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News & opinion

13 NOV 2019

Becoming one of the eco-friendliest estate and letting agents

Our Value the Planet campaign aims to encourage RICS professionals and regulated firms to operate more sustainably by adopting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. As part of this campaign, we are shining a light on our members and RICS firms that are leading the way in terms of improving their environmental impact.

Here, we speak to Peter Charnley MRICS, Managing Director of Mighty House about the company’s mission to become one of the eco-friendliest estate and letting agents.

Small steps make a big difference

"We have always been conscious of the environment and the team are actively encouraged to recycle and walk to viewings (within reason) instead of driving. We've also introduced a cycle to work scheme and we have two hybrid cars for viewings that aren't within walking or cycling distance. However, going completely green isn't something that can be done overnight, and we are working together as a team to take steps into becoming a greener company.

The first obvious move is to become paperless. Thanks to most services being available online now, including online document signing which we use where possible, we have already been able to drastically cut down on our use of paper for most of our lettings and sales processes.

Increasing your 'green knowledge'

Earlier this year I attended Lancaster University's Low Carbon Innovation Forum, which opened my eyes to new possibilities to operate much more sustainably. As part of my job is refurbishing houses and, as a direct impact of the Forum, I have increased the amount of insulation we use in our homes and use of more effective installation techniques to improve efficiency.Plus, I've cancelled orders for gas supplies to properties: we shouldn't be using fossil fuels, we should be using renewable energies, which means going electric.

Peter Charnley MRICS
Peter Charnley MRICS

"I’ve cancelled orders for gas supplies to properties: we shouldn’t be using fossil fuels, we should be using renewable energies, which means going electric".

Peter Charnley MRICS
Managing Director of Mighty House

Taking climate action

"I wrote to my local MP and RICS to press for changes in the way energy efficiency is assessed and certified in properties. We've got to reconsider the recommendations to install gas, which are no longer relevant in light of climate change. I'm delighted to say my suggestions are now being raised with the relevant Government departments."

Influencing others

"Come the new academic year, we'll be heavily promoting the green agenda through our student accommodation arm, Mighty Student Living – even if they're okay at recycling, students can be bad at managing their heating bills. But at the same time, hopefully they'll like the fact that we care about the impact we are having on the environment. It might even help to make us stand out as a business.

I'm also exploring the possibility of implementing more efficient control systems across all our student properties: perhaps enabling automatic control of heating, en-masse, over the holidays. These may be small changes to some, but they will make a huge difference over time, particularly if more firms follow suit and look at ways they can improve their environmental impact."