Our approach to sustainability

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Design and Deliver Sustainable Places

In support of Sustainable Development Goal 11 to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Sustainable places

We seek to create places that are resilient to climate change and we have committed to make sure there is more nature on every site when Berkeley has finished than when we began.

Creating communities

We plan for and measure the strength of communities using a toolkit, Creating Successful Places, and have Community Plans now in place on 12 of our developments.

Sustainable living

We incorporate a range of features that make it easy for residents to live a sustainable lifestyle, from water and energy efficiency fittings and fixtures to cycle storage and electric car charging points.

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Promote the use of clean energy

In support of Sustainable Development Goal 7 to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

Carbon positive

We are committed to becoming the first major housebuilder in Britain to be carbon positive. This involves cutting energy use, utilising cleaner energy sources and having an offsetting scheme for our operations.

Clean energy

Within our homes and developments, we incorporate clean and renewable technologies and promote the installation of energy efficient appliances.

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Designing for climate change

In support of Sustainable Development Goal 13 to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

Adapting to climate change

We incorporate features to address the risks most relevant to the design of our developments: flooding, water shortage and ensuring thermal comfort. 

Mitigating climate change

As well as working to make our business operations carbon positive, all our homes are provided with low energy and water use fittings and fixtures.

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Use resources responsibly

In support of Sustainable Development Goal 12 to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

Responsible operations

We are working to reduce energy, water and paper consumption and waste production. We require all our timber to be certified and for all sites to be registered with the Considerate Constructors Scheme.

Responsible supply chain

We encourage our contractors to use resources responsibly too and were the first housebuilder to become a partner of the Supply Chain Sustainability School's 'Homes' School.

Encouraging residents

By providing homes with smart meters and sustainable Living Guides for customers, we encourage our residents to use resources responsibly.

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Protect and enhance ecology and biodiversity

In support of Sustainable Development Goal 15 to sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss.

Creating a net biodiversity gain

We aim for all our new developments to have more nature afterwards than before.

Protecting and enhancing ecology

We consult ecologists on every site, bring underutilised brownfield land back to life, and incorporate living roofs on all suitable residential apartment roof spaces.

Delivering ecology and biodiversity

Find out how we are enhancing local wildlife at Woodberry Down, Wye Dene and One Tower Bridge.

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Use water efficiently and reduce pollution

In support of Sustainable Development Goal 6 to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

Water sensitive operations

We are implementing water efficiency measures across our activities and have procedures in place to reduce the potential for pollution and contamination.

Water efficient homes and developments

We aim to install water efficient fittings in all new homes and rainwater harvesting on all developments.

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Encourage innovation and infrastructure

In support of Sustainable Development Goal 9 to build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation.

Innovative infrastructure

We are researching the evolution of smart technology and are committed to ensuring all our developments are internet ready from day one.

Innovative design

To meet the combined demands of more high quality homes that are adaptable to lifestyle changes and that have low environmental impact, we have developed the Urban House type.


We routinely engage with other organisations to promote collaboration and learning across the industry, through forums such as the UK Green Building Council.

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Support decent work

In support of Sustainable Development Goal 8 to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all.

Addressing the skills crisis

By working closely with our contractors, we have rapidly increased the number of apprentices and people undertaking vocational training within our workforce.

Job creation

We support thousands of jobs and aim to provide the right environment and support to enable our staff to fulfil their potential.

Addressing modern slavery

We have taken steps to ensure that slavery and human trafficking does not take place within our business and throughout our supply chain.

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Promote health and wellbeing

In support of Sustainable Development Goal 3 to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages.

Healthy workplaces

We seek to improve the quality of life of our employees and improve employee satisfaction and productivity.

Safe workplaces

We also want to ensure our workplaces are safe and target an incident and injury free working environment.

Healthy homes

To enable our residents to lead healthy and happy lives, we provide walking and cycling routes, cycle storage, implement minimum space standards, and enhance biodiversity on our developments.

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We aim to run our business efficiently and considerately and develop sustainable places. We use the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to align our approach and have identified the nine SDGs that we have the most material ability to influence. Click on each goal above to see how we promote each in our day-to-day business activities and through the homes and places which we create.

Britains Most Admired Company Awards 2017

Featured News:

Berkeley Group has been named one of the top five companies in Britain for community and environmental responsibility in the 2017 Management Today awards, alongside Unilever, M&S, John Lewis and GlaxoSmithKline.

This recognises all our efforts to reduce Berkeley's environmental impacts and make new development a force for good in society.

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Our goal

Our goal is to be world-class in the area of sustainability, both in terms of running our business efficiently and considerately and by developing sustainable places. We are committed to being a responsible business which thinks about the long-term. We seek to not only reduce negative impacts but to maximise the benefits our activities can bring to create a positive impact.

We are honoured to hold The Queen's Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development, the UK's highest accolade for business success. This was awarded in 2014 for a period of five years, in addition to having received it in 2008. 

What is sustainability to the Berkeley Group?

In its simplest terms - people, planet and prosperity. We think about these three aspects during our operational activities and also in terms of the developments and places we create.

We use the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to align our approach to sustainability. In 2015, all 193 Member States of the United Nations adopted a set of 17 goals to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. We have reviewed our approach and aligned it with this agenda as we believe every business has a duty to contribute towards the global achievement of these goals.

We have identified the nine SDGs that we have the most material ability to influence. Each goal is highlighted above, along with details of how we promote each in our day-to-day business activities and through the homes and places which we create.

Creating Net Biodiversity Gain, Nine Concepts

Creating net biodiversity gain

Nature brings people together and creates a sense of identity and belonging. It feeds our families, cools and cleanses our cities, and generates financial value in a myriad of ways. Despite this, we as a society have let nature decline, and as a result species, habitats and communities are under threat. We want to reverse this, and create places with more nature afterwards than before.

In May 2017, under our business strategy Our Vision, the Berkeley Group committed to creating a net biodiversity gain on all new developments. We consider net gain from the early design stages, to make sure that we are retaining and creating the right habitats. To help our design teams achieve this we have developed The Nine Concepts to inform our approach and we work with our ecologists, landscape architects and Local Wildlife Trusts to make this happen.

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Creating Successful Places home feature

Creating successful places

In 2012, Berkeley began working with experts in the field of social sustainability to create a framework that can be used to measure people's quality of life and wellbeing in new housing developments. It consists of 13 criteria in three dimensions:

  • Social and cultural life (what it's like to live there)
  • Voice and influence (how people affect what goes on)
  • Amenities and infrastructure (the design and facilities)

We have published a toolkit to help developers and planners apply the ideas behind social sustainability to individual sites, together with independent assessments of Berkeley developments which reveal what life is like for residents living in the places we build.

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Our Vision

Our Vision

Our approach to sustainability is integrated into our long-term business strategy, called Our Vision. This includes a commitment to becoming the first major housebuilder in Britain to become carbon positive.

Reports and Case Studies

Reports & Case Studies

We are proud that we have had a long-term commitment to sustainability. Our commitment is integrated into our approach and delivered through the framework of Our Vision. Find out more about our achievements in sustainability.

Governance and Management

Governance & Management

In order to work towards the achievement of our sustainability objectives and commitments we have a governance and management structure in place.