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News Release

London

UK homebuilders demonstrate consistent improvement in sustainability performance over seven years of industry benchmark

Berkeley Group, Crest Nicholson and Miller Homes named as top three most sustainable  homebuilders during 2013


London, 6th December 2013 – UK homebuilders are demonstrating that the industry can lead the way on sustainability according to the results of the 2013 NextGeneration benchmark administered by Jones Lang LaSalle’s Upstream Sustainability team.

Based on assessing the UK’s top 25 homebuilders against a set of 250 criteria, this year’s benchmark demonstrates that the top 10 benchmark members (those who undergo a detailed assessment) achieved 75 per cent, a 4 per cent increase on last year.

This year Berkeley Group has once again taken the top spot as the UK’s most sustainable homebuilder securing over 90 per cent in the benchmark. This is the highest ever score in the benchmark’s history, demonstrating that the company is fast approaching the “green ceiling” of existing criteria. Meanwhile, Crest Nicholson has maintained last year’s second position scoring 87 per cent while Miller Homes retained third place with an improved score of 84 per cent.

The NextGeneration benchmark is the only assessment of its kind that annually ranks the top 25 UK homebuilders’ performance in delivering sustainable homes and brings homebuilders together with government, investors, industry experts and leaders to share best practice in sustainability. The homebuilders involved construct over 50% of the UK’s private homes.

The 2013 NextGeneration results were presented at a high profile event on the 3rd December 2013 at Jones Lang LaSalle’s Warwick Street offices in London where Bill Hughes, Managing Director of Legal & General Property delivered a speech on responsible investment in the residential sector. In addition, Paul King, Chief Executive of the UKGBC spoke on the long term vision for sustainable homes in the UK.

Commenting on the results, Julie Hirigoyen, Head of Sustainability at Jones Lang LaSalle said; “2013 has been an exceptionally strong year for the benchmark, with four companies now achieving over 80 per cent - a major achievement.  While there remains a wide variation in the performance displayed by all participants, it is clear that Berkeley Group and other high performing companies like Crest Nicholson, Miller Homes and Willmott Dixon are actively challenging current notions of best practice. These businesses are becoming more ambitious and sophisticated in their approach to sustainability, and are keen to embed further innovation and  sustainability into the industry. We are in discussions with a number of parties to ensure that the benchmark continues to evolve in future, so as to drive further improvements at all ends of the performance spectrum.”

Rob Perrins, Managing Director at Berkeley Group, said: “Sustainability is at the heart of Berkeley. This is as true in Berkeley’s corporate strategy and commitments to shareholders as it is in the day-to-day running of a business in which our people are driven, across every discipline, to deliver long-term, sustainable success. We are aware of the need to balance our aim to be successful with a will to operate sustainably and with a social purpose. Creating exceptional places that stand the test of time is at the forefront of this, as is our role in creating new jobs, working in partnership with local communities and contributing to the communities in and around each of our developments.

“We are pleased that our efforts to be one of the most successful and sustainable businesses in Britain have once again been recognised by the NextGeneration benchmark.”

Chris Tinker, Executive Board Director at Crest Nicholson, commented: “Continually striving to improve our approach to sustainability and environmental best practice is integral to our whole business model, and maintaining our high ranking in the benchmark is testament to the success of this strategy. It is encouraging to see the great strides being made right across the industry, but the fact that Crest Nicholson is leading the sector in socio-economic sustainability demonstrates our commitment to delivering high quality, well-designed communities where people want to live, and which support a more sustainable lifestyle.”

Chris Endsor, Chief Executive of Miller Homes, said: “Being sustainable and aiming to deliver the best quality, standards and value for all our stakeholders, including our customers, our employees and our investors, is at the very heart of our business and we always strive to exceed the minimum standards.  The results of the year’s benchmark, which once again show an improved score for Miller Homes, provide a clear indication of that commitment and, in particular, our desire to operate in an open and transparent way.”

The full report  “The Green Ceiling? – Where next for benchmarking sustainable homes?” is available for download from the NextGeneration website: http://nextgeneration-initiative.co.uk/

Notes to editors

NextGeneration was launched in 2006 building on the success of the Insight Investment and WWF sustainability benchmarks of the industry (undertaken in 2004 and 2005) to expand the reach and ownership of the benchmarks.
Set up as a multi-stakeholder initiative, NextGeneration aims to drive best practice in sustainability into the heart of the residential sector by encouraging the home building industry itself to develop and deliver more sustainable homes. It is a platform which enables home builders to both identify the sustainability related risks to their businesses and develop a good understanding of how best to address the related opportunities.

For the 2013 benchmark, NextGeneration has been supported and directed by the Homes and Communities Agency through their role on the Executive Committee. Upstream Sustainability Services at Jones Lang LaSalle acts as the secretariat to the initiative; carrying out the analysis for the benchmarking and delivering a range of services to NextGeneration members, including workshops on best practice, networking events and sustainability news bulletins.

The unique output of NextGeneration is the production of an annual sustainability benchmark of the UK’s top 25 home builders (by size, which was calculated through analysis of turnover and volume of dwellings built in companies previous financial years).