We have a key part to play in helping to minimise the environmental impact of our sector’s operations. We will do this by ensuring the long-term sustainability of our housing stock and the products and services we provide. We will also reduce the amount of waste we produce; cut our business mileage, and explore alternative energy sources, such as community energy.
During 2014/15 Aster was a research partner in an Innovate UK project that aimed to solve business problems using environmental data.
The year-long pilot project also featured partners including the Global Climate Adaptation Partnership (GCAP), the University of Bath and University of Manchester. It helped us understand our current and future exposure to climate-related risks, such as flooding and overheating. This was the first time this type of project had calculated climatic impacts in such a way.
The study included examining areas of our housing stock most vulnerable to these impacts and quantifying the financial impact of climate change over the next four decades. Some of the areas investigated included countering the effects of extreme winter weather, potential damage to business property through flooding or subsidence, summer heat waves and the risks in particular to elderly occupants of over-heating. The researchers used economic forecasting and spatial planning models to pinpoint detailed cost implications if no action was to be taken.
And there were some interesting results. Findings suggested that costs from extreme weather events could increase by a factor of 10 with climate change over the next 35 years.