UK Homebuilders demonstrate consistent improvement in sustainability performance

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, according to the results of the 2013 NextGeneration benchmark.   

The benchmark is the only assessment of its kind that annually ranks the top 25 UK homebuilders’ performance in delivering sustainable homes and brings homebuilders together with government, investors, industry experts and leaders to share best practice in sustainability. The housebuilders involved construct over 50% of the UK’s private homes and are assessed against a set of 250 sustainability criteria.

Crest Nicholson scored an extremely competitive 87 per cent; a comfortable 4 per cent increase on last year and in line with its continued upward scoring trajectory.  All 25 companies also have the option to become NextGeneration members and undergo a more detailed assessment, and the ten benchmark members, including Crest Nicholson, demonstrated an all company sustainability average of 75 per cent, up from 71 per cent in 2012.

In particular, Crest Nicholson is leading the way in socio-economic sustainability, achieving the highest overall score in this section. The NextGeneration report praised Crest Nicholson for its particular strengths in Design Quality, Post-Occupancy Evaluation, Environmental Infrastructure, and Secure Design; all areas where Crest Nicholson considerably out-performs the member average.

As Chris Tinker, Executive Board Director at Crest Nicholson, said: “Continually striving to improve our approach to sustainability and environmental best practice is integral to our whole business model, and maintaining our high ranking in the benchmark is testament to the success of this strategy. It is encouraging to see the great strides being made right across the industry, but the fact that Crest Nicholson is leading the sector in socio-economic sustainability demonstrates our commitment to delivering high quality, well-designed communities where people want to live, and which support a more sustainable lifestyle.”

Chris added: “If we are to continue to innovate it is essential that the industry focusses on up-skilling young people and equipping them with the knowledge to drive forward best practice, and this is a very real priority for us. Through our well established apprenticeship programme we have been able to increase our number of apprentices from 45 to 60 in the last year alone, accounting for just under ten per cent of our entire workforce.”

Commenting on the results, Julie Hirigoyen, Head of Sustainability at Jones Lang LaSalle said: “2013 has been an exceptionally strong year for the benchmark. While there remains a wide variation in the performance displayed by all participants, it is clear that high performing companies like Crest Nicholson are actively challenging current notions of best practice. These businesses are becoming more ambitious and sophisticated in their approach to sustainability, and are keen to embed further innovation and sustainability into the industry. We are in discussions with a number of parties to ensure that the benchmark continues to evolve in future, so as to drive further improvements at all ends of the performance spectrum.”

 

The full report “The Green Ceiling? – Where next for benchmarking sustainable homes?” is available for download from the NextGeneration website: http://nextgeneration-initiative.co.uk/

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