The report entitled 'Laying Firm Foundations: UK homebuilders make progress in addressing sustainability' assesses how effectively homebuilders are addressing fundamental sustainability issues related to the homes they build and their business operations.
The Berkeley Group remains resolute in its commitment to sustainability through a year of exceptional challenges in one of the industries hardest hit by the recession. This company's unique culture has helped it build a significant competitive advantage over its peers, contributing to its relatively strong position in the downturn. In the financial year ended April 2009, The Berkeley Group had a turnover of over £702.2 million, is the only UK housebuilder with zero debt, no mean feat in today's turbulent economic times, and has in excess of £2 billion future gross margin in its land bank.
Tony Pidgley, Chairman of The Berkeley Group said: "The principles of sustainability are embedded into our business practices both at strategic and project level and instinctively aligned with the fulfilment of our business objectives. We have remained steadfast in our commitment to sustainability despite recent economic challenges and this ethos has in turn contributed to our relatively strong financial position during the downturn. This will only become more important as a business driver, as customer demand for greener housing grows."
The Berkeley Group met 86.7% of NextGeneration's benchmarking criteria, strengthening its leadership position by ranking substantially ahead of its peers in overall performance and scoring highest in ten out of the twenty-one categories.
In achieving these results, The Berkeley Group has demonstrated a strategic and innovative approach to addressing climate change issues across its businesses by making strong public commitments to reduce energy, waste and water, both in its business practices and in the developments it builds. These commitments were rewarded with scores of 100% in benchmark's Energy category and 95% in its Water category, the highest of all companies assessed.
In the last year, this unfaltering commitment to sustainability has resulted in The Berkeley Group:
- Building 100% of development on brownfield land
- Recycling 90% of waste across all projects
- Achieving a 35% reduction in waste sent to landfill, equivalent to £1.5 million saving in landfill tax
- Committing over 11,000 homes to Level 3 of the Code for Sustainable Homes
- Committing over 70,000m2 of commercial space to at least BREEAM Very Good
- Achieving a further 10% operational reduction in CO2 in 2008/9
- Achieving a 7% reduction in water use per unit completed
Sir Bob Kerslake, Chief Executive of the Homes & Communities Agency said: "It is encouraging to see how sustainability is being truly embedded in the work of the Berkeley Group. We all have a responsibility to help reduce the impact of climate change and I am pleased to see that many of the housebuilders we work with on HCA programmes appear in the NextGeneration list."