SOMETIMES, being a property factor can feel a wee bit like running a government, albeit a very small one. Actually, there are striking similarities between being a factor and our orthodox understanding of how democratic government should work.

We have lots in common. For instance, we attempt to maintain standards of living (via the standard of the property); we charge a modest fee for doing this (governments do this through tax); and crucially, we both survive – hopefully –  on a popular mandate. The electorate and our customers are of course the judges of that.

The Herald:

It’s therefore with a certain degree of empathy for all like-minded people within government that we look back at the first year of Newton Property Management’s 2020 Green Vision Campaign. 

Creating change and rewiring the expectations of what a property factor can do hasn’t been easy and we’ve learned a lot along the way – including how at all levels of the establishment, the answer is often: “We can’t do that.” But why not? we ask. “Because we just can’t.” To an extent, this has been our experience in 2019. In 2020, this has to change. Founded in 2001, Newton took a fresh look at the industry and we were instantly recognised as a disruptor. Jump forward to 2020 and the climate emergency and it’s even more important that we continue to disrupt, to push and prod because if people like us don’t, nothing will change and the prognosis for our planet won’t improve either.

Over the past year, we have introduced more than a dozen initiatives, ranging from installing our own electric vehicle charging units into customer developments (another one  for Paisley instructed just this week) to reducing the amount of paper invoicing in favour of electronic (in turn supporting Energy Action Scotland, Scotland’s only fuel poverty charity).

The Herald:

Add to this a scheme in which we are working to ensure all of our customers’ electricity is obtained strictly from wholly renewable sources. Lastly, rounding off 2019 my personal favourite and an absolute joy was helping to organise the planting of 800 trees in a new community woodland in Airdrie. Now that our vision has reached 2020 we’re definitely not going to ease up. In fact, what’s coming in November this year at COP26, (the UN Climate Change Conference) in our home town of Glasgow, has made us even more determined. We’re now supporting our customers with interest-free grants of up to £100,000 per development which they can spend on improvements such as solar
panels and battery storage.

So, when Greta arrives on these shores,I hope there will be recognition for the important work that all the disruptors out there like Newton are doing to compensate for this institutional ineptitude.

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