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News Release


Homebuilders demonstrate consistent improvement in sustainability performance over six years of sector benchmark

The Berkeley Group, Crest Nicholson and Miller Homes named as top three most sustainable  homebuilders during 2012

London, 30th November  2012 – The UK homebuilding industry is becoming even more sustainable, according to the results of the 2012 NextGeneration benchmark.  The Benchmark  shows The Berkeley Group as the UK’s most sustainable homebuilder, with Crest Nicholson maintaining last year’s second position and Miller Homes retaining third position.

The Benchmark launch will take place today and Andrew Eagles, Managing Director of Sustainable Homes and manager of the SHIFT benchmark of social housing, will deliver a keynote speech on what homebuilders and social landlords can learn from each other with regard to sustainability.

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 together homebuilders with government, investors, industry experts and leaders to share best practice in sustainability.  The comprehensive benchmark exercise takes over six months to complete and assesses those developers responsible for constructing over 50% of new homes in the UK[1] each year with a combined construction value of £5 billion.

Commenting on the results, Philip Hirst from NextGeneration, said; “This year’s results demonstrate that an elite group of nine home builders are driving best practice in sustainability in the sector.  This is the sixth year the benchmark has been undertaken and the improvement in performance from the first benchmark in in 2006 is remarkable, with companies battling to outperform each other across 50 different categories and achieving an average improvement of around 10% since 2006.  At a time where Government is reviewing much of the key legislation that governs sustainability in homebuilding, NextGeneration members provide a beacon of how the private sector can collaborate to deliver sustainability performance beyond legislative requirements.”

Homebuilders are assessed based on their own sustainability performance as a company, including Governance and Risk Management and the amount of energy consumed in their offices and onsite, as well as the sustainability of the homes and communities they create. 

Over the six years of the Benchmark, considerable improvements have been seen in the reporting of carbon data, including the implementation of detailed carbon management plans ahead of mandatory reporting.  Risk Management has also advanced with leading companies recognising and managing the potential effects of social and environmental risk on the balance sheet.

Responding to the results, Rob Perrins, Managing Director of Berkeley Group, said: “The whole industry has come a long way in the last decade. But now we need to take another massive leap forward. The Government's recent climate risk report highlighted imminent dramatic changes in water supply and temperature. In response, Berkeley is making climate change adaptation a fundamental part of how we design and build all our new developments. Alongside a major new commitment to social sustainability, this is the kind of action that will keep driving our performance and create great places for people to live.”

Stephen Stone, Chief Executive of Crest Nicholson, said: ““Driving innovation and progress in the delivery of new and cost-effective solutions for sustainable homes is essential for the industry, and we place significant emphasis on pioneering new approaches that will ensure low carbon communities become a mainstay for the future. The NextGeneration rankings demonstrate the extent to which every housebuilder is now rising to meet the challenge, and our consistently high ranking is a testament to the way in which sustainability has been embedded into every aspect of our business model.

“For Crest Nicholson, sustainability has played a major role in delivering our strong underlying business fundamentals and the government’s commitment to sustainable housing policy plays to our strengths. 67% of the homes we delivered last year were to EcoHomes, Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3, or Level 4 standards and designing the homes of the future is an objective that underpins our entire delivery strategy.”

Chris Endsor, Chief Executive of Miller Homes, said: “Sustainability is a key aspect of our business and we are delighted to maintain our top three ranking within the NextGeneration benchmark and our position as one of the industry leaders within this area.

“We recognise the important benefits sustainability offers us and we are continually looking for ways in which we can enhance this further.  The NextGeneration benchmark not only validates the good work we are undertaking, but also allows us to identify how we can further develop and continue to grow this area of our business.”

Paul King, CEO of UK Green Building Council said: "It's great to see the latest NextGen benchmarking study of house-builders launched today. In times when industry leadership on sustainability is more important than ever, the report highlights the progress of our leading house-builders who have taken some great strides over recent years, and who recognise that sustainability in inseparable from good quality and customer satisfaction. Congratulations to Berkeley who have come top once again, but also to all the developers for taking part and continuing to raise the bar."
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Notes to editors
[1] Based completions reported by 25 largest homebuilders in public information and Department of Communities and Local Government housing statistics:
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 2012 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).