Our ESG performance

We believe investors should see transparent and consistent reporting across the social housing sector.

So we have chosen to become early adopters of a voluntary disclosure framework published by The Good Economy in November 2020 "The Sustainability Reporting Standard for Social Housing"

We've put together an ESG Summary Report for Investors which brings together reporting highlights. This will aid investors forming a view on us and our activities and testing us against UN development goals.

For more information, please read our full ESG Summary Report here.


Optivo has a strong track record of delivering ground-breaking sustainability programmes. We’ve improved the energy efficiency of thousands of our homes, introduced innovative solutions and achieved significant cost savings.

This strategy describes the opportunity for residents, staff and suppliers to have a sustainable environment in which to live, work and thrive.

We use the Sustainable Homes Index for Tomorrow (SHIFT) accreditation scheme to measure progress towards best practise and report on our annual performance.

SHIFT is the sustainability standard for the housing sector that demonstrates how organisations are delivering against challenging targets. It is recognised by the Regulator of Social Housing and backed by Government. In 2022 Optivo achieved the “gold” standard for the fourth year running

The annual SHIFT report highlights performance against 22 environmental criteria, including CO2 emissions, water use, landfill waste and response to climate change. The criteria covers strategy and management, existing homes, new builds, supply chain, offices and operations, thereby providing a comprehensive overview of our environmental footprint.

Our Energy and Environment Strategy describes our plan for maintaining and improving upon our SHIFT gold status, meeting the government’s fuel poverty strategy and complying with an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050 through tangible KPIs.

The strategy addresses risk from climate change (flooding, overheating, water security), health risks (fuel poverty, air quality) and regulatory risks. Examples of targets within the strategy include:

  • All fuel poor homes to achieve an EPC band C by 2030

  • Reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050

  • Ensure 74% of homes have EPC band C by 2021 and 100% band C by 2030



Our analysis has shown our General Needs rents to be on average 44% of the market rent level, though this varies between local authority areas from 69% in Coventry down to 18% in Kensington and Chelsea.

The table below shows analysis for the ten local authority areas where we have more than 1,000 homes.


Average Weekly Private Market Rent

Average Weekly Optivo Rent

Optivo General Needs Rent Discount










































In total across our general needs homes we rent at a discount to average market rent of approximately £256m per annum, equivalent to £9k per home per year.

We’re committed to maximising our Social Impact. Our corporate objectives 2020-25 include creating jobs and training opportunities in our communities. Our objective to support a further 5,000 people into jobs and training by 2025. That‘s 1,000 lives transformed per year. Read our Social Impact Statement to find out more.

We do this by creating opportunities; inspiring residents’ to fulfil their potential through confidence, skills, jobs and health & wellbeing activity.


Annual Target

Achieved outputs

People supported on programmes



People into jobs & training



People feeling more confident



Community Volunteers hosted



Service customer satisfaction level



Customer Net Promoter Score



Results analysis for 2019/20 shows our training and wellbeing programmes generated total Social Impact Value c£44m using the HACT/ Fujiwara toolkit. The Optivo investment to social impact value is £1: £23.


Our residents are at the heart of everything we do. This includes having a leading role in the governance and leadership of Optivo.

We pride ourselves on being different to a lot of other organisations.

Residents are at the heart of what we do and resident involvement is central to our culture. At each level of our governance structure, from residents sitting on the Board, down to local repairs panels, our residents work side by side with staff and board members to improve our services.

Read about our leading role in developing the National Housing Federation’s Together with Tenants Initiative on the Optivo website here

We have over 60 residents in our Resident Governance Structure. They help influence decisions and scrutinise our services. 

The structure also has links with our Board ensuring our residents’ voices are heard throughout the organisation. Find out more about our resident governance structure on the main Optivo website.