JLL: Homebuilders demonstrate consistent improvement in sustainability performance (UK)

The UK homebuilding industry is becoming even more sustainable, according to the results of the 2012 NextGeneration benchmark. The Benchmark shows The Berkeley Group as the UK's most sustainable homebuilder, with Crest Nicholson maintaining last year's second position and Miller Homes retaining third position.

The Benchmark launch will take place today and Andrew Eagles, Managing Director of Sustainable Homes and manager of the SHIFT benchmark of social housing, will deliver a keynote speech on what homebuilders and social landlords can learn from each other with regard to sustainability.

The NextGeneration benchmark is the only assessment of its kind that annually ranks the top 25 UK homebuilders' performance in delivering sustainable homes and brings together homebuilders with government, investors, industry experts and leaders to share best practice in sustainability. The comprehensive benchmark exercise takes over six months to complete and assesses those developers responsible for constructing over 50% of new homes in the UK each year with a combined construction value of £5 billion (approx. €6 billion).

Commenting on the results, Philip Hirst from NextGeneration, said; "This year's results demonstrate that an elite group of nine home builders are driving best practice in sustainability in the sector. This is the sixth year the benchmark has been undertaken and the improvement in performance from the first benchmark in 2006 is remarkable, with companies battling to outperform each other across 50 different categories and achieving an average improvement of around 10% since 2006.

"At a time where Government is reviewing much of the key legislation that governs sustainability in homebuilding, NextGeneration members provide a beacon of how the private sector can collaborate to deliver sustainability performance beyond legislative requirements."

Homebuilders are assessed based on their own sustainability performance as a company, including Governance and Risk Management and the amount of energy consumed in their offices and onsite, as well as the sustainability of the homes and communities they create.

Over the six years of the Benchmark, considerable improvements have been seen in the reporting of carbon data, including the implementation of detailed carbon management plans ahead of mandatory reporting. Risk Management has also advanced with leading companies recognizing and managing the potential effects of social and environmental risk on the balance sheet.

Responding to the results, Rob Perrins, Managing Director of Berkeley Group, said: "The whole industry has come a long way in the last decade. But now we need to take another massive leap forward. The Government's recent climate risk report highlighted imminent dramatic changes in water supply and temperature.

"In response, Berkeley is making climate change adaptation a fundamental part of how we design and build all our new developments. Alongside a major new commitment to social sustainability, this is the kind of action that will keep driving our performance and create great places for people to live."

Stephen Stone, Chief Executive of Crest Nicholson, said: ""Driving innovation and progress in the delivery of new and cost-effective solutions for sustainable homes is essential for the industry, and we place significant emphasis on pioneering new approaches that will ensure low carbon communities become a mainstay for the future. The NextGeneration rankings demonstrate the extent to which every housebuilder is now rising to meet the challenge, and our consistently high ranking is a testament to the way in which sustainability has been embedded into every aspect of our business model.

"For Crest Nicholson, sustainability has played a major role in delivering our strong underlying business fundamentals and the government's commitment to sustainable housing policy plays to our strengths. 67% of the homes we delivered last year were to EcoHomes, Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3, or Level 4 standards and designing the hom

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