Nature and Biodiversity

Research, learning, and policy activities designed to enable the built environment to embrace and restore 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 Robert Winch to discuss opportunities for shaping or sponsoring our upcoming work on nature and biodiversity.

We are experiencing an ecological crisis. 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 22,000 hectares of UK green space, an area twice the size of Liverpool, converted into artificial surfaces, most of which was housing, between 2006 and 2012.  

Therefore, we hope that all those working in the built environment sector will support our ambition that By 2030, all buildings and infrastructure will, throughout their lifetime, be climate-resilient and maximise environmental net gains, through the prioritisation of nature-based solutions”.

To help our members and other stakeholders achieve this ambition we are running a number of activities and projects this year. Including a new programme on “Increasing nature-based solutions”. 

To find out more on our work on green infrastructure see here.  

Construction Innovation Hub Value Toolkit

UKGBC is the Natural Capital lead on the Construction Innovation Hub’s Value Toolkit. We have convened an industry steering group to create a suite of tools to support value-based decision making across the investment lifecycle. Find out more here.

Increasing nature-based solutions

A two-year programme to enable more ambitious industry targets and increase the application of nature-based solutions for climate resilience and environmental net gains. You can find more details here.


We are project partners on the Greater Manchester IGNITION project which will establish the financial mechanisms to deliver green infrastructure for the purpose of creating a more climate resilient city region. We have now published the first business facing report for the project, focused on the economic, environmental and societal benefits of nature-based solutions. Download here.


Our focus this year is on a green stimulus in the post COVID-19 recovery, enabling more progressive policies and regulations.

UKGBC have been invited to partner with Natural England to help develop a simplified biodiversity net gain metric for small developers. UKGBC are inviting interested members to participate in an industry steering group, to help formulate initial proposals for wider consultation. Interested members must ideally have experience of developments either 10 units or less or up to 5,000 sq. m or less. This includes any development type. For more information or to get involved, please contact either Philip Box or Robert Winch.

Briefing paper: Building a market for Greener cities – In September 2020, the British Conservation Alliance and UKGBC held a webinar with The Rt Hon Lord Zac Goldsmith, Minister of State (Minister for the Pacific and the Environment), Conservative MPs and industry representatives in order to discuss the issue of how we create sustainable mechanisms for greening existing buildings. This briefing provides a summary of what was discussed.

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. 

Learning & Development

Maximising the commercial benefits of Biodiversity Net Gain – This course will be hosted in collaboration with Building with Nature and is ideal for sustainable built environment professionals involved in the design and delivery of buildings.

UKGBC resources

Nature-based solutions to the climate emergency: The benefits to business and societyThis report is a curation of the existing evidence that demonstrates the economic, environmental and societal benefits that nature-based solutions provide.

Making the Case for Green Infrastructure: Lessons from Best Practice  – This report provides case study insights into green infrastructure decision making from the project teams and stakeholders involved. 

Climate resilience and embracing nature: An ambition for the built environment  – 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. 

Course Mail Series 4 – Nature and Biodiversity in the Built Environment  – Sign up to UKGBC’s 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.  

Practical how-to guide: Developing and implementing a green infrastructure strategy  – This report provides insights into the practical steps to integrate green infrastructure into city projects. 

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

If you would like to join the UKGBC Nature and Biodiversity Interest Group and receive regular updates about our work on the topic then please email Robert Winch.