Compass Housing Services Compass) has been awarded Gold Partner Status in the Office of Environment and Heritage (NSW) Sustainability Advantage Recognition Scheme.
NSW Minister for Energy and Environment The Hon Matthew Kean presented Compass with the recognition at a ceremony in Sydney last night (June 26).
Compass’ Sustainability Manager Jandy McCandless was named 2019 Sustainability Champion at the event.
Compass Group Chief Corporate Services Officer Lyndall Robertshaw said some of Compass’ achievements in this area include a 10 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions over three years. It is also the first not for profit organisation and first community housing organisation to sign up to the Plastic Police® soft plastics recycling program a part of its “towards zero” waste program.
In the Upper Hunter, Compass has commenced a pilot project to divert vacated properties’ waste from landfill to be repurposed, recycled or reused. The aim is to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill by 50 per cent.
Ms Robertshaw said sustainability is more than protecting the environment.
She said community gardens provide tenants with access to fresh fruit and vegetables, and create a platform for social inclusion and addresses good health and wellbeing on a number of levels.
Compass has taken a lead role in advocating for sustainability nationally and internationally particularly through the promotion of the implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainability Goals (SDGs) and New Urban Agenda. Group Managing Director, Greg Budworth, is Vice President of the UN Habitat General Assembly of Partners. Compass hosted the International Congress of Affordable Living in Sustainable Cities in November 2018.
“Compass is aligning its business operations to the SDGs to play its part in ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for all,” Ms Robertshaw said.
“Sustainability is at the heart of Compass’ operations because it makes good business sense,” she said.
“We have a sustainability manager and all staff have KPIs on sustainability and waste and emissions reduction.”
She said underpinning the commitment to sustainability is a belief that safe, affordable and adequate housing is a basic human right.
“Compass works with its tenants help them to participate in building resilient, sustainable and inclusive communities.”
“Sustainability is a normal part of doing business and measures are integrated into our strategic plan, business systems and our People, Place, Performance (PPP) programs to help deliver sustainable tenancies, social regeneration and increase social and economic participation.”
The Sustainability Advantage Program is a business support service provided by the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH). The program helps organisations to improve their environmental performance, reduce costs and add value to their business. After actively participating in Sustainability Advantage for at least one year, and demonstrating achievements against each of the published sustainability criteria, members can progress through the recognition levels, starting with bronze. Compass joined the Sustainability Advantage Program in 2009 and successfully achieved Silver status in 2011.
Compass manages more than 6,200 social and affordable housing properties in Sydney, the Hunter, Central West, Far West, Manning and Central Coast regions of NSW, as well as in Brisbane and New Zealand. It also runs community development programs in Australia, New Zealand and Vanuatu.