Property industry must take “leading role” to protect and enhance natural environment, UK-GBC urges

The UK Green Building Council has urged the property industry to play a leading role in protecting and enhancing natural features and biodiversity in the UK’s towns and cities.

The call comes as a UK-GBC Task Group today published a new report presenting the business case for “green infrastructure”, the term used to describe natural and semi-natural features ranging from street trees and roof gardens, to parks and woodlands.

The report, Demystifying Green Infrastructure, finds that introducing green infrastructure into the built environment offers a number of business opportunities - including a potential increase in the value of land and property – in addition to social and environmental benefits.

Aimed primarily at property developers and clients, the report also identifies business risks from failing to incorporate adequate green infrastructure into building projects – such as delays in planning, increased costs and reputational damage.

John Alker, Director of Policy and Communications, and Acting CEO of the UK Green Building Council, said: “The property industry must step up and take a leading role in protecting cherished natural environments and reversing the loss in biodiversity that we have seen nationally. 

“We have to shed the image of green infrastructure as a fluffy optional extra, an additional cost or an unnecessary burden. There are a growing number of clients and developers demonstrating that green infrastructure is absolutely central to quality place-making, and that there is a clear business case for it. This has to become the norm.”

The report, sponsored by Aggregate Industries, Canary Wharf Group and Skanska, sets out a number of tools that can be used to measure the value of green infrastructure – whether economic, social or environmental.

It also includes 18 case studies highlighting good practice on green infrastructure conservation or enhancement. These include Canary Wharf’s new Crossrail station which features green infrastructure such as reed beds and water terraces (to provide improved water quality and biodiversity) and a new roof park (which offers a valuable new amenity and wildlife resource).

To read the full press release, click here.

To read the report, click here.

Published: 24/02/2015

in UK-GBC News