Since our inception we have been on a journey to create shared value for our shareholders,
stakeholders and the wider communities in which we operate. We are well along our journey and we are committed to continuously evolving our approach to achieve stronger results for the benefit of all.
A new focus and understanding around sustainability is growing fast and we need to be clear and fully transparent on what Urban&Civic is
already delivering and what we can do better. We know that this will require a flexible mindset and for us to continuously review and adapt our approach to sustainability and value creation.
In this first year of business and project wide sustainability reporting, it is apparent that we have managed to reach or exceed some of the
targets we had initially set ourselves. We also identified that there are alternative metrics which could capture the essence of our key work
streams more effectively. As part of finalising our Sustainability Framework in 2021 we are committed to undertaking a thorough review of our metrics, part of which will examine the target for each metric and assess its achievability and suitability to support the relevant headline objectives. We are confident that our headline objectives and action areas are still relevant and reflect our most material sustainability issues.
In 2020/21 we will review the definition of implementation/action plans comprising specific activities which will support the achievement of the strategic objectives and metrics identified for each capital. These will be linked to our individual sites and form part of development-based sustainability strategies. We intend to build on our efforts in the area of stakeholder engagement with focused consultation reaching out to key parties, including housebuilder customers, to present and agree stakeholder metrics, levels of aspiration and scope of targets.
Following up on the work undertaken in 2019/20, in 2020/21 we will also expand the governance structure and data collection exercise to cover all revised minimum standard metrics. This will be followed by rolling out the site-specific and stakeholder metrics. We will work with an external consultant who will support us with the design of data collection systems and processes to ensure that we comply with best practice reporting guidelines. As such, we intend to report against the published Sustainability Framework for the financial year 2020/21.
We have set an initial five-year horizon for a formalised evaluation of our performance against criteria that we consider to be critical to our
organisation as a responsible business. Incremental growth and periodic review of our metrics is crucial to our approach, which will be based on the concept of continuous improvement. We believe that this will allow us to successfully respond to changing business needs, industry trends and stakeholder expectations.
Crucially, our framework has been conceived as a dynamic and future-proofed tool. It is designed as a ‘live’, progressive methodology that will be adapted as required to respond to shifting trends and expectations. We are committed to reviewing our targets on an ongoing basis. This will help us to continuously elevate our ambition and improve our performance.T he decision whether a thorough or partial update of our strategic approach is required will be informed by a regular in-depth research exercise encompassing a review of key market drivers, relevant regulation and sustainability trends.
The decision-making process will also take into account potential changes to Urban&Civic’s operating model or business focus as appropriate to ensure that the Sustainability Framework remains relevant and ambitious. In line with industry best practice, we will also be looking to obtain independent, third-party assurance of key elements of our sustainability data and associated qualitative information to ensure confidence in our disclosures during the financial year 2021/22, the year following our first full reporting period. Our expectation is that we will have to go through the full reporting process before submitting key metrics to an external verification in order to ensure that we have embedded all necessary systems and processes in place to enable efficient and transparent data collection and disclosure.
We will continue to explore ways to increase our positive impact and measure it more effectively to maximise the shared value we create. Our goal is to invest in new sites and manage existing ones with greater confidence and continue to build trust with our immediate stakeholders by demonstrating tangible and transparent results both for them and the wider society.