Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR)

Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) came into force on 1 April 2019. It is aimed at increasing awareness of energy costs within organisations. SECR provides data to inform the adoption of energy efficiency measures in our homes and operations and seeks to reduce the impact on climate change.

By reporting our carbon reduction performance through SECR, we can provide greater transparency for our customers and investors.

Streamlined Energy and Carbon Report 2020/21

One of our core corporate priorities is safe and sustainable and Catalyst has a longstanding commitment to improving our sustainability performance.

Sustainability strategy

Our Sustainability Strategy focuses on developing a combined approach to environmental management, improving our asset data, trialling new technologies and retrofit solutions, and building our in-house skills and expertise. It also sets out how we are planning to make Catalyst a zero-carbon organisation by 2050.

We continue to focus on three key areas across our business:

  • Creating sustainable homes that are resource-efficient, future-proofed, and warm and affordable for our customers;
  • Building sustainable communities that are great places where residents can lead happy, healthy and sustainable lives;
  • Becoming a more sustainable business that is resource efficient and minimises the environmental impact of our operations.
Sustainability Strategy front cover


In September 2020 Catalyst was announced as the first company in Europe to receive the highest accreditation mark across all three categories in the ‘Certified Sustainable Housing Label’ from specialist consultancy Ritterwald.  This accreditation aligns with the market standards, the Green Bond Principles and Social Bond Principles issued by the International Capital Market Association (ICMA).

Catalyst is also one of around 100 organisations to sign up to the Sustainability Reporting Standard for Social Housing (SRS) – a voluntary reporting framework enabling housing providers to report on their ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) performance in a transparent, consistent and comparable way. Our first ESG report is due to be published in autumn 2021.

We recently secured our SHIFT (Sustainable Homes Index for Tomorrow) 2020 Gold accreditation, this being the first time the accreditation covered all of Catalyst’s newly merged assets and activities. We have now held SHIFT Gold since 2012.


Catalyst is using the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) guidance to measure and report on our carbon footprint. This will be the standard against which we can gauge energy and carbon performance across the whole organisation.  It will also highlight what we need to change and where.

By tracking our energy and fuel consumption and the associated carbon emissions, we can see if our improvements are working and set ourselves targets to achieve which will help us reach our goal of becoming a zero carbon organisation by 2050.

How is our carbon footprint measured?

Carbon emission data is split into Scope 1 and Scope 2, which are the mandatory reporting requirements, under the SECR guidance and Scope 3, which is optionally reported.

Scope 1 relates to the direct emissions from gas and transport fuel combustion. For Catalyst this will include gas consumption from our offices, community centres, communal areas and plant rooms, as well as transport fuel used for our in-house fleet.

Scope 2 relates to the indirect emissions from electricity generation. For Catalyst this will include electricity consumption from our offices, community centres, communal areas and plant rooms.

Scope 3 relates to the indirect emissions associated with our supply chain. This is only optionally reported because it’s harder to track and the boundaries are harder to define. Nevertheless, to have a better understanding our whole carbon footprint, it is best practice to measure as much Scope 3 as possible.

For Catalyst, Scope 3 primarily relates to the carbon emissions from the homes that we manage.

Methodology Statement

For Scopes 1 and 2 we have used energy and fuel consumption data from our suppliers and partners and used DEFRA 2020 conversion factors to calculate the CO2e emissions. Where business travel is recorded as fuel purchases, average fuel prices for London and the South East are calculated over the year for petrol (regular unleaded) and diesel to determine the amount of fuel used.

For Scope 2, electricity emissions only include bulk supplies from our electricity provider and do not include energy generated by solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. Energy generated from our PV panels typically feeds communal areas and the National Grid. Some of our solar panels are monitored but it is not known how much they supply the communal areas until additional monitoring equipment is installed. Assumed estimates are made for the purpose of our report on reducing CO2e emissions.

We have used Carbon Intensity Ratios to demonstrate the amount of our Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions in relation to the size of our business using three criteria:

  • the number of homes we manage
  • the number of employees
  • the organisation’s financial turnover.

These ‘carbon intensity ratios’ help us to benchmark our carbon footprint against future reports if we change size. We can also compare ourselves directly to other, similar organisations.

For our Scope 3 emissions we have focussed on our homes which is a central part of our organisation’s purpose and contributes the most significant part to our total carbon footprint. To calculate the emissions of our homes we have used Parity Projects’ online tool Portfolio (aka CROHM) which analyses the energy performance of our property data based on regulated emissions using SAP2012 and RdSAP994 methodology.

Next year we will be looking to expand our Scope 3 calculations in line with Greenhouse Gas Protocol guidelines to include an overview of gas emissions, employee commuting, consumer and capital goods purchases, and waste treatment and disposal.

Carbon footprint 2020-21 summary

  • Our carbon footprint for Scope 1 and 2 is 8,864 tonnesCO2e, a reduction of 9.7% from last year.
  • Our total carbon footprint (Scopes 1,2 and 3) is 59,241 tonnesCO2e, a reduction of 4.3% from last year.
  • Our homes contribute to 84% of our total carbon footprint, our gas consumption contributes to 9% and our electricity consumption makes up 5%.
  • Our carbon intensity ratio against the number of homes we manage is 0.39, compared to 0.44 last year.

Total CO2 emissions 2020-21

Energy Consumption


Energy Consumption used to calculate emissions (kWh)Gas27,942,479   30,705.009
Electricity12,243,805     12,311,293
Transport Fuel (diesel)2,826,606     3,468,425
Transport Fuel (petrol)0         101,312


Carbon Emissions (Scope 1 and 2)  
Emissions from gas (tCO2e)


5,138                    5,645
Emissions from transport fuel for fleet cars (tCO2e)


716                       872
Emissions from business travel in rental cars or business mileage claims (tCO2e)


Emissions from purchased electricity (tCO2e)


2,855                    3,147
TOTAL  8,864                    9,8141
Carbon Intensity Ratios: measures total gross carbon emissions relative to the following three criteria:
Catalyst homes managed (social housing including supported and intermediate)22,5150.390.44
Catalyst employees1,1167.94                                                9.13

Catalyst Housing Limited Turnover (£ million)



 Carbon Emissions (Scope 3)
Emissions from generation of electricity that is lost in transmission and distribution (tCO2e)transmission and distribution losses248                       2671
Emissions from leased assets, franchises, and outsourced activities (tCO2e)regulated emissions from homes49,84152,097
Head Office (leased asset) emissions – Gas, Electricity, Water287                       290




Carbon Emissions (tCO2e)(Scope 1 and 2)8,8649,8141
Carbon Emissions (tCO2e)(Scope 3)50,37752,654
Total Carbon Emissions (tCO2e)(Scope 1, 2 and 3)59,24162,4682

tCO2e = tonnes of ‘Carbon Dioxide equivalent’, i.e. all greenhouse gases

  1. Minor adjustment to last year’s figure due to calculation error
  2. Reported as 62,126 tCO2e last year due to minor calculation errors

Reducing our CO2 emissions

We recognise that some carbon reduction will be as a result of changing our business practises and operations to ensure compliance with Covid-19 guidelines. This included lowering capacity in our offices and minimising non-essential work operations in customers’ homes. Conversely though, having to be Covid-19 compliant restricted our ability to carry out energy improvement works that would have helped reduce our carbon emissions.

It is therefore, impossible to calculate exactly how much the pandemic has contributed to reduced emissions.

Scope 1 – Fuel and gas

More efficient A-rated boilers have been installed at key operational sites, including Brent Unity Centre (London), Harrow Road energy centre (London) and Manor Place (Cambridge).

Our Estate Services’ ongoing use of a pool of bicycles and an electric van have saved 9.5 tonnes of CO2e this year.

Scope 2 - Electricity from our stock

We have replaced light fittings in our offices and residential communal areas with more efficient LED lights. We installed LED upgrades to the stairwell lighting and Atrium spotlights at our Houghton Hall office and replaced 275 light fittings in our communal areas, saving 1,376 kWh or 0.32 tonnes of CO2e.

Scope 3 – Indirect emissions

The 22,515 social rented homes in our portfolio form the largest part of our carbon footprint.

To help improve our homes’ energy efficiency we have carried out 461 boiler replacements, 313 heating upgrades, 332 cavity wall insulation installs and 34 loft insulation installs.  We have also built 305 new homes with an average SAP (or energy performance score) of 85.  This means the average SAP for all our homes combined has increased to 73.1 from 72.0 last year.

The average carbon emissions of our homes is now 2.167 tCO2e, down 5.5% from last year. This represents a saving of around 2,859 tCO2e.

We have also increased the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) records for our homes from 17% to 57%, helping to improve our overall energy data confidence.

We have continued to provide energy saving advice to our residents, including tailored information in our magazine and website. Highlights include providing 320 vouchers, worth over £14,000, to vulnerable customers and saving an average of £255/year for each customer helped through our Pocket Power energy advice service. We also launched a new initiative, in partnership with iChoosr, which allows our customers to get access to highly competitive energy deals by registering for a collective auction that energy companies bid for.