Sustainable Development Goals

Design and deliver sustainable places

Designing and delivering sustainable places

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

Sustainable places
We strive to build environmentally sensitive places where residents can live a sustainable lifestyle. We focus on brownfield sites, with scope for good public transport, and seek to create places that are resilient to climate change and have more biodiversity than they had before.

Creating communities
We engage the local community in the design of our developments and continue to use our toolkit, Creating Successful Places, on new developments as a framework for applying the ideas that can lead to future residents experiencing a great quality of life. Community plans are now in place at 12 of our developments to provide a structured approach to help communities to thrive for the long-term.

Sustainable living
To help homeowners live sustainably we incorporate a range of features into developments as standard, from water efficient and energy efficient fittings and fixtures, to recycling facilities, cycle storage and electric car charging points. See our Sustainability Living Tool to find out more about the measures we have taken to encourage sustainable lifestyles. We also include information in all Living Guides that enables occupants to understand and operate their home efficiently and make the best use of local facilities.

Use resources responsibility

Using resources responsibly

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

We recognise that we have a significant impact through the use of a vast number of products and services in the homes and places that we create. The products are sourced from a global marketplace so we have a responsibility to understand these supply chains. Through careful consideration and management of our supply chain we seek to reduce any negative impacts and have a positive impact where possible. To ensure our materials are responsibly sourced we are working to develop further information for the business on key materials and require all timber to be certified, and preferentially select only certified wood-based products.

Responsible operations
Each site has targets in place to reduce energy and water consumption and waste production. We are pleased to announce that we reused or recycled 95% of our construction waste in 2017/18.

In our offices, we have targets in place to reduce paper consumption year on year.

Each site is registered to the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) and is independently assessed. Our average audit score was 43/50 in 2017/18, demonstrating performance beyond the industry average of 36/50.

To date, we have had no environmental fines or prosecutions.

Responsible supply chain
We also 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, which provides a wealth of free resources for suppliers to help them reduce the environmental impacts of their products and services.

Encouraging residents
We encourage residents to use resources responsibly and provide all homes with Living Guides which include information on saving energy, saving water, purchasing responsibly and recycling.

Designing for climate change

Addressing and designing for climate change

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

Mitigating climate change

We recognise the role business must play in tackling global climate change and are delighted to have become the first carbon positive housebuilder in 2018, by decreasing our carbon emissions and offsetting more than our remaining emissions through the support of verified projects.

We also recognise the role that developers must play in building homes that are sustainable now and in the future. We have committed to creating a transition plan for each new development to enable them to operate at net zero carbon by 2030. We were also a founding signatory to the World Green Building Council's commitment to deliver Net Zero Carbon Buildings by 2030 in September 2018.

Adapting to climate change

With climate change we are expected to experience more extreme weather patterns, including wetter winters, hotter summers and more frequent heat waves. We are focused on addressing the risks most relevant to the design of our developments: flooding, water shortage and overheating. We seek to build homes where people can live comfortably in the future.

We design in a number of features to increase resilience to these impacts, such as sustainable drainage systems, rainwater harvesting and measures to help ensure thermal comfort. We respond to the industry-wide issue of overheating by using a risk assessment methodology on all new sites. As part of our approach to reduce the effects of climate change, we also incorporate green infrastructure such as open space, parks, gardens and living roofs.

Protect and enhance ecology and biodiversity

Protecting and enhancing 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.

Protecting ecology and creating a net biodiversity gain

We recognise the importance of protecting and enhancing biodiversity and believe that new developments can create places with more nature afterwards than before through providing higher quality habitats and more biodiversity; on every new site we are committed to creating a net biodiversity gain.

We use The Nine Concepts: making space for nature and beauty, developed in conjunction with The Ecology Consultancy to inform our approach and work with ecologists, landscape architects and Local Wildlife Trusts to ensure that the right habitats are incorporated into the design so that there is more nature afterwards than before. Find out more here.

Sustainable timber

We are committed to ensuring that the timber we used is sustainably sourced. Our Sustainable Specification and Procurement Policy requires all timber to be certified to either the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) schemes and has a strong preference for all wood-based products to be either FSC or PEFC certified.

Promote health and wellbeing

Promoting health and wellbeing 

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

Healthy workplaces

As individuals spend a notable amount of time in the workplace we have the potential to significantly influence the wellbeing of our employees. Through Our Vision commitments which focus on mental health and healthy workplaces, we seek to improve the quality of life of our employees and improve employee satisfaction and productivity. Health and wellbeing programmes are in operation across a number of our divisions.

Healthy homes

We also seek to develop homes and places that enable our residents to lead healthy and happy lives, and in May 2018 made a commitment through Our Vision to launch a design framework to contribute to the wellbeing of our customers. We provide walking and cycling routes, cycle storage and, in 2014, were the first private developer to commit to minimum space standards. We hope that our residents will also benefit from our work to enhance biodiversity, as nature can make people feel relaxed and happy and create a sense of identity and belonging.

Safe workplaces

We also want to ensure our workplaces are safe and continue to aspire to operating incident and injury free. We are honoured to have been awarded the Sir George Earle Trophy in one of our divisions, an international award from RoSPA for premier performance in occupational health and safety; the first time this prestigious award has been won by a housebuilder.

Over the last ten years we have worked extremely hard to ensure that all our contractors, suppliers and partners share our commitment to promoting safe and healthy work practices. As a result, we have seen a year-on-year reduction in the number of incidents.

Promote the use of clean energy

Using energy efficiently and incorporating clean technologies

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

Carbon positive

In May 2016, Berkeley targeted a 10% reduction in 2018 emissions compared to 2016 levels and committed to become carbon positive. We are proud to have achieved a 22% reduction in the two-year period, surpassing our target. We have increased our understanding of energy consumption across our day-to-day activities and issued guidance on addressing out of hours electricity consumption, together with minimum energy efficiency recommendations for site set up and operation. At the same time as taking action to reduce energy consumption, the use of energy from renewable sources has been encouraged. We offset more than our remaining emissions to help mitigate climate change and to be carbon positive.

Net zero carbon homes

Within our homes and developments, we incorporate clean and renewable technologies and promote the installation of energy efficient appliances. Of the homes completed in 2017/18, 73% were supplied with energy from low carbon or renewable technology.

We want to enable our developments to achieve net zero operational emissions in the future. Therefore, in May 2018 we committed to producing a transition plan for each new development to operate at net zero carbon by 2030. This commitment will ensure that our residents can use sustainable energy resources and will help to lower their energy use. We were also a founding signatory to the World Green Building Council's commitment to deliver Net Zero Carbon Buildings by 2030 in September 2018.

Support decent work

Supporting 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
We consider the skills crisis to be one of the most significant risks facing the industry and believe we have a role to play in encouraging new people into the industry and upskilling the workforce. We are now a client member of Build UK, which we see as playing a vital role in reversing the current trend of more people leaving the industry than joining it.

We aim to provide a variety of routes through which people seeking to improve their skills can join the business, including through apprenticeships, industrial placements and graduate schemes.

By working closely with our contractors, we have significantly increased the amount of training within our workforce; since 2016, more than 850 apprentices have worked across our sites and offices, whilst over 1,200 additional people have undertaken other types of formal training. We were pleased to be able to recognise some of the great work which is being achieved in this area at the Berkeley Apprenticeship Awards.

Job creation
Berkeley supported a total of 33,000 jobs in 2017 directly and through its supply chain. Attracting, developing and retaining a talented and diverse workforce which operates in a safe, healthy and supportive working environment, is imperative to our business. We pay all staff at least the Living Wage Foundation's Living Wage and aim to provide the right environment and support to enable them to fulfil their potential.

Addressing modern slavery
We ensure that slavery and human trafficking does not take place within our business and throughout our supply chain. Further details on actions taken to combat modern slavery can be found on our website.

Ensure an inclusive working environment

Ensuring an inclusive working environment

In support of Sustainable Development Goal 10 to reduce inequalities within and among countries.

Diversity and inclusion

The industry is known for its lack of diversity and we believe there are real benefits in ensuring diverse views, skills and perspectives which can lead to creative thinking and more effective problem solving.

We seek to attract and retain a diverse workforce. To help us achieve this, we will develop guiding principles for diversity and inclusion, to be applied by each of our autonomous companies. This will be supplemented by a range of additional activities, which could include a wider review of our policies, processes and procedures to ensure we create an inclusive environment.

Living wage

There is a disparity between the national living wage and the 'real' living wage as calculated by the Living Wage Foundation, which is the amount needed for employees and their families to live on. As a major employer, we recognise both business and societal benefits in paying the living wage and pay at least the Living Wage Foundation's Living Wage to all direct employees.