Who are the UK’s most sustainable homebuilders?

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Natasha Moreno-Roberts
EMEA Upstream Sustainability Services

Want to know who the UK’s most sustainable homebuilders are? On 17 November, NextGeneration launched its annual sustainability benchmark of the top 25 UK home builders by size. It enables investors, the government, home builders and their clients to make better investment, policy and strategy decisions to deliver more sustainable new homes. The benchmark assesses companies’ performance and commitment in social, economic and environmental sustainability.

The Berkeley Group topped the benchmark, followed by Crest Nicholson and Willmott Dixon who were joint second place and Miller Homes achieved third position.

The presentation of the results and the perspectives offered by Andrew Stunell MP and Adam Elman from Marks and Spencer’s Plan A were thought provoking and sparked a lively discussion on topics such as the key to success in sustainability management, how to increase transparency in sustainability reporting and how to offer choice to first time buyers who would like to purchase a sustainable home. The Executive Summary of this year’s benchmark report, entitled “Delivering on the Ground” contains the overall results and analysis, some of the strengths and weaknesses identified in this year’s benchmark and some key trends and recommendations for the industry and Government going forward.

The Executive Summary and the slides from the launch are available to download from the NextGeneration website.

It’s clear that home builders are taking the sustainability agenda seriously, however there is still a lot of work to do in ensuring that all sustainability impacts are being addressed especially those relating to ecology, water and community engagement. Home builders also need to gain a greater understanding of how their homes perform when occupied as well as work with homeowners and tenants to understand whether sustainable homes and communities deliver ‘what they say on the tin’ in terms of environmental and social benefit and quality.

Going forward, there are many home builders which could improve on the recognition they receive by focusing on the presentation of their approach and performance, as well as using innovative communication methods to get their sustainability messages across. NextGeneration hopes to be dazzled by the 2011 approaches to sustainability reporting and communication by the UK’s top homebuilders.

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