

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