Berkeley commits to becoming first “carbon positive” UK housebuilder

The Berkeley Group has announced its commitment to become the UK’s first carbon-positive housebuilder.

Over the next two years, Berkeley will aim to reduce its carbon emissions by 10 per cent per person and determine an ‘internal carbon price’, using the funds it generates to offset more carbon than it produces.

As part of meeting its aims, Berkeley MD Rob Perrins explained that the business would encourage the use of green energy tariffs, and invest in renewable energy or the retrofitting of existing homes. These are two examples of reducing or eliminating emissions in order to (in the firm’s words) “Go beyond offsetting our remaining emissions.”

Confirming the business ethos behind the initiative, Rob Perrins stated:

“The COP21 climate change negotiations in Paris made it very clear that business has to lead on this issue. There is a strong commercial case for making a business more lean, green and accountable. And in my opinion, it’s simply the right thing to do.”

Berkeley’s announcement comes as it reveals the next stage of ‘Our Vision’, its long-term business strategy. The company has outlined 10 new commitments to drive the business forward which apply to all of its brands including Berkeley, St James, St Edward, St George and St William.

Within the next two years Berkeley aims to have 1,500 people within the business undertaking an apprenticeship or vocational training, introducing a strategy to deliver a net biodiversity gain across its sites, and trialling smart home technology which will ensure places are ‘better connected’.