Jan 22, 2024


Each year we upgrade our methodologies for environmental reporting.  The main reason we do this is to ensure that our methodologies align with new national methodologies or UK environmental strategies.  For example, last year new water efficiency targets were released, and we are expecting new methodologies for biodiversity to be released soon.

We consult widely about our proposed changes and here are some Qs & As related to our most recent consultation.

“For the accreditation to remain worthwhile, we must be able to repeatedly be able to track like for like scoring over a period of time. If every year, the scheme changes and we lose/gain points due to changes in the marking/targets then the accreditation loses its usefulness. I can’t hand on heart justify the scheme to our directors if this year I score x and then next year due to changes in scoring I score y. From no changes in our operations.”                                

The first thing to note on this is that the primary purpose of the SHIFT report is to give clients robust environmental data so that you can devise meaningful improvement plans.  Also, the data is used for compliance and ESG reporting.  The “accreditation” and “points” are very secondary to SHIFT, but we do understand how useful they can be.

For that reason, we carefully analyse the impact of any changes to the portal and assessment on SHIFT scoring – partly so that progress monitoring year-on-year is useful for you. And recent years’ updates have been devised to ensure that if environmental performance remains the same the SHIFT ranking remains the same.

“In addition to overall performance, we’d like to understand how we benchmark against other housing providers by each overall section in the assessment i.e. x out of 40 on existing homes, x out of 40 on resident engagement.”

We have already been reviewing options for more access and functionality with your data.  We’ll of course keep you updated on our progress and options for this.

“It would be interesting to hear how you are planning to estimate embodied carbon in new build homes and the impact this will have on scoring.”

We’re now asking for the weight of materials (from Bill of Materials/design spec) used for each new build home to calculate embodied carbon. We’ve also got a default average figure we can apply where this info isn’t available. We aren’t scoring this question yet, just starting to record and report and supporting clients to source the data.

“It would be great if SHIFT could go back to allowing people to input detail into the portal itself. It’s really great in terms of setting targets for improvement and seeing the impact that has on our SHIFT score overall. SHIFT is a key part of our strategic plan and also forms part of a sustainability linked loan we have. Being able to track improvements in scoring ourselves would be hugely beneficial, with SHIFT still having the final input into information.”

The reason we changed user access to the question fields last year was so that we could offer continuous assurance on the quality of the data therein – there was the potential otherwise for incorrect or insufficiently audited data to be entered. Lots of clients have told us that this level of quality assurance is a priority.

We could certainly still support you though in terms of setting targets for performance and seeing the potential resultant impact on your assessment – speak to your Environmental Assessor and they can help with this.

In addition, we are developing more specialist software which will enable you to track your CO2 emissions and you will have the ability to enter energy data in the manner you describe.  Watch this space for more details.


If you have a project in mind that requires detailed environmental reporting, do get in touch with us at SHIFT, where we’d be glad to help.


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