Calls for action on tackling climate change tends to focus on the active – commuting, how we travel, what cars we use, what carbon footprint we leave.
But what type of homes we live in and whether they help or hinder our efforts to reach net-zero carbon emissions receive much less attention and debate.
That is why COP26 must devote as much time as possible to finding innovative solutions that will address this climate ‘elephant in the room’.
I am joint managing director of Newton Property Management, headquartered in Glasgow, and one of Scotland’s biggest factors with further offices in Aberdeen and Inverness. We provide factoring services to more than 25,000 properties nationwide.
The issue of climate change and how to make our homes more environmentally sustainable has long been on Newton’s agenda. Last year we launched our 2020 Green Vision, leading the charge to see Scotland embrace a more sustainable environmentally-friendly future.
It was an industry first, and was born from the fact that we at Newton want to see our customers’ homes fully fitted out in a way that makes a big contribution to meeting Scotland’s net-zero carbon targets.
That means embracing solar power, future-proofing properties, providing plenty of charging points for electric vehicles, even planting indigenous trees and shrubs in and around developments.
For example, Scotland is set to ban sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2032 – with only battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles allowed.
So Newton has and continues to install electric vehicle charging points at our customers’ developments, co-funding tree planting, and introducing other green initiatives which our customers would like to adopt.
We are proud of our 2020 Green Vision – and it’s certainly been noticed. We were proud winners of The Herald Scotland ‘Green Family Business of the Year’ Award in 2019 and also finalists in the Homes for Scotland Awards this year.
But we are conscious a lot more needs to be done. So Newton is hoping to see clear, decisive action at COP26, encouraging property managers like us to do even more.
Whether it is better insulation, more access to renewable sources of energy provision, access to smarter technology in the homes – we want dynamic, innovative solutions to encourage us to be more progressive and productive and do our bit for our country and planet.
So over to you COP26. We’re ready to listen and willing to learn.
Joint Managing Director