We focus our efforts in sustainability across all aspects of our strategy, with a particular focus on three key areas – our people, our operations, and our homes and communities. A copy of our Sustainability Report can be found here.
Vistry has taken the opportunity of the Acquisition and creation of the new Group to reinvigorate and relaunch our focus on the sustainability of our operations. We are proud therefore to have formulated a new sustainability strategy sponsored by our Chief Operating Officer with full support from the Board.
We conducted a review focusing in particular on the Environmental and Social elements of the ESG agenda, considering our performance, our risks and our opportunities, consulting with our stakeholders, and deriving a series of key actions to drive our performance in these areas. Further details of the Group's sustainability materiality review and matrix are set out below. This work has been carried out by a team drawn from across the Group, ensuring that our plans are relevant to our business, inspiring to our teams and owned by our operating businesses. Our key targets for 2021, which are aligned to UN Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) are also set out below. This will be an absolute focus and priority for 2021 and beyond and will be announced in detail during the spring.
This activity is not considered to have had any material impact on our financial statements of 2020, or our forecast 2021 activity.
We focus our efforts in sustainability across all aspects of our strategy, with a particular focus on three key areas – our people, our operations, and our homes and communities.
Our new sustainability strategy has beencreated using a risk-based approach taking inputs from key stakeholder groups:
Our sustainability priorities are therefore focussed on issues that are important both to our stakeholders, and to our business, be it addressing a business risk or opportunity, or strategy delivery. This was formulated through a materiality review that evaluated all sustainability matters using a balanced scorecard from these stakeholder groups.
Excitingly, during 2021 we have committed to setting out a roadmap and investment requirements to achieve Net-Zero Carbon using a science-based approach. This will be supported by a dedicated sustainability team who will be fully empowered to coordinate and control current and future performance across the Group. During 2021 we will also set out in more detail how we intend to meet the recommendations regarding Task Force on Climate-Related Disclosures (TCFD) thereby improving our communication regarding our climate change performance to investors and other stakeholders.
In November we convened our first Sustainability Forum, drawn from across the business, and including all disciplines and levels of experience, to act as both a sounding board for our proposals, and as enthusiastic ambassadors throughout the business. Key to our plans going forward are two new senior roles, being a Group Sustainability Manager and Group Sustainability Technical Manager, which we are in the process of recruiting for appointment in early 2021.
For each of our sustainability priorities, which are aligned to our strategic priorities, we operate a framework of Group policies and procedures, all underpinned by our values of Integrity, Caring and Quality. These policies are introduced to employees in our induction process, are available on our intranet, and are shared with our suppliers.
Compliance is monitored quarterly, with all Group and regional leaders required to confirm that they, and their teams, have abided by the policies.
Suspected policy non-conformities can be raised in accordance with our “Speak Up” Policy. This policy continues to evolve and not only details the whistleblowing process but reflects the company’s commitment to openness and proactively raising concerns.
Our priority for 2021 is to lay the foundations of a sustainability strategy that reflects our position as one of the UK’s leading homebuilders and our strategic priorities will deliver our purpose of building sustainable new homes and communities across all sections of the housing market.
The Group materiality review assessed the impact of our business activities on 37 environmental, social and governance issues to identify which issues matter most for our stakeholders and present long-term value creation risks and opportunities for our investors.
Our materiality review identified 11 material issues that are managed under the Group’s core strategic focus areas.
These 11 issues form the foundation of our Sustainability Strategy and will be managed across both our Homebuilding and Partnerships businesses. We have set targets for each of these issues for 2021, which reflect the objectives of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) that are material to our business activities.
In addition Vistry is committed to upholding the highest standards of corporate governance, human rights and labour standards and our approach to these essential compliance issues are set out in detail in our corporate policies and throughout this report.
For information about how we manage the risk of modern slavery please see page 29. A light touch review of material issues and strategic objectives will be undertaken annually as part of our corporate reporting process, with a more detailed materially review to be carried out every three years.
Aligned to our vision and strategic framework, our 2021 targets are set out below which are aligned to UN Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs). The SDGs, set in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly are intended to be achieved by the year 2030, for which Vistry Group is fully committed.
Vistry acknowledge we have a key part to play in minimising our environmental impact and carbon footprint of our operations to ensure the long-term sustainability of the homes we build.
A key and critical element of the work we have committed to following the review is to produce a roadmap towards a science-based approach to achieving Net-Zero Carbon emissions in advance of government requirements.
We plan to announce our targets no later than our half year results in September 2021.
We will comply with TCFD requirements (Task Force on Climate Related Disclosures) and in readiness are undertaking a comprehensive climate change and risk assessment, which is summarised below: