SAP (Standard Assessment Procedure)

This is the methodology used by the Government to assess and compare the energy and environmental performance of dwellings. The output of the assessment is a numerical score. Scores are organised into bands, with Band A being the best performing dwellings, and Band G being the worst.


Government guidance


Sensitivity refers to personal biophysical characteristics which affect the likelihood that a heat wave or flood event will have negative health and welfare impacts. For example, older people tend to be more susceptible to the effects of high temperatures.


Lindley, S., O’Neill, J., Kandeh, J., Lawson, N., Christian, R. & O’Neill M. (2011) “Climate change, justice and vulnerability”, Joseph Rowntree Foundation Report, York


Which places are disadvantaged?

Social Flood Risk Index (SFRI)

Defined here as the product of Neighbourhood Flood Vulnerability Index weighted by a measure of the flood exposure. 

Social Flood Risk Index (Individual) is as the SFRI, but normalised by population.

Social isolation

Social isolation refers to an absence of meaningful social ties. These are ties which can provide a range of forms of support, for example someone to help in a crisis, someone to listen to problems or to provide comfort, someone to relax with and be appreciated by (Tomlinson et al., (2008); Ferragina et al, 2013). Social isolation may lead to feelings of loneliness but is not synonymous with loneliness (Steptoe et al, 2013).


Ferragina, E., Tomlinson, M and Walker, R (2013) Poverty, Participation and Choice. Joseph Rowntree Foundation 


Steptoe A, Shankar A, Demakakos P, Wardle J. Social isolation, loneliness, and all-cause mortality in older men and women. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2013; 110: 5797–801


Tomlinson, M., Walker, R. and Williams, G (2008) Measuring poverty in Britain as a multi-dimensional concept, 1991-2003 Journal of Social Policy 37(4) pp597-620

Social justice

Social justice is concerned with justice in the distribution of resources, benefits and burdens in society, in the power and voice to make and affect social decisions, in the access to knowledge and other social goods, and in the proper recognition of different individuals and groups.

Social networks

The system of interconnections between people which support personal relationships and interactions. 

Social resilience

Social resilience has been defined as the ability of groups or communities to cope with external stresses and disturbances as a result of social, political and environmental change. Also see Resilience.


Adger, N. 2000, ‘Social and ecological resilience: are they related?’ Progress in Human Geography 24: pp. 347–364.

Social vulnerability

Social vulnerability is a matter of how external stresses impact on well-being. How vulnerable an individual or group will be to a climate related event depends upon not just  their personal sensitivity to the event, but also environmental and social factors that lead to losses in well-being.

Socially just adaptation

Adaptation responses which ensure distributive justice in the ways in which different individuals and groups benefit from or are burdened by climate change impacts or policies and procedural justice in the ways in which adaption policy is made.


Adapted from the ClimateJust presentation Why are socially just responses to climate change important?

Socially vulnerable groups

Groups of people who have shared characteristics in terms of their social vulnerability.

Socio-spatial vulnerability

Socio-spatial vulnerability refers to mapped social vulnerability with respect to a climate-related hazard. The map shows how the personal, social and environmental factors which help to explain uneven impacts on people and communities come together in particular neighbourhoods. It shows where negative social impacts are more likely.

Super Output Area (SOA)

Compact areas with similar social characteristics used in Northern Ireland for reporting social statistics, for example the census. These contain on average approximately 800 households and a population of 2,000.

Surface sealing or impermeable surface

Surface sealing refers to the process through which relatively permeable land covers are replaced by relatively impermeable ones. Such materials form a barrier through which water percolation is inhibited and can cause or increase surface water flooding or the impacts of other flood types. 

Surface Water Flooding

Surface water flooding has been defined as the situation “when heavy rainfall overwhelms the drainage capacity of the local area”1. The 2010 the Flood and Water Management Act includes any moving or standing water which is on the surface of the ground before having entered artificial drainage or sewerage systems or natural watercourses2. Howeverm definitions can vary, for example, to include “flooding from sewers, drains, groundwater, and runoff from land, small water courses and ditches that occurs as a result of heavy rainfall”3.


Environment Agency (2009) Flooding in England: A National Assessment of Flood Risk 

UKPGA Section 6 

Defra (2011) Surface Water Management Plan Technical Guidance

Susceptibility (to loss of well-being)

A dimension of vulnerability which reflects the characteristics of an individual (namely age and health status), which increase the likelihood that a flood event will have a negative impact on well-being.

Sustainable Development Management Plan

In the context of the Health and Social Care Act (2012) A Sustainable Development Management Plan (SDMP) is a current board approved document that assists organisations to clarify their objectives on sustainable development and set out a plan of action.


Public Health England (2014)