Countdown to COP26: Hear from Samantha Granger

We’re all seeing the devastating impact of climate change and with COP26, the United Nations Climate talks in Glasgow just days away, Thirteen’s head of environmental sustainability Samantha Granger highlights achievements, challenges and why a collaborative approach is vital to drive positive change in the sector.

Sam Headshot


Throughout COP26 I’ll be representing Thirteen, speaking at a number of national conferences. Speaking at events is something which I’ve dedicated time to, particularly over the last year, as collaborating and engaging with partner organisations is vital so we can learn from each other.

We are also proud to be one of the project partners, along with First Choice Homes Oldham, Karbon Homes, Salix Homes and Yorkshire Housing on the first Social Housing Tenants’ Climate Jury. Led by the Northern Housing Consortium, this has been a fantastic opportunity for a number of our customers to be a part of, to help us understand how we can work together to tackle climate change in our homes and neighbourhoods. We wanted to ensure that our customers had a voice.

Retrofitting homes is a challenge and one which everyone is facing. We need to look at what can be done to deliver sustainable homes which are fit for the future and importantly, that are right for our customers.

We’ve come a long way since we launched our Take Control campaign last year, which is about everyone at Thirteen taking responsibility and helping achieve our goals to becoming a much greener organisation.

I’m proud of what we’ve achieved. We’ve set firm foundations to our approach, having established a dedicated environmental team over the last couple of years, demonstrating that we’re taking climate change seriously. 

We’re looking at how we can increase the thermal efficiency of our homes and how we use lower carbon renewable technologies as we move towards our goal of being carbon neutral in the future. Whatever we set out to do will be beneficial to our customers, improving their wellbeing, by improving the energy efficiency of our homes and helping to lower fuel bills.

While we recognise that there is a real skills challenge around net zero, we’re fortunate at Thirteen that we’ve already come a long way building our skills that we need to deliver this work.

There’s many ways we can all contribute to reducing our negative impact on the environment and influence others to do the same. Education and changing behaviours is vital. So, we’re working with communities to get everyone involved. We’re helping them to understand what climate change means and we’re increasing biodiversity in the green areas we manage to support and protect the natural habitats of birds, bees and insects.

This is a journey that we’re on, with colleagues, customers and partners. There’s challenges ahead and we’ll face them, by working together.