In its creation of communities, it strives to design developments which attract a broad range of residents.
Sigma has joined the United Nations Global Compact (“UN Global Compact”), which is a voluntary initiative designed to encourage business leaders to implement universal sustainability principles and in particular the UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles. These are derived from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organisation’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the United Nationals Convention Against Corruption.
Sigma is therefore committed to aligning its strategies and operations with the Ten Principles and to taking action to advance broader societal goals. Most specifically, Sigma aims to create residential environments that promote societal and individual well-being through the provision of:
We build homes which are suitable for a wide range of tenants, levels of affordability and life-stages, offering families and individuals the opportunity to move to larger or smaller homes dependent on their needs. In this way, Sigma’s developments support a diverse demographic profile and help to create sustainable neighbourhoods.
The development process however is under the direct responsibility of Sigma’s house building partners. As part of Sigma’s due diligence process when relationships are established, we undertake a thorough examination of house building partner policies regarding environmental practices. We require delivery partners to be able to demonstrate policies on the management and origination of their supply chain, usage of resources and their approach to biodiversity. Our two key delivery partners, Countryside Partnerships and Vistry are both classed as being a ‘Low Risk’ by Sustainalytics in their overall approach to Environmental, Social and Governance and are both rated in the top 10 out of 76 of their peer group for their approach.
Homes are constructed to relevant building regulations and have a minimum energy performance rating of ‘B’ and feature energy efficient LED lighting or low energy bulbs, whole house ventilation systems and efficient gas central heating systems. Innovation is important and Sigma works with housebuilding partners to improve the performance and future proofing of the homes through regular specification reviews.
The most significant change to housing delivery over the year has been the increasing use of Countryside’s new sectional-building technology. This has reduced waste, increased on-site efficiencies and decreased build period. Additionally the system allows for increased control of cost and availability of raw materials, improved quality control, lower transportation usage (and thereby reduced vehicular emissions), and a reduction in Health and Safety risk, due to the controlled internal production environment.
In its use of materials, the system is accredited to PEFC ST 2002:2013, which requires the demonstration of the chain of custody of forest-based products, ensuring the use of sustainable sources. The system recycles 80% of timber waste and 80% of plasterboard waste, which is reused for new plasterboard (the paper lining being used for animal bedding). Plastic wrapping is baled after use and recycled to produce damp proof courses and membranes.
Employees at the factory are drawn from the local workforce and an apprenticeship scheme has been established, which currently employs nine apprentices from Wigan College, who are studying for NVQ’s.
The alignment and synergies between the new sectional-building technology and the Sigma’s values is close, and it is intended that the technology’s usage is increased.Read More
All Simple Life houses come with a private back garden and all developments are supported by a landscaping plan which includes an array of trees, shrubs and wildflower areas.
We have partnered with SaveMoneyCutCarbon to encourage residents to make easy every day product swaps with a sustainable benefit – saving money and the planet at the same time! Each year Sigma covers the membership costs for 100 Simple Life residents up and down the country on a first come, first served basis.
We have two clothes bank partners who cater for all our apartment buildings UK wide. White Rose Clothes Banks upcycled, sell or recycled clothes in aid of Aegis Trust. White Rose supports ‘Green Fashion’. Some of our banks are provided by The Fire Fighters Charity, where the proceeds of all clothes go toward supporting all members of the UK’s fire family, mentally, physically and socially.
We now also promote the bag collection schemes on behalf of both providers amongst all residents in our houses, where the banks are unavailable.
Customer ‘Welcome’ boxes continue to include ‘green’ items, including reusable shopping bags and reusable flasks.
PinkSheep, our printing partner has sustainability at the heart of their business, and with them we continue to focus on improving our commitment to process improvements, reviewing how we print our materials.
We are part of their enhanced Ora scheme, collecting ‘Eco points’ which Pinksheep uses to off-set our impact by teaming with Ecologi to re-plant trees globally and Plastic Bank to collect ocean plastic waste.
A number of our sites include wooden swift boxes in the eaves of the houses, and hedgehog access plan routes through the garden fences in order to accommodate the existing wildlife.
Some of our houses and all our apartment schemes feature solar panels fitted to the roofs. The solar panels will provide energy to the houses/communal areas should energy be required whilst it is also being generated.
All our homes are EPC rated C and above with c.85% of our homes rated B or above.
At some of our newer developments, we have the availability of car charging points for our customers to use. All new homes are built with internal wiring for EV chargers, and points can be fitted at resident request.
Through the My Simple Life mobile app, we will be encouraging further resident run green initiatives such as on-site swap shop events.