British Luxury Sustainability Report | Cadogan

In this week’s focus on the Case Studies shared in Walpole’s British Luxury Sustainability Report, we hear from Kate Neale, Sustainability Manager at Cadogan, the Chelsea landowner, developer and investor, on how the business is leveraging its knowledge and partnerships to promote employability in the community.

The British Luxury Sustainability Report is created in association with Investec.

Within inner city areas, Walpole members are taking care to prioritise young people from less fortunate backgrounds. In the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC), for example, a diverse borough facing significant social inequalities, property manager Cadogan is seeking to play its part in improving lives and livelihoods in the borough, including by expanding access to skills training and employment opportunities.

“Our long-term commitment as stewards of Chelsea comes with responsibility to ensure we’re making a positive contribution towards a sustainable environment, protecting the area’s unique heritage and supporting a thriving community,” explains Sustainability Manager Kate Neale.

Community members are our most important stakeholders.”

Supporting the community is a central focus of Cadogan and their new sustainability strategy and vision for Chelsea. Its core community targets – improving health and wellbeing, maximising local employment and improving skills among disadvantaged people, and promoting community cohesion – have all been informed by extensive engagement with local people. Some 2,000 local workers and residents responded to its request for input on what matters most within the borough, outlining their hopes and needs for a better future.

To address employability, Cadogan is co-funding a new position, together with the RBKC, focusing specifically on helping local people back into work. In addition, through its principal sponsorship of the Kensington + Chelsea Foundation, it is also supporting a grassroots education and training project designed to bridge the gap between local residents’ skills and work available in the borough. Digital skills are in particular demand in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.

“Addressing the local skills shortfall is more important now than ever, with unemployment rising as a result of the pandemic,” says Neale.

We are exploring multiple pathways to maximise our role in empowering more people build the skills and confidence they need to succeed.”

In particular, Cadogan will leverage its knowledge and partnerships as a trusted and historic property manager. For example, it will support employment schemes among its tenants, encourage training in niche artisan construction trades, and participate in property sector-led diversity initiatives.

As part of this, it provides work experience placements to young people from underprivileged backgrounds. Additionally, Cadogan’s £20 million Business Community Fund, launched in response to the pandemic, includes measures to further support local skills and employment, with funds set aside for educational grants in fashion and art. Cadogan has also teamed up with the K+C Foundation in calling for an end to the digital divide, helping to ensure that children in the Borough gain access to remote and digital learning, and donating over £21,000 of laptops from the Business Community Fund.

Importantly, the business plans to measure the impact of all its community impact activities, continuously improving its approach, and replicating successful projects across the borough, as it scales up its community ambition.

cadogan.co.uk
investec.com
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