Sustainability resources, best practise & case studies for the built environment

The built environment is responsible for a huge 39% of all global carbon emissions, far higher than any other individual sector. Here in London's West End, property owners and developers are playing their part in reducing the operational end embodied carbon footprint of our built environment through new developments, retrofitting and management.

West End Case Studies

Each month, we will showcase four different West End business strategies and initiatives at the forefront of sustainability and innovation across the property sector.

Grosvenor Property UK

Grosvenor Property UK: Going for Zero

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A net zero carbon building, 20 Berkeley Square is set to become one of the greenest office buildings in Mayfair. Click to read more.

GPE

GPE: Developing Sustainable Buildings

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Derwent London

Derwent London: Managing Assets Responsibly

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The principal method to help Derwent London ensure its buildings are operated efficiently is its Sustainability Framework for Assets. The framework requires each managed property to have a Building Sustainability Plan (BSP) in place, which covers a range of issues with energy/carbon forming a key part. Click to read more.

Sector Commitments & Resources

The below highlights industry trade body resources and commitments that may apply to your West End business. Read on to find out more about these initiatives and how to get involved.

Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) Responsible Property Management Toolkit

Developed by the Better Buildings Partnership (BBP), the responsible property management toolkit offers practical advice and a vast range of resources to address the sector’s sustainability challenges. This ranges from environmental management through emissions reduction, waste and supply chain management (to name a few) as well as looking at social value, employee health and wellbeing.

The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) Net Zero Buildings Definition

The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) are a charity with over 600 member organisations from the built environment in the UK, looking to promote best practice in sustainability in the sector. In 2019 they developed a framework definition for what qualifies as a ‘Net Zero Building’ along with guidance on how this can be achieved in both construction and operation.

The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) Net Zero Whole Life Carbon Roadmap

At COP 26 the UK GBC launched a sector-level roadmap for the UK built environment to achieve net zero. Beginning with a sector-level carbon footprint, this roadmap to 2050 outlines the technological shifts, policies and industry actions required to achieve net zero.

Among the guidance, the Stakeholder Action Plan outlines immediate actions, progress by 2025, and progress to 2030 for 14 kinds of industry stakeholder across the sector.

The London Energy Transformation Initiative (LETI) Climate Emergency Retrofit Guide

The London Energy Transformation Initiative (LETI) is voluntary network of over 1000 built environment professionals spanning developers, engineers, housing associations, architects, planners, academics, sustainability professionals, contractors and facilities managers, with support and input from local authorities.

Specifically aimed at addressing retrofits, the LETI Climate Emergency Retrofit guide establishes best practice for the retrofit process in the UK across a variety of property types.

The London Energy Transformation Initiative (LETI) Embodied Carbon Primer

In order to support built environment professionals in reducing embodied carbon, LETI provided guidance for anyone planning construction to reduce the embodied from both building design and choice of materials, as well as exploring how massing and treatment of sites can affect embodied carbon.

Legislation & Disclosures

The below outlines current and upcoming legislation that may apply to your West End business. This list will be updated throughout the year as legislation changes.

Current legislation

Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS)

Requires large UK companies to report on energy efficiency measures and plan for continuous improvement. Read more.

Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR)

Requires large UK companies to publish (at a minimum) their Scope 1 and 2 emissions and report on their measures to reduce emissions. Read more.

Mandatory Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) reporting for large businesses

Listed companies, banks or insurers with more than 500 employees will be required to disclose climate-related financial risks in line with the existing TCFD standards. Read more.

Upcoming legislation

Minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) countdown

The grading criteria for buildings energy performance certificates (EPCS) is undergoing several revisions.

  • By April 2023, domestic landlords must not let buildings with an EPC rating of ‘E’ or under (unless exemptions are registered)
  • By 2030, all non-domestic rented buildings must meet EPC grade B, with EPC C by 2027 a proposed interim requirement

Read more.

Due diligence provisions to eliminate deforestation in supply chains

The Environment Act 2021 introduced measures banning the purchase of commodities that are the product of illegal deforestation. DEFRA is consulting on secondary legislation needed to enforce this law and give businesses guidance on compliance. Read more.

Mandatory publication of Net Zero transition plans for large businesses

From 2023 large businesses will be required to publish a net zero transition plan to 2050. The treasury has established an industry task force to oversee the development of a “gold standard” for climate transition plans. Read more.

Sustainability Disclosure Requirements (SDRs)

Corporates will be required to disclose a range of sustainability information regarding governance, strategy, risk management, targets and metrics under the emergent Sustainability Disclosure Requirements (SDRs) framework. Consultation regarding this will take place over 2022. Read more.

Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill

Tabled in May, this Bill introduces changes to the ways powers are devolved to local authorities and to English planning system. Key changes tabled include the replacement of the Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment regime with the Environmental Outcomes Report. There will be further consultation about the outcomes and requirements for monitoring and reporting, and enforcement powers will also be strengthened for Local Authorities addressing deviation from EOR rules.

The bill will also give Local Plans more weight in planning decisions, with an aim to reduce the time associated with planning.

Read more.

Energy Bill

Among developments relating to energy pricing and supply, the Energy Bill will focus on new market standards to accelerate adoption of low carbon technologies such as hydrogen fuel and heat pumps, as well as advancing industrial carbon capture and storage. Read more.

Voluntary disclosures

Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)

TCFD is a voluntary initiative to improve organisational reporting of climate-related financial risks and opportunities. TCFD reporting will become mandatory for the largest UK businesses (see above), however is increasingly requested by investors across a breadth of organisation types. Read more.


Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD)

While TCFD focuses on climate-related impacts, the recently launched TNFD is a risk management and disclosure framework for organisations to report and act on nature-related risks such as biodiversity loss and other impacts to natural capital. Read more.

GHG Protocol Land Sector and Removals Guidance 

In 2023 Greenhouse Gas Protocol (the standard methodology for corporate measurement of emissions) will be launching new guidance on how to measure emissions and removals from land use, land use change, biogenic products, technological CO2 removals, and related activities. It is expected that this guidance will support the reporting in the TNFD framework. Companies with significant land use emissions, or who invest in carbon removals and storage, should take note of developments, with draft guidance due for publication in June 2022. Read more.