Moda achieves Fitwel Champion status and social value milestones

Investor, developer and operator Moda Group announces Fitwel Champion status and social value milestones in the company’s new ESG report.

Moda Group's Great Charles Street skills hub launch | Sisk | BTR News
Moda Group's Great Charles Street skills hub launch. Photo credit: Dave Warren/Picture Team.

Investor, developer and operator of rental communities – Moda Group – announces its Fitwel Champion status. The news comes as Moda releases its new ESG report, looking back on 2023 as part of its Next Generation Futures strategy that was first announced in 2022, and looks ahead to initiatives planned for 2024.  

The Fitwel Champion status has been given to Moda as it continues to lead change by committing to use Fitwel for its vast and growing portfolio, applying exceptionally high standards from the world’s leading certification system for healthy buildings and communities.

Fitwel has already been awarded the highest accreditation of 3-star to four of its neighbourhoods, making Moda a world leader in certifications.

“Our ‘Next Generation Futures’ ESG strategy set out a bold and ambitious roadmap for Moda, and this report is a summary of everything we have been doing to create positive change to our environment, our communities, and our business governance for the last financial year. There has been a large focus on reducing our embodied and operational carbon levels, doing the right thing for our communities, hiring locally and offering skills and training while promoting physical, mental and social wellbeing for both our residents and our team.

“Apart from continuing to roll out innovative ESG initiatives, we remain focussed on keeping our culture, purpose, and resident vision aligned with our ESG Strategy while achieving our 2025 targets.

“There is however still a long way to go, and being welcomed as a Fitwel Champion is just one way we can commit ourselves to making sure that we have a positive impact on the communities we operate in for generations to come.”

Tarry Depledge, ESG Manager, Moda Group

Moda is the first developer and operator to have all its operational neighbourhoods achieve some of the highest sustainability targets in the sector, working to industry standards set by LETI, the Royal Institute of British Architects and the UK Green Building Council, as well as achieving:

  • 100% Home Quality Mark Level 4 
  • EPC Ratings of B or Higher across all projects.
  • 3-star Fitwel accreditation

Moda has also worked closely with councils across the UK to add social value through employment and skills, culture and placemaking with several landmark ESG projects. 

In the West Midlands, Moda worked with contractor John Sisk & Sons and the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to launch the second WMCA-funded on-site Skills Hub at Moda’s Great Charles Street Build to Rent site in Birmingham. The hub offers free training and employment opportunities for local people with a guaranteed job interview.

The new hub at Great Charles Street is targeting a further 240,000 work hours specifically for local people.

“Beyond reshaping the Birmingham skyline, Moda, The Mercian – thanks to its on-site Skills Hub – created training and employment opportunities for hundreds of local people. The West Midlands Combined Authority proudly played its part in funding that important initiative. 

“It’s good news that Moda and Sisk are continuing this work at their Great Charles Street site in the Jewellery Quarter, so familiar to Brummies as ‘The Bomb Site’. This is testament to the power of partnership – where we see what can happen when people right across our region work together. 

“I look forward to Moda continuing to make a positive impact – as set out in their new ESG report – in the months and years ahead.” 

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands

At The Mercian Build to Rent scheme, Moda exceeded all its targets and supported 140 new employment opportunities at the site during construction, including seven apprenticeships.

In Brighton & Hove, Moda worked with the city council and a dedicated Community Liaison Group (CLG) to plan a £10m investment in public realm in its forthcoming Moda, Hove Central Build to Rent neighbourhood.

Made up of community representatives and local MP Peter Kyle, the CLG developed an ambitious £450,000 public art strategy, which has already resulted in on-site murals painted by local artists and the funding of the Flight of the Langoustine sculpture of Hove Plinth on the city’s seafront.

Following a national call, several artists have been selected to co-produce a range of sculptures and installations across the site’s public realm. Moda has also been a major sponsor of the Brighton Festival for two years running, which welcomed 53,000 attendees in 2023.

“It has been a pleasure to work in partnership with Moda on the delivery of their Hove Central neighbourhood and on a range of social value initiatives including the public art strategy for Hove. Their new ESG report demonstrates the boldness and ambition of Moda’s commitment to being a long-term custodian of the communities they operate in and the importance of a genuine public private partnership. Together we have already been able to make a substantial contribution to the local area and I look forward to much more activity to come.”

Peter Kyle MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology

In Leeds, the company worked in collaboration with creative agency New Citizens and Leeds City Council to create Canvas Yard – the biggest outdoor event space in Leeds, based in an area which Moda is in the process of developing. Canvas Yard welcomed 14,000 attendees to its range of music, sports, cultural and arts events in 2023, and has a series of events lined up for summer 2024.

Other key highlights from the new ESG report include:

  • 75 apprenticeships across Moda’s construction sites.
  • A new set of ESG Design Standards, which are now fully incorporated into the business.
  • £37,000 raised for charities including Yorkshire Children’s Charity and MND Association.
  • ISO9001 accreditation in Operations in acknowledgement of the company’s quality management system and effective operations.
  • On track to reaching Operational Carbon industry 2030 targets ahead of time.
  • Numerous ESG related awards including Harrison Street ESG Leadership award.

“We’re thrilled that Moda has committed to becoming a Fitwel Champion. It is commendable to see Moda commit to Fitwel as part of their ‘Next Generation Futures’ ESG strategy to create positive change by focusing on developing healthier spaces and communities.

“In today’s real estate landscape, prioritising the health of our planet and people is no longer a trend; it’s a business imperative, representing both risk and opportunity. By embracing an evidence-based health-focused approach, Moda is not only responding to stakeholder demand but also leading the way in shaping a healthier future in the UK. We applaud their trailblazing efforts and welcome them as Champions in the healthy building movement.”

Joanna Frank, President & CEO of the Center for Active Design, the sole operator of Fitwel