Berkeley Group and Thames Water made a big splash at the 2023 National Sustainability Awards as they claimed the Water Reduction Award for their pioneering partnership at Royal Exchange, Kingston upon Thames.
The cross-sector awards, from The Better Society Network, celebrate ‘the pioneers of sustainability’ across the UK.
The award follows a year-long pilot project exploring how to deliver water neutrality on a large-scale development within a water stressed area, which is a key environmental challenge.
More than 45,000 litres of water per day have been offset through retrofitting 79 local schools and businesses with new water saving devices and measures such as fixing leaking toilets, taps and urinals.
Smart water meters were installed in each of the 320 homes at Royal Exchange which is located in an existing water stressed area identified by the Environment Agency.
The results of the trial will be shared across the water utility and development sectors, to help demonstrate that offsetting water demand from new homes can be achieved with targeted measures in existing homes, schools and businesses.
Louise Clarke, Head of Sustainability at Berkeley Group, said: “Achieving water neutrality is a major challenge for the industry and we recognise that water is a key resource that needs to be preserved, especially in light of climate change and our growing population.
“We were delighted to work closely with Thames Water to demonstrate the significant water savings that can be achieved with a collaborative approach. We are looking forward to using this innovative model on other sites and sharing the results with the rest of the industry.”
The Water Reduction Award also recognises Berkeley’s ambitious plans to achieve an environmental net gain on all developments by 2030, leaving the natural environment in a measurably better state than before.
Achieving environmental net gain (including water neutrality) and biodiversity net gain are two key commitments within Berkeley’s long-term business strategy, Our Vision 2030.