In 2021, the Group undertook a detailed materiality assessment to identify the environmental, social and economic issues most important to the Group and its stakeholders.
This assessment considered a wide range of factors, including the Group’s strategic priorities, principal risks, stakeholder views, market trends, socio-economic changes, environmental factors, government policy and other matters. It also reflects the UN Sustainable Development Goals relevant to the Group.
The purpose of this assessment has been to help develop both the Group’s sustainable business strategy and the Group’s sustainability reporting to stakeholders.
The materiality matrix reflects the relative importance to the Group and its stakeholders of the 16 sustainability issues identified. Our stakeholders’assessment of materiality is broadly aligned with the Group’s own assessment.
Affordability is the number one reason why our customers buy a Gleeson home. If we do not ensure our homes remain affordable it would impact on our business model and our ability to sell new homes to those who need them most, predominantly first time buyers and low-income families. This could impact our brand and lead to a loss of sales as customers look elsewhere.
The need for affordable housing across the UK continues to grow, which supports our unique model and sustainable business strategy. We have a significant opportunity to open more sites and expand our geographical reach to provide more people with access to safe, affordable, high-quality homes.
Our customers expect a high-quality product from us. If we fail to build homes that meet their expectations then that could result in defect claims, damage to brand reputation and poor sales.
Through our absolute focus on quality and regular inspection processes, we are able to reduce the number of defects and any rectification works required. We see the opportunity in continuing to operate as a 5-star housebuilder across all sites and providing a high-quality product and service to our customers.
Health and safety is of the upmost importance across our business and unsafe working practices, policies or procedures could result in accidents to employees, subcontractors or site visitors, causing personal injury, delays in construction, additional cost, reputational damage and potentially criminal prosecution or civil litigation.
Through enhancing our health and safety monitoring and reporting, we will use this information to tackle areas that pose the highest health and safety risks. We see opportunity to improve our health and safety performance and statistics and identified a number of actions.
Land is a fundamental component of our business and the risk of new sites not being available to aquire at a low cost and in areas in need of regeneration could impact the success of the Gleeson Homes' model and its ability to open new sites.
The availability of high-quality, well-located land in the South of England is also fundamental to the success of Gleeson Land, without which sales in future would be restricted.
Through continued focus on low-cost land opportunities in areas often not viable for other housebuilders, we keep our land costs low and ensure that our homes remain affordable. We see continued low-cost land opportunities in our target geographical areas.
We have pro-active land searching capabilities and continue to identify new land opportunities across the South of England for promotion by Gleeson Land.
Like all companies, we have a role to play in addressing climate change. If we do not act to reduce our carbon emissions, this could result in damage to the environment from our operations, being out of line with other housebuilders and stakeholder expectations, being unable to meet government policy requirements, reputational damage, and increased costs of capital.
Integrating carbon emissions tracking and reporting throughout our business enables actions to be taken on the areas that generate the most emissions. We see opportunity to extend this both upstream and downstream for our scope 3 emissions and to improve the data collected. Through the design of our homes and adapting our build processes we can reduce our carbon footprint.