We build in harmony with nature to protect existing value and enable people and nature to flourish collectively.”
Biodiversity is rapidly moving up the agenda of communities, developers and governments around the world. Nature requires protection and preservation. More than that, Urban&Civic aims to take every opportunity to actively enhance local wildlife, plants and ecosystems. We use our position as a Master Developer, operating at scale, to focus on leveraging landscape-led design, targeting net positive biodiversity impact and reducing resource use.
To support our approach within this capital and ensure we create long-term natural value across our developments, we focus on the following objectives:
Well-planned landscapes can provide benefits to both physical and mental health. For us, trees are essential infrastructure, providing extensive ecosystem services including removing carbon dioxide from the air, storing carbon, preventing floods and reducing temperatures. We planted 2,950 trees in 2020/21 and intend to increase our planting activities across all our Strategic Sites.
Biodiversity is one of our three recognised universal challenges. The concept of “biodiversity net gain” is used to measure the positive ecological impact of an activity and has been formalised as an expectation for developers in the UK’s 2021 Environment Act. We are proud that, ahead of legislative targets, we had already developed our Biodiversity and Healthy Infrastructure toolkits, and have set a target for our sites of 12 per cent biodiversity net gain.
We are targeting 12 per cent biodiversity net gain as a minimum overall on all sites by 2025.
Resource efficiency is of paramount importance to us. According to the UK Green Building Council, construction, demolition and excavation in the UK accounts for 60 per cent of all material use and waste generation. We provide a set of minimum standards within our design guides to our housebuilder partners that include a range of standards to enable residents to live comfortable lifestyles with minimal impact on the environment, including through water and energy conservation. In addition, we have set a target of diverting 90 per cent of our construction and demolition waste from landfill by 2025.
We are targeting a 90 per cent diversion of construction and demolition waste from landfill by 2025.
Environmental sustainability is at the core of all the design undertaken to complete the varied nature of our infrastructure. Refusing, reducing and then reusing and recycling on-site material follows the sequential nature with which we approach waste, whilst creating development platforms that require no further geo-environmental intervention. Creating an earthworks balance for our own works may be the first step, though doing this whilst accounting for the full life cycle of all activities following the initial infrastructure build, and being able to treat encountered contamination on site, due to the scale of delivery, places Urban&Civic at the forefront of waste minimisation, material reuse, reprocessing and life cycle balance.