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Our Sustainability Strategy

We are building on our track record of good business governance, prioritising student safety and wellbeing, and investing to reduce our carbon footprint, so that Unite Students remains a resilient and sustainable business.

Why sustainability matters

Our new Sustainability Strategy helps us to bring together activity in areas where we are already performing strongly and prioritises areas of focus that are most important for our stakeholders.

We acknowledge the responsibility we have towards society and therefore choose to operate sustainably. This reflects our values, makes good business sense and is the right thing to do.

Having undertaken a materiality assessment of relevant environmental, social and governance issues, we have developed five clear sustainability objectives. We are working to closely align ourselves with the Sustainable Development Goals, a collection of interlinked aims set by the United Nations that was designed as a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. We have identified 11 goals that directly relate to our business and newly outlined sustainability objectives.

Sustainability objectives

Becoming net-zero carbon in our operations and developments by 2030

Reducing the carbon emissions from new and existing buildings in line with climate science, ahead of the timescale set out in the Paris Climate Agreement to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

Creating resilient, resource-efficient assets and operations

Reducing the environmental impact of our new and existing buildings through investment in energy and water efficiency, moving away from the use of fossil fuels, and working with students to encourage sustainable living habits.

Enhancing the health and wellbeing of our employees and students

Engaging and listening to improve mental and physical health and wellbeing.

We know that the wellbeing of our students and employees should be a top priority because we have witnessed how our support during the recent pandemic has benefited the individuals involved. It has also brought real benefits to our business.

Providing opportunities for all

Including students, employees and the communities in which we work.

We believe that being more inclusive improves conditions for everyone, not just for those who are under-represented, and delivers long-term value for business and society. We are committed to creating safe, welcoming and inclusive communities for our students, and to supporting the wider purpose-built student accommodation and university accommodation sector to improve inclusiveness.

We are dedicated to providing an environment that students living with us can thrive in, while engaging with the community around us to have a positive impact on local residents.

Leading the student housing sector

Our ambition is to continue leading the sector, raising standards and delivering value to our students. Our main focus will be to build on established good practice to drive standards across the whole student accommodation and higher education sector.

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Environment

We’re committed to creating and maintaining an exceptional standard of health, safety and security. Whilst creating an environment where people feel safe to challenge us if something doesn’t seem right.

Social inclusion & wellbeing

We want to create an environment that has diverse representation at all levels of our organisation, and enables all our employees to thrive, while being their true selves.

Raising standards

We aim to continue leading the student housing sector to raise standards and deliver value to students.