reduction of our scopes 1 & 2 emissions compared to our 2019 baseline year
Embodied Carbon Assessments undertaken across our sites
of homes completed in 22/23 had an EPC of B or above
As a company we have an impact on climate change through the carbon produced by the energy we use, but more significantly through the carbon in our supply chains (embodied carbon) and during the lifetime of the homes we build. We also have a duty to ensure that the homes and places we are creating are resilient to the impacts of future changes in climate.
Climate Action is one of our ten strategic priorities for Berkeley Group and is integrated into our business strategy Our Vision 2030.
Science-Based Targets to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Reduction in absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions from our direct operations between 2019 and 2030.
Reduction in Scope 3 GHG emissions from our purchased materials and services between 2019 and 2030.
Reduction in Scope 3 GHG emissions from the use of the homes we build between 2019 and 2030.
Understanding Our Carbon Impact
The upfront embodied carbon of our buildings has the largest carbon impact. In 2022/23 it accounted for 55% of our emissions. To better understand those impacts, we completed embodied carbon assessments across a range of building typologies, and different stages of design and construction. This research enabled us to have a better understanding of how our current buildings are performing and the biggest impact areas within our buildings. The work also helped to identify the key suppliers we need to engage with.
This year we have launched quantitative embodied carbon targets for projects and upskilled teams through workshops and events.
It is now a Berkeley requirement that an embodied carbon assessment is undertaken for any building that has legal completions from 2025-26, with the aim of reducing its impacts through the design and procurement stage and to meet our internal targets.
Low Carbon Homes
We produce guidance for our teams on meeting minimum energy efficiency standards for new homes to help us better understand the energy use and performance of our homes we will set out a strategy to measure in-use energy performance and to compare against designed performance.
We also have a role in in raising our customers’ awareness. Our customer service and sales teams are familiar with the developments’ and the homes’ sustainability features and they provide a demonstration of these at handover to enable and advocate low carbon lifestyles for those who live in our homes.
Low Carbon Construction Sites
Most of our direct emissions are due to the activities taking place on our construction sites. We have focused on reducing these emissions for a number of years and this year we are thrilled to have met our 2030 science-based target for scopes 1 and 2. This reduction has predominantly been due to the transition away from the use of fossil fuels to biodiesel HVO.
HVO alone responsible for a saving of approx. 4,798 tCO2 for our direct and contractor purchased fuel.
Although our preferred approach to reduce emissions is to connect to the grid as soon as possible and use electric machinery, equipment and tools, we appreciate that some fuel will be used on site. We encourage the use of biodiesel HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) which is derived from renewable raw materials such as vegetable oils as this is a considerably lower carbon alternative to traditional diesel.
We also allocate carbon budgets to construction sites to focus attention on emissions reductions, including both direct and contractor’s carbon emissions on site.
Climate Change Resilience
As well as our focus on reducing carbon emissions, we work to make our operations and our homes resilient to climate change. We are preparing our business for expected changes to climate, taking action to mitigate the risks by incorporating adaptation measures in the developments we build to ensure more resilient places for our customers and future residents in decades to come.
We continue to review the risks posed by climate change to our business, for example by carrying out the Climate Scenario Analysis recommended by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), and continue to implement measures to ensure our operations and our developments are able to respond. Site specific assessments are undertaken prior to land purchase and during the planning process, including assessments into flood risk and overheating.
We design water efficient homes and manage rainwater by storing it and releasing it into well-designed natural features to help manage surface water and reduce the impacts of flooding. Nature-based solutions and biodiverse landscapes in our developments are key to help to create places that are more resilient to extreme weather (including flooding and drought).
Balancing Our Impact
Our first priority is to reduce our emissions through our SBTs, but until we complete this transition we will continue to balance our impacts by investing in projects and partnerships that produce zero carbon energy or actively remove carbon from the atmosphere. Since May 2017 we have purchased Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGOs) to certify that 100% of UK electricity is from a renewable source (i.e. solar, wind or hydro power). This year we have supported two verified carbon offset projects: one project that is retrofitting housing in the UK, and one reforestation programme in Kenya.
Our approach to offsetting is being reviewed as part of a wider Net Zero Transition Plan for the business, setting out the actions we will take to become a net zero business. As part of this, we will continue to investigate opportunities to deliver or support nature-based carbon capture and renewable energy initiatives.
Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)
We have supported the recommendations of the TCFD since 2018, and have completed detailed Climate Scenario Analysis which has helped us to further understand and enhance our disclosure around the risks and opportunities that climate change presents to our portfolio and business activities, and demonstrates how Berkeley already designs its places and buildings to mitigate long-term climate change risks. Of the identified transitional risks and opportunities, there are seven which have a potentially greater impact on Berkeley. Against these, the Group has relatively low residual exposure to transition risk in the short term (2023), which could moderately rise in the medium term (2030). We have also undertaken a comprehensive physical risk analysis of our land holdings against current and future climate scenarios with the support of Willis Tower Watson (WTW).
Became the first UK homebuilder to publish a Climate Change Policy
First carbon reduction targets set and programmes launched as part of our business strategy, Our Vision
Launched our first climate change adaptation programme to make our homes and neighbourhoods more resilient to extreme weather and rising global temperatures
Procured 100% renewable electricity for UK operations for the first time
Achieved carbon neutral business operations for the first time, by taking action to reduce our emissions and offsetting remaining emissions via verified offsetting projects
Set science-based targets and became a 1.5°C aligned company
|2022||Completed detailed scenario analysis to understand how climate change could impact our business|
Rated “A-“ by CDP for Climate Action and Transparency
|2023||Met our scopes 1 and 2 science-based target ahead of 2030 goal|