Our ongoing commitment to people and planet
As we emerge from the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, we intend to redouble our efforts to combat the even greater threat of the climate crisis.
Our homes already incorporate some good sustainability features such as green roofs, PV panels, car clubs, and electric vehicle charging points, and our Business Plan 2020/21 places social responsibility and environmental commitments at the very heart of our operations going forward.
Last year, we established an in-house Climate Action Group, consisting of employees from across the organisation who want to make a difference. The group commissioned Bioregional, a leading charity and social enterprise, to help us establish a One Planet Living Action Plan for our own operations and the new homes and communities that we are creating.
Together, we have created ten ‘One Planet Living Principles’ which are listed below. Following this we intend to seek endorsement as a ‘One Planet Leader’, a stringent sustainability regime which requires us to undertake an annual audit of our programme to ensure we are delivering on our commitments.
We have also joined the UKGBC, a charity that aims to unite the UK building industry using sustainability as a catalyst to positively transform the places people use every day. UKGBC offers clarity, cohesion and leadership to a disparate sector, and campaigns for a sustainable built environment.
We are very pleased to announce that our Ciara Hanson, one of our experienced development managers who recently joined our team, has been selected by the UKGBC to join their steering group to increase nature-based solutions.
Ciara is a Chartered Landscape Architect with more than 10 years’ experience in the built environment, with key expertise in nature based solutions and biodiversity / natural capital. In her role as development manager, Ciara has been tasked with refining our approach to ‘land and nature’ and biodiversity net gain.
Ciara was selected from several applicants to join the steering group for the UKGBC’s ‘Increasing nature-based solutions‘ programme, which aims to enable more ambitious industry targets and increase the application of nature-based solutions in urban areas for climate resilience and environmental net gains.
The ten key One Planet Living principles for Brick By Brick are:
1. Health and Happiness: all of our schemes will seek to support residents’ physical and mental wellbeing and feelings of safety and security.
2. Equity and Local Economy: our projects will provide access to quality housing for households of all incomes and support employment for local people through delivery and habitation of their homes, especially those in hard to reach communities.
3. Culture and Community: all schemes will be designed and managed to support resident integration, neighbourliness and social cohesion amongst residents of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.
4. Land and Nature: our projects will deliver urban greening initiatives to achieve biodiversity net gains, provide natural flood prevention measures and support people in accessing and valuing nature.
5. Sustainable Water: our homes will support residents to use water efficiently and minimise consumption of potable water, while minimising quantity and rate of runoff to sewers.
6. Local and Sustainable Food: our residents will be supported to adopt a diet high in healthy, low-impact food.
7. Travel and Transport: our schemes will work with the council on strategic projects to improve public transport access and pedestrian and cycle route access and support residents to choose active and low-carbon modes of transport over private vehicles run on fossil fuel.
8. Materials and Products: all of our developments will prioritise the selection of low-impact, responsibly-sourced materials, apply the principles of circularity and support and encourage residents to reduce the impact of their consumption choices.
9. Zero Waste: Residents of our schemes will be supported to reduce, reuse, recycle and compost their waste, whilst zero (non-hazardous) waste will be sent to landfill from construction of homes.
10. Zero Carbon Energy: All Brick By Brick developments will seek to achieve net zero carbon emissions from heating and powering homes (as defined by the UKGBC), by maximising energy efficiency, producing renewable energy on-site and encouraging consumption of certified renewable energy produced off-site.