Nature and Biodiversity

We are increasing our momentum on this vital topic by collaborating with industry and government to adopt and prioritise progressive strategies which enhance nature and promote biodiversity.
Young man cycling in Richmond Park, London, United Kingdom


April 17, 2019


Policy & Advocacy, Research & Innovation, Education & Leadership



Get involved: Please contact Alastair Mant to discuss opportunities for shaping or sponsoring our upcoming work on Nature and Biodiversity.

Our natural world is at a tipping point. Biologists and geologists predict we are entering a human caused sixth mass extinction event. Human impacts on the environment are substantial, 56% of monitored species declined in the UK between 1970 and 2013. The built environment has played a significant role in this, with 22,00 hectares of UK green space, an area twice the size of Liverpool, converted into artificial surfaces, most of which was housingbetween 2006 and 2012. 

Organisations operating in the built environment are increasingly recognising the benefits nature and biodiversity have to offer businesses and society. These benefits extend to all UKGBC’s impact areas, for example; carbon sequestration, alleviation of the urban heat island effect, mental and physical health improvements as well as the generation of recreation space for communities.  

We are currently scoping our next project on this topic following our January 2019 flagship event “Our Changing Nature”, which promoted the importance of nature and biodiversity in urban environments. To help shape our upcoming activities we are running a member workshop in June to identify what the ambitions for the industry should be and how UKGBC could best enable positive progress. Further information will be released shortly.  

Current activities 

Education – we are holding a masterclass on biodiversity net gain in November with speakers from WSP, Balfour Beatty and Natural England. Registrations are not yet open.

Industry Research – In collaboration with the University of Manchester we are developing a green infrastructure case study guidance document which will highlight the barriers and lessons learnt during the project lifecycle. If you have worked on or know of examples, please contact Robert Winch

To find out more on our green infrastructure work see here

UKGBC resources 

Course Mail Series 4 – Nature and Biodiversity in the Built Environment – Sign up to the latest UKGBC Course Mail series for on-demand learning on nature & biodiversity, delivered in weekly easy-to-read emails.

Insights into Nature and Biodiversity – We uncovered the drivers and barriers behind our Gold Leaf members’ enhancing and protecting nature and biodiversity. As well as providing key insights on the state of nature in the UK, positive industry trends, the business case for nature, and a timeline of government policy and work. 

Biodiversity net gain actor and resource map – We have developed a new tool which helps professionals better understand the landscape of initiatives and policy being worked on specifically around biodiversity net gain. 

Response to Defra’s Biodiversity Net Gain Consultation – In recognition of the importance of this topic to our members we responded to Defra’s consultation on biodiversity net gain in February 2019. 

Demystifying Green Infrastructure – In 2015 we produced guidance on the business case for green infrastructure and practical steps for implementation. 

In November 2019, UKGBC, together with its members and wider industry, launched our sector ambition for climate resilience and nature based solutions which we hope acts as a focal point to galvanise industry action on responding to the climate and ecological crisis. 

Thank you to the sponsors of “Our Changing Nature” 

  • Heathrow
  • Atelier-Ten
  • Arup
  • Outerspace weblogo
  • Peel land and property