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News Release


The Berkeley Group Tops UK Home Builders’ Sustainability Benchmark

2011 NextGeneration Launch

London, 17th November 2011 – The Berkeley Group has once more topped NextGeneration’s sustainability benchmark, scoring 82 per cent. Crest Nicholson maintained last year’s second position alongside Willmott Dixon both with 75 per cent and Miller Homes is ranked in third position with 72 per cent in the annual survey benchmarking the UK’s top 25 home builders.

Natasha Moreno-Roberts from NextGeneration, said; “NextGeneration’s core aim is to promote sustainability best practice in the home building sector and the criteria on which the assessment is based are of paramount importance.  Three months are dedicated to research, development and consultation with the Executive Committee and members on an annual basis in order to arrive at a set of challenging and relevant criteria which allow NextGeneration to draw out performance trends over time and provide valuable insight to the home building industry.”

In 2011 there are in excess of 250 benchmarking criteria which fall into the following three categories:

• Strategy, governance and risk management looks at policy and strategy, commitment to sustainability from all levels of the organisation, internal communication and training, the quality of public disclosure and data assurance, risk management and research and development.

• Environmental Impact examines environmental management and 10 key impact areas including energy and climate change, water, waste, ecology, sustainable building standards, transport and sustainable procurement.

• Impact on Society and Economy looks at six key areas including health and safety, considerate construction, economic development and legacy, stakeholder engagement, customer engagement and sustainable communities (environmental infrastructure, place-making, quality and design standards and post occupancy evaluation).

Listed home builders continue to outperform non-listed home builders with the seven of the bottom eight performing companies being non-listed developers. However, private companies such as Crest Nicholson, Willmott Dixon and Miller Homes (joint 2nd and then 3rdplace in the ranking respectively) continue to perform very well and demonstrate leadership in sustainability.

There has been an increase in disclosure on strategy and governance structures with some companies publishing sustainability information for the first time this year.   The process of gathering information for a sustainability report has the potential to improve sustainability management practices, particularly for those companies in the early stages of maturity in their sustainability strategy. Nevertheless, there is still work to do in ensuring that sustainability commitment travels from the boardroom to building sites and home builders should look to enshrine sustainability in job descriptions, appraisal and remuneration structures to ensure high standards of sustainability performance across the board.

Natasha Moreno-Roberts from NextGeneration, added; “Our key recommendations to the property industry are as follows:

• Ensure that sustainability issues and specifically the risks associated with them are integrated into their annual report and accounts.

• Understand the issues material to the business being sure to include ecology and develop a robust approach to management of all material issues throughout the product lifecycle.

• Undertake post occupancy evaluation of all aspects of a development more frequently and rigorously in order to capture and apply lessons learnt and improve research and development in sustainability.”

- ends –
Notes to Editors
About NextGeneration - A partnership to deliver sustainable homes for 21st century living

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 2011 benchmark, NextGeneration has been supported and directed by the Homes and Communities Agency and WWF-UK 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 the 2009/10 financial year).