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News Release

NextGeneration marks decade of sustainability progress for UK homebuilders

NextGeneration, the benchmark which assesses and ranks the UK’s 25 largest homebuilders on their sustainability performance, celebrates its 10th year in 2014

​Tuesday 16 December 2014 - NextGeneration, the benchmark which assesses and ranks the UK’s 25 largest homebuilders on their sustainability performance, celebrates its 10th year in 2014 – marking a decade of continuous progress on delivering sustainable homes and sharing best practice amongst British homebuilders.

The Berkeley Group claimed the top spot once again in 2014. Crest Nicholson came in second with Barratt Developments closely behind in third, in a benchmark that has shaped the approach of leading homebuilders to sustainable development over its 10-year history. 

Through the benchmark, homebuilders are assessed by property consultants JLL on a wide range of criteria relating to high-quality, sustainable housebuilding, and are given an overall percentage score out of 100. This year the Berkeley Group achieved a score of 87%, and Crest Nicholson and Barratt Developments scored 82% and 81% respectively. 

For the first time, NextGeneration has introduced awards to recognise those companies who have earned their place as sustainability leaders within the sector. Seven companies received awards for scoring above 80% (gold award), 70% (silver award) or 60% (bronze award) in the benchmark. The Berkeley Group, Crest Nicholson and Barratt Developments all received gold awards, Linden Homes a silver award, and bronze awards going to Taylor Wimpey, Countryside and Redrow.
Over the last decade, the scope of the benchmark has grown from 13 to 25 homebuilders, which account for more than half of all new homes built across the UK each year.

The average score for NextGeneration members - those homebuilders which are assessed on non-publicly disclosed information in addition to publicly available data - increased from 47% to 75% during the last 10 years. There has also been a steady increase in the average score of all the benchmarked companies since 2004.

In addition to marking an important milestone for NextGeneration, 2014 is an opportunity to look ahead to the future of homebuilding in the UK and how the benchmark can develop further to reflect a range of environmental, social and technological challenges, which will significantly affect the homebuilding sector over the next decade.

Paul King, Chief Executive of the UK Green Building Council, which oversees the benchmark alongside the Homes and Communities Agency, said: “We applaud the huge strides the leading, most progressive homebuilders have taken over the last decade, not least given a very challenging economic climate in recent years. The gold award winners have set a new benchmark and a challenge for the rest of the industry to raise its game, and deliver great homes that are comfortable, attractive and affordable now and in the long-term.”

Julie Hirigoyen, Head of Sustainability at JLL, which administers the benchmark, said: “The NextGeneration benchmark is unrecognisable since it was first launched in 2004, with today’s benchmark more rigorous and challenging than ever before. JLL’s analysis in 2014 shows that NextGeneration members are a step ahead of current sustainability standards and have embraced the learning opportunities for the delivery of sustainable homes on a larger scale. I would encourage developers to participate in initiatives like NextGeneration and learn from the leaders in their sector.”

Robert Napier, Chairman of the Homes and Communities Agency, said: “We are delighted to see the industry adopt the NextGeneration sustainability benchmark and the significant advancements made by the members over the last 10 years.”

Rob Perrins, Managing Director at The Berkeley Group, said: “The agenda has shifted from a narrow focus on carbon reduction to creating successful places. It’s about integrating social sustainability, job creation and environmental management. I think the future challenge for housebuilders is not to compete with each other but to match the performance of companies like Puma, BT and Kingfisher. In a buoyant market, every developer should take sustainability that seriously.”

Julia Plaskett, Group Sustainability Director at Crest Nicholson, said: “Sustainable and environmental best practice has long been a core part of our business. Maintaining our high ranking and being recognised as one of the leaders in this field is not only testament to the huge strides we’ve made, but also reflects how important it is to share best practice across the industry to ensure that the sector continues to advance.”

Mark Clare, CEO of Barratt Developments, said: “As a nation we need to build more and better homes at a time when the supply of labour and resources are constrained. To address these issues we must focus on building in more sustainable ways and creating higher quality homes with better standards of energy and water efficiency. There is no doubt that working with Next Generation has enabled us to take a very significant step forward in terms of our sustainability performance.”