Reducing our carbon footprint through Customer Services – what more can we do?

We provide our customers with safe, affordable homes and we’re committed to doing this in a way that supports our aims to lower our carbon footprint and protect the biodiversity of our communities. But what more chould the sector be doing to reduce environmental impact through the design of its services - and how can we achieve this together?

Customer Services is just one area within our organisation where we’re working towards improving our sustainability goals. We consider it when we make long term decisions, when we invest in our homes and communities and even when we talk to our customers about the changes they’d like to see in the future.

Green fleet

Last year we added 18 new fuel-efficient vehicles to our green fleet, and we also trialled some fully electric and hybrid vehicles too.

Data from the trial, along with a review of our supply chain approach, is helping us understand which vehicles in our fleet could be switched to all electric power.

We’re also training our people to drive more efficiently, and we plan daily appointments using the most economic route.

To bring customers along on the journey, we hope to introduce green slots, allowing customers to select an appointment time that ensures operatives drive the most energy efficient route to reach them.

Virtual first

Our customers have busy lives, and we know staying at home for an appointment isn’t always convenient.

We’re currently trialling a new service where customers use the video on their phone to show us virtually something that needs fixing.  We can then analyse and assess the repair before we visit. This allows us to order the right materials ahead of visiting the property, leading to more first-time fixes and most importantly, happier customers.

During the pandemic we found innovative ways to use technology to provide services remotely, including taking our lettings process online. Using video tours and digital administration tools, we’ve been able to reduce the miles travelled to appointments and when customers choose to move out, we can also carry out final inspections remotely, providing a smoother experience from start to finish.

Biodiverse communities

As well as reducing our carbon footprint we’re also investing in biodiversity projects within our communities.

In Wiltshire for example, we’ve partnered with local group, Place for Nature to re-wild a piece of disused land in Devizes. Our plans will see the space transformed into a nature trail and improve the biodiversity of our estate.

Customer collaboration

Of course, it goes without saying that we’re working with our customers to make these changes to our services. In fact, some of the innovations I’ve shared with you are the result of partnership work between our Customer Service team and customers on our Customer and Communities Network. Using our customer voice remains key to shaping our transformation and we’re constantly looking for new and innovative ways to improve the experience our customers receive.

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