Your turn to be a dragon: Sustainability Project Proposal

November 4, 2016

green-housingThis year’s SHIFT Awards will not only be bigger but will also include something different – a dragon’s den section. You can read more about the details here where we also shared the pitches for the “Best Policy Proposal”.

Similarly, we wanted to hear from the sector on what could be done to improve sustainability in housing and resident wellbeing.  Three sustainability project proposals stood out in the judges views for their perspectives and potential in different fields of sustainable housing.

Bromley By Bow Centre

Empower project

The Empower project aims to transform social housing residents’ relationships with their energy consumption by putting the power in their hands. Residents undertake accredited training to become Energy Champions, learning not only how to take control of their own energy costs, but enabling them to act as seeds of change in their communities. Using co-production methodologies, Champions work in partnership with their housing provider to create initiatives to reach out to other residents. In addition to this, the project supports the Champions to develop transferable skills and enhance their employability, helping them to build a better future.

Bromley by Bow centre

The Bromley by Bow Centre is an innovative community organisation in east London, working in one of the most deprived boroughs in the UK. Each week we support families, young people and adults to learn new skills, improve their health and wellbeing, find employment and develop the confidence to achieve their goals and transform their lives. At the core of the Centre’s thinking is our belief in people and their capacity to achieve amazing things.

The Reading Sustainability Centre

Our proposition

Reading Sustainability Centre is all about bringing people and expertise together to achieve a more sustainable, resource efficient Reading.

Future visions for Reading emphasise low carbon development and sustainable living. But they say little about the journey. More people need to feel involved in, and enthusiastic about, the challenge of developing sustainably.

Our inclusive vision of sustainability, practical focus and local roots put us in a good position to connect the many organisations already working in this area, with each other and wider Reading. We propose to do this by highlighting and developing practical projects that: raise awareness; develop skills; experiment with approaches.

The Reading Sustainability Centre

The Reading Sustainability Centre grew out of a community energy project in Reading. Our long term goal is to establish an eco-education centre in a building near to this hydro project. But the immediate priority is to work with partners in Reading to develop a range of opportunities for residents and businesses to take practical action on sustainability, reducing energy use and being more careful with finite resources. The way we work is to develop hands-on projects that integrate practical and conceptual aspects of sustainability. Where we can we set out to work in partnership with others.


Hands up who would like a perfect world!  A world where everyone’s needs are met, where we protect our environment and, crucially, where we all have fun in the process.

With human ingenuity and management we will be able to achieve this vision.  Along the way, we will need a “wellbeing” measure that allows us to track progress and highlight barriers.

The Lupopia proposal will trial a new wellbeing measure that is based on actual human needs.  It compare residents’ wellbeing with landlords’ management costs.  Landlords will then be able to cost-effectively invest to establish truly sustainable communities.

Richard Lupo

Richard is a Chartered Environmentalist and Full Member of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA). He has had a life-long interest in sustainability issues.

As senior sustainability consultant at Sustainable Homes he has carried out over 50 full sustainability assessments of social landlords using the SHIFT standard. He is very proud that it is leading to significant environmental improvements.

In his spare time, Richard researches the connections between environmental protection and meeting human needs and wellbeing.

We are looking forward to seeing the pitches at the SHIFT Awards on the 24th November at the Gibson Hall.

Read more about the entrants to the Dragon’s Den Policy Proposal here and the Sustainability Champion of the Year here

Emma Jones

Emma Jones