Gentoo Group is fully committed to understanding, managing and monitoring its carbon impact and will reduce carbon emissions step by step.

BUSINESSPeople and property business, as social landlord and property developer
CARBON COMMITMENTTo cut carbon emissions by 10% by 2018
CARBON MESSAGE "Reducing our carbon emissions step by step"

Gentoo takes its impact on the environment very seriously and is fully committed to understanding, managing and monitoring these impacts, in line with our overall vision of 'giving the planet a little something back'.

To oversee the environmental performance of Gentoo Group, Gentoo Green was established in 2007 as a new part of the business with its own identity. Gentoo Green has brought about many successful changes within the Gentoo Group and is developing a concentrated and sustained effort to limit any negative impact Gentoo has on the environment.

Gentoo's carbon footprint

Gentoo's carbon footprint goes much further than just energy consumed by our business, and includes energy and carbon emission generated from our construction activities. For this reason, the Group commissioned an extensive ecological and carbon footprint of the full organisation.

The results are now being used to develop Carbon Reduction, Sustainable Development, Energy, Transport and Waste practices, and will inform future business planning, environmental decisions and interventions.

Gentoo is working hard to reduce all environmental impacts, and other initiatives include:

  • Developing a 3 year Environmental Strategy, with policies on Transport, Sustainable Development, Energy, Affordable Warmth, Waste and Sustainable Procurement
  • Creating a network of 45 environmental champions, made up of volunteers from Gentoo employees, who champion environmental initiative across Gentoo Group.
  • Energy and waste audits have been undertaken, to then inform environmental policies, to make financial and carbon savings and assist with our Site Waste Management Plans (SWMP).
  • Switching all of our electricity demands to a 'greener energy supplier' significantly reducing our offices carbon footprint.

Gentoo's wider carbon footprint

Gentoo also can influence the carbon emissions from its social housing stock, and has been working hard to cut carbon emissions

So far, we have spent more than £6 million improving the energy efficiency of our customers' homes, saving our customers an estimated £4.2 million per annum in fuel costs and 7,500 tonnes of CO2 - this is more than the entire carbon emissions from our business premises. Our work is held up as 'National Good Practice' in this area.

For the future, Gentoo are now embarking on a national 'Retrofit Reality Project' in partnership with the Housing Corporation, which aims to research the most effective carbon reduction measures in social housing sector, and then implement these across the entire stock, using bulk purchasing and installation of micro generational technology.

New housing developments have been developed to EcoHomes 'very good' standards, and a proposed scheme at Southwick is aiming for 'excellent' EcoHome status. All future developments are aiming for a minimum Level 3 rating under the Code for Sustainable Homes, which will reduce carbon emissions by 25% compared to current building regulations.

And Gentoo have launch Ecologic, an exciting new national design competition, open to all UK university students to design a zero carbon zero exemplar development of 50 homes, which we ultimately hope to build.

Gentoo's recognition

The recognition that Gentoo has received for its environmental work includes the following:

  • In 2008, ISO 14001 accreditation was obtained for Gentoo Group.
  • Being recognised, as a Sunday Times Top 50 Best Green Company in their 2008 inaugural list.
  • Becoming a national 'Green Hero' organisation and sharing best practice.

Gentoo has also won several local and national awards including:

  • a national Green Apple 2007,
  • a North East Business Award for Corporate Social Responsibility 2007,
  • Constructing Excellence North East Award for Innovation 2007
  • UK Housing Award 2007 for Increasing Environmental Sustainability.

This is evidence that, as an organisation, Gentoo are living up to our aspiration to be at the forefront of the environmental agenda, in line with our vision of 'Giving the planet a little something back'.