The UK homebuilding industry has become increasingly sustainable over the last eight years, and Crest Nicholson has consistently ranked near the top of a national league table of the UK’s most sustainable housebuilders. The results follow the launch of this year’s annual NextGeneration benchmark, with Crest Nicholson’s results showing a significant 8 percentage points improvement on 2011, and scoring 83% in the benchmark.
The developer has been listed in the top two developers in the UK. However, its latest jump in performance shows the extent to which Crest Nicholson is forging ahead, consistently raising sustainability standards to outperform other industry leaders in a number of key areas.
As well as scoring highly in areas including strategy, governance and tackling climate change, Crest Nicholson’s scores were also well above average in terms of transport and connectivity and customer and stakeholder engagement. Indeed, Crest Nicholson has already received many accolades for its high standards of customer service and currently holds a Home Builders Federation five star award for customer satisfaction, with over 90% of purchasers saying that they would recommend the company to a friend. The NextGeneration benchmark is the only assessment of its kind that annually ranks the top 25 UK homebuilders’ performance in delivering sustainable homes and unites homebuilders with government, investors, industry experts and leaders to share best practice in sustainability. The comprehensive benchmark 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.
Homebuilders are assessed not only on the sustainability of the homes and communities they create, but also their own sustainability performance as a company, for example on such factors as Governance and Risk Management, and the amount of energy consumed onsite and in their offices.
Over the 6 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 recognising and managing the potential effects of social and environmental risk on the balance sheet.
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.”
Stephen added: “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. 65% of the homes we delivered last year were to EcoHomes, Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3, or Level 4 standards and designing the homes of the future, while still delivering homes our customers can be proud of, is an objective that underpins our entire delivery strategy.”
Philip Hirst from NextGeneration, said: “This year’s results demonstrate that an elite group of 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.”