Building the future: our mission to net zero

On Wednesday 05 June 2024, communities across the globe will unite to honour World Environment Day.

Spearheaded by the United Nation’s Environment Programme, World Environment Day aims to magnify issues surrounding sustainability and the future of our planet. Aiming to sow seeds of awareness with evidenced-based information, World Environment Day also embarks on an inspirational journey of discovery. Through tales of triumph from big businesses to grass roots communities and everyday eco-champions, World Environment Day shines a light on glowing examples across the globe of those working to preserve the future of our planet.

And that’s exactly what we’re doing. From the ground up, every day at Voyage Care, our teams are chipping in by doing big things, and smaller things, to make lasting changes. From our dedicated sustainability committee, through to our super services and the people we support, everyone’s pitching in!

Pledge to the planet

Like many other responsible companies across the globe, we’ve joined the mission to be net zero by 2035.

The net zero initiative encourages businesses to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases they emit (like carbon dioxide), as well as reducing the number of gases they take from the earth’s atmosphere (for things like heating).

By pledging to achieve net zero, we’re combing through all areas of our business to identify where we can be more sustainable, ensuring we reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and take less from the planet, achieving a 0% reliance and strain on our earth’s resources.

Naturally, for a business like ours, most of our energy-hungry resources are our properties. They’re where the people we support carve out incredible lives, and where our passionate teams grow and flourish.

Retrofit pilot

As well as ensuring our properties become more energy efficient, our number one priority is nurturing comfortable environments that enhance the lives of the people we support. Our dedicated teams work diligently to ensure our home environments are well maintained, promoting the health and safety of the people we support.  

An image with a blue and green background. Text reads: "Solar panel power! Across nine services we've generated 52,000 kWh of electricity with our solar panels - enough to power 26,000 dishwasher cycles. We've also saved 11 tonnes of carbon dioxide being emitted into the earth's atmosphere 0 enough to fill 2 hot air balloons!"

Our Retrofit pilot scheme has been created to foster gradual change in our existing homes, upgrading the eco credentials of our older properties while maintaining the wellbeing of the people we support.

With our Retrofit pilot scheme, we discovered an opportunity to test the waters and understand what sustainability upgrades deliver the biggest impact to our Net Zero mission.

Using a cohort of thirteen ‘test’ services, we’ve implemented improvements, such as:

  • Additional roof insulation
  • Alternative heating sources, like air-source heat pumps
  • Cavity wall insulation top ups
  • Energy efficient electrical appliances
  • Solar panels
  • Hybrid / electric house vehicles
  • Replacing single-glazed windows with double-glazed panels
  • Upgrading to LED lights with occupancy sensors

These modifications have been installed and tested to assess how much energy is saved and how much our carbon emissions are reduced by. Since the people we support live in a range of different properties – from country cottages to Victorian townhouses, we’re also assessing how we can foster these upgrades across our wide variety of homes.  

As for the properties enrolled in our Retrofit pilot, we’re already seeing the fruits of our labour with some impressive results!

So far, from installing solar panels alone, we’ve seen an incredible impact. Across nine services with solar panels, we’ve generated an impressive 52,000 kWh of electricity – enough to power 26,000 dishwasher cycles! The solar panels have also saved 11 tonnes of carbon dioxide being emitted into the earth’s atmosphere – enough to fill two Hot Air balloons!

Designing the future

As we chip away at implementing key sustainability features in our older buildings, we also understand the value in planning for long-term sustainability and forging a greener future. This year, we unearthed the perfect opportunity to put this to the test!

With plans to open three new services in our brain injury rehabilitation portfolio alone, our dedicated Property team worked diligently with external construction partners to ensure our new developments exceeded government-set environmental standards – and ensured they would continue to run sustainably in the future.

Photographs of our new service Knot House under construction. Text reads: "building for the future at Knot House!"

Knot House, our flagship brain injury rehabilitation service in the North West of England – set to open in autumn 2024 – is a shining example of how we’ve approached building in respect of our planet.  

From the ground up, Knot House has been kitted out with considered features and innovative technologies to propel us towards our net zero carbon goals and beyond – setting a glowing standard for future developments.

Key future-proof sustainability features at Knot House include:

  • All electric heaters and no gas boiler – for when National Grid eventually decarbonises.
  • Rooftop solar panels for self-efficient power generation.
  • Thermal efficient insulation throughout the structure of the building.
  • Sustainable drainage solutions.

All new buildings are now required to meet certain environmental criteria but as standard, these targets are still relatively low and new build properties remain one of the biggest contributors to damaging carbon emissions.

By carving a considered approach to designing sustainable developments, we’re already reaping rewards. Currently, we’re operating at around 30% more energy efficiecy than government-set targets. Knot House alone has already been appraised by environmental governing bodies BREEAM, achieving a respected rating of ‘Very Good’.

The result of our BREEAM appraisal evidences our drive to be net zero by 2035, showcasing how we’re paving the road for a brighter, more sustainable future at Voyage Care.

And for new services we don’t build from scratch, we adopt an approach similar to our Retrofit pilot. Independently assessing each new property acquisition with a fine-tooth comb, we identify what features could be implemented to improve the energy efficiency of the building, supporting our mission to net zero. Although modifications might be scaled back compared to our new developments, we explore all avenues possible to support the property in turning over a new leaf and reducing its impact on the environment.  

Our own eco-warriors

As well as planting seeds of change through carefully planned property upgrades, we’re witnessing a new wave of interest blossoming in our services – and a pool of budding eco-warriors rapidly emerging!

Within our services, our equally passionate teams are nurturing the interests of the people we support through a variety of exciting and engaging eco-friendly activities.

Photographs of people we support in their allotment at Rivers. Text reads: "pitching in at the Rivers' allotment!"

From plant to plate

Across the country, many of our services are embracing the great outdoors and braving the elements to establish at-home allotments. Growing a vibrant range of fruits and vegetables, the people we support are reaping big benefits as they go from plant to plate.

At our dedicated Specialist Support service Rivers, in Nottinghamshire, the team are spreading their love of gardening, turning a shared passion into a sustainability solution.

Establishing an allotment in their garden seemed like a natural move and, since establishing it, they’ve achieved a new level of sustainability – as well as cultivating a new interest for the people we support.  

The people we support get involved [with the allotment] and it’s become a big interest for them. They immerse themselves in nature and it benefits their health, wellbeing and promotes happiness. We make it a holistic effort, and everyone pitches in. The people we support get a sense of achievement from growing their own food and it’s beneficial to their mental health. When they’re absorbed in the tranquillity of the allotment, anxiety is reduced, and they get a sense of peace.

Amanda Partridge, Support Worker at Rivers

Beyond the bin

Our services aren’t just thinking about what they can do outside. Through enhanced recycling schemes, everyone’s becoming more aware of what they’re putting in the bin – and getting creative with turning trash into treasure! By unearthing unique ways to repurpose everyday items like yoghurt pots and plastic containers, services across the country are giving unwanted objects a new lease of life and saving them from a life in landfill!

At Rivers, the whole household is passionate about upcycling. They make use of broken pots and buckets in their garden and find creative ways to use materials in arts and crafts sessions. They even transformed a broken children’s sandpit into a garden pond! With a family of fish safely swimming in the pond, they’ve increased biodiversity in their garden by attracting a variety of different insects and birds.

At the other end of the country in Hampshire, specialist autism support service Broadview are making recycling a fun activity that brings the whole house together! Using their specialist autism training, the team worked with the people we support to create a recycling song, so they always know what material goes in each bin.

No stone unturned

From our careful planning of new service developments, to the inspiring efforts to be more sustainable across our services, we’re always searching for new ways to be more eco-friendly, educating and empowering each other to make waves in working towards our goal of net zero by 2035. Our at-home allotments, recycling schemes, and building for the future are just a few of the initiatives we’ve onboarded to ensure we’re on track to reach this goal and keeping the health of our planet a key part of daily operations.

Find out more

Want to know more about our sustainability pledge and what we’re doing to achieve net zero? Send an email to and a member of our friendly team will be in touch!

Make An Enquiry