The housebuilder was one of a handful of companies presented with the prestigious Gold Award, introduced for the first time by NextGeneration to recognise those companies who have earned their place as sustainability leaders within the sector.
The benchmark celebrates its 10th year in 2014, marking a decade of progress on delivering sustainable homes and sharing best practice amongst UK housebuilders. Crest Nicholson has consistently ranked near the top of this national league table of Britain’s most sustainable housebuilders.
Through the benchmark, housebuilders are assessed on a wide range of criteria relating to high-quality, sustainable housebuilding, and are given an overall score out of 100. This year Crest Nicholson achieved an impressive score of 82%, putting the company in second place overall, and considerably higher than the all-company average score of 34%. Particular areas of strength for Crest Nicholson included Community & Customer Engagement, Design & Placemaking and Reporting.
Over the last decade, the scope of the benchmark has grown from 13 to 25 housebuilders, which together account for over 50% of all new homes built across the UK. There has been a steady increase in the average score of all the benchmarked companies since 2004. The average score for NextGeneration members - those housebuilders, including Crest Nicholson, which are assessed on non-publicly disclosed information in addition to publicly available data - increased from 47% to 74% during the last decade.
As Julia Plaskett, Group Sustainability Director at Crest Nicholson, said: “Sustainable and environmental best practice has long been a core part of our business. Maintaining our high ranking and being recognised as one of the leaders in this field is not only testament to the huge strides we’ve made, but also reflects how important it is to share best practice across the industry to ensure that the sector continues to advance.”
In addition to marking an important milestone for NextGeneration, 2014 is an opportunity to look ahead to the future of homebuilding in the UK and how the benchmark can develop further to reflect a range of environmental, social and technological challenges, which will significantly affect the housebuilding sector over the next decade.
Paul King, Chief Executive of the UK Green Building Council, which oversees the benchmark alongside the Homes and Communities Agency, said: “We applaud the huge strides the leading, most progressive homebuilders have taken over the last decade, not least given a very challenging economic climate in recent years. The gold award winners have set a new benchmark and a challenge for the rest of the industry to raise its game, and deliver great homes that are comfortable, attractive and affordable now and in the long-term.”