Moda Living launches new ESG strategy

Developer operator Moda Living launches Next Generation Futures, a new ESG strategy to shape the future generations of rental living.

Moda Living's Next Generation Futures strategy | BTR News

Developer operator Moda Living launches Next Generation Futures, an extensive new ESG strategy to revolutionise its approach to delivering and operating environmentally and socially sustainable rental neighbourhoods.

The Next Generation Futures strategy doubles down on Moda’s commitment to social and environmental sustainability for the long term. It also lays out targets and initiatives needed to deliver on that commitment. This includes work with partners across the built environment and government to maximise its progress in all areas of ESG, working collaboratively with its wider communities to change the world for the better.

With a pipeline of 20,000 homes across Build to Rent, single-family homes and studio living markets worth a combined £6.5bn, Moda has developed the Next Generation Futures strategy to ensure it has a positive impact on its communities and environment during the development and long-term operation of its homes.

Based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that best fit Moda’s ethos of developing sustainable, wellness-focused buildings and communities, the Next Generation Futures strategy will streamline the collective efforts of the Moda family into a robust and accountable programme. The strategy is split into three strands – Next Generation Places, Next Generation Communities and Next Generation Moda.

Each stream has its own set of definable targets, and Moda will regularly report on its progress – maintaining transparency and to share learnings with the rest of the industry.

Next Generation Places

Working towards net zero carbon on all projects, and to hit net zero operational carbon by 2030.

  • Preserving natural resources with consideration around circular economy, water, supply chain and biodiversity.
  • Paying attention to the infrastructure and connectivity of our neighbourhoods.
  • Working with innovative new technology to enhance long term performance of Moda’s real estate portfolio.

Environmental sustainability has to be at the forefront of all decisions – this is now just business as usual for Moda. The developer operator is also working with partners across the UK to drive innovation in the space to help itself and the industry reduce its carbon footprint. Moda has partnered with the University of Cambridge on its Cambridge Zero Climate Challenge. A selected group of Masters students are currently working on a carbon reduction roadmap that can drive down carbon in large scale Build to Rent portfolios. The work with the prestigious university will benefit both Moda and the wider sector.

Moda is also working on a carbon scenario model that will calculate its emissions over the next 60 years under different scenarios. The outcomes of the model will inform the company’s design and development plans, help the business define targets, and enable Moda to identify effective programmes that will significantly reduce its operational carbon.

As a long-term operator of its portfolio, operational carbon is a major factor in the Next Generation Futures strategy.

The energy powering Moda’s five existing Build to Rent neighbourhoods is 100% carbon neutral, with the majority of this coming from renewable electricity generated by wind, solar and tidal power. Under the Next Generation Futures programme, the business will continue to prioritise green energy and design highly efficient real estate that will have a positive long-term impact on surrounding environments and communities. Moda bulk buys this renewable electricity and passes the cost savings onto residents, as well as locking in the costs for 12 months at a time.

As well as tracking its own progress, Moda is working closely with residents to encourage and incentivise green behaviour changes. The business is currently rolling out a new platform to its bespoke resident app that allows users to monitor their carbon output and energy usage – as well as track their sustainability ranking within their neighbourhood.

Next Generation Communities

  • Prioritising and ensuring spaces maximise the health and wellbeing of residents, staff and the wider community.
  • Outstanding community programme, including responsible group-wide partnerships and locally led initiatives at individual neighbourhoods.

Moda is currently a global leader in residential buildings with top level certification from Fitwel, the leading accreditation benchmark for healthy buildings. The Next Generation Futures strategy targets winning three-star Fitwel for all future Build to Rent neighbourhoods, to give residents and teams a health and wellbeing focused lifestyle.

“Prioritising health and wellness within the built environment has not only proven to be a competitive edge; it also helps mitigate risk and holistically deliver on ESG initiatives. We’re proud to support Moda’s efforts in taking a people-centric, data-driven approach to ESG in residential living. Fitwel’s evidence-based strategies help real estate leaders like Moda set the bar for what the next generation of healthy communities will look like.”

Joanna Frank, President and CEO of the official operator of Fitwel, the Center for Active Design

The programme will also support Moda’s close work with the local communities it develops neighbourhoods in. As a long-term custodian of its portfolio, Moda is dedicated to knitting itself into the fabric of its surrounding communities.

At the recent topping out of Moda, Hove Central, an 824-home rental neighbourhood, Hove and Portslade MP Peter Kyle, said:

“There were lots of developers that were interested in this site and came to see me. Moda was the only developer whose first conversation was: ‘Can you talk about the community around the site? Who are they and what are the characteristics, because we want to be part of that community’.”

Hove and Portslade MP Peter Kyle

Moda has worked closely with the Hove community throughout the delivery of Moda, Hove Central, which is due to open next year. In 2022, Moda became one of just two major sponsors of the internationally renowned Brighton Festival, sponsoring a new pop-up arts venue that hosted free performances for the public on the seafront throughout the month-long festival. It is also working closely with Brighton & Hove City Council to direct its S106 commitments to outstanding community projects around the city that will have a positive impact on multiple communities in the area.

“We’ve been really impressed with the work Moda’s been doing since they’ve arrived in Brighton and Hove. It’s the best of public and private partnership. They very much embrace community involvement and community investment. It’s a breath of fresh air really, and I hope it’s an exemplar for the future about how we can work and use the money they can generate for real community benefit.”

Baroness Jones of Whitchurch, Environmental Spokesperson for the Labour Party

Next Generation Moda

  • Promoting diversity and inclusivity in all areas of the business.
  • Responsible and informed employment, training and development of our Moda family.
  • Active engagement with committees to collaborate, educate and learn from businesses across the sector, and with employees across the UK.

The final strand of Moda’s Next Generation Futures programme is about Team Moda and having the training and resources they need to succeed personally and professionally, while holding Moda Living up as an ESG champion. Ensuring the business strategy is aligned to support the long-term success of Moda Living, this pillar of the strategy prioritises diversity and inclusion and investment in training and development, as well as a consistent focus on health and safety.

“Moda’s ESG strategy ‘Next Generation Futures’ is all about acting and living responsibly so the next generation have all the opportunities we have, and more. It is an ambitious but achievable strategy that will push Moda to be the most ESG conscious developer and operator possible, by keeping sustainable places and communities at the heart of everything we do.

“Next Generation Futures is also a long-term strategy. This isn’t something that stops tomorrow; we are putting plans in place which mean we will be able to ensure our people are living happy and healthy lives in a sustainable plant for a very long time to come.”

Dan Brooks, Co-Founder and Director, Moda Living

To this end, the business has published its first annual Next Generation Futures report for 2021/22, which outlines its targets, progress and achievements for the period.