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News Release

New report shows number of UK homebuilders becoming more transparent in their communication of sustainability performance

Lendlease takes top spot for high-quality, sustainable housebuilding in NextGeneration 2016 benchmark

​LONDON, 1 December, 2016 – NextGeneration, the benchmark which assesses and ranks the UK’s 25 largest homebuilders on their sustainability performance has today released its annual report showing that members of the benchmark are becoming more transparent in their communication of sustainability performance.

The report, administered by JLL and overseen by executive committee members including the UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), has revealed that NextGeneration members, of which there are eight, are leading the homebuilding industry with an average sustainability score of 71 percent, well above the industry average of 36 percent.

Each year the UK’s top 25 homebuilders have their publicly available information assessed against a wide range of criteria relating to high-quality, sustainable housebuilding, and are given an overall percentage score out of 100. Members are then given the opportunity to share further information that is not yet in the public realm. This year, Lendlease demonstrated the best performance amongst all homebuilders by scoring 85 percent. Crest Nicholson has taken second place scoring 81 percent while Barratt Developments scored third place with 79 percent.

Sophie Walker, Head of Sustainability, JLL UK, said: “NextGeneration realises how housing plays a crucial role in shaping people’s lives. Each year, the NextGeneration report goes much deeper than just asking how companies have performed. It brings together rigorous primary research with the latest thinking about the trends that will impact the industry over the coming decades, enabling the sector to be ahead of the curve in driving sustainable transformation.”

Paul King, Managing Director of Sustainability and External Affairs, Lendlease, commented: “The UK faces a chronic housing shortage whilst globally we face unprecedented challenges including rapid urban population growth, resource depletion, and climate change. We have a responsibility to deliver homes that are truly fit for the future, by designing and creating the best places to the highest sustainability standards.

“Social and environmental sustainability is at the heart of everything we do – and it’s great to be recognised by NextGeneration, the most rigorous benchmark of its kind, with a Gold Award for the second year running.”

NextGeneration has this year explored three people trends influencing housing: designing homes and neighbourhoods where communities thrive, promoting the health and wellbeing of residents and measuring and demonstrating social impact to external audiences.

The report shows that members are performing well across design and place making, with 100 percent of members providing a case study example that met NextGeneration best practice criteria for promoting active lifestyles. Members are also successfully integrating sustainability into their business strategy, with two members having made Net Positive commitments that will result in greater biodiversity and reduced carbon emissions. Another key performance area is the growing trend for blue-green infrastructure, with three quarters of members providing case studies that demonstrate their commitment to providing amenities with natural views, while enhancing biodiversity and filtering storm water.

Also reflected in the report are the main challenges currently facing the industry. Weaker performance within the wider sector on waste continues with 90 percent of companies who disclose normalised waste, reporting an increase in waste generation over the last year. Procurement is another area in need of improvement, with only 62.5 percent of members having engaged with suppliers to address modern slavery risks.

Julie Hirigoyen, Chief Executive of the UK Green Building Council, said: “In the current economic context, it’s crucial that new homes and communities are built to the highest standards. The companies leading the 2016 NextGeneration benchmark demonstrate that building high quality developments is core to what they do. But the industry must address the gap between leaders and laggards to meet the pressing sustainability challenges ahead.”

To read the full report click here.