UK homes jeopardising national climate targets, report warns
The UK will not hit its legally binding carbon reduction targets unless the Government acts now to address the "increasing uncomfortable and unsafe" national housing stock, according to the Committee on Climate Change (CCC).
UKGBC, Willmott Dixon and Mace Group to feature in edie's sustainable built environment webinar
Sustainability experts from Willmott Dixon and Mace Group are set to take part in an one-hour webinar on Wednesday 6 March which will explore the various business drivers, challenges and opportunities facing low-carbon, resource-efficient construction.
Swansea tidal lagoon plan revived - without government funding
The backers of a pioneering project to harness energy from the tides off the Welsh coast have rebooted the scheme and believe they can build it without the help of government.
'A 1.5C world is circular': Nations urged to drive resource productivity to reach climate goals
A new report released today (22 January) at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos has outlined the urgent need for nations to "wake up to the potential" of the circular economy in order to push the world towards the Paris Agreement's more ambitious pathway.
Manchester commits to making all new buildings 'net-zero' by 2028
The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has pledged to ensure that all new buildings erected in the city region will be 'net-zero' carbon by 2028.
Big-name businesses collaborate to form task group for net-zero buildings
A number of the biggest companies within the UK's built environment sector, including JLL, Landsec and Wilmott Dixon, have jointly formed a new task group aimed at creating an industry-led framework for net-zero buildings.
Researchers: CCS key for zero-emission cement
The construction sector can cut polluting emissions up to 80% by applying efficiency measures along the whole value chain, according to new research. If combined with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, emissions could even be brought down to zero by 2050, they argue.
Scotland's cities can unlock £1bn circular economy boon, says report
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has urged Scotland's largest cities to transform waste processes and operations to capture a £1bn economic growth opportunity highlighted by a new Zero Waste Scotland report, released today (31 October).
Solar window cells and 100-year heat pumps: the best innovations for World Green Building Week
To mark World Green Building Week, edie has re-focused its usual green innovations of the week series to deliver six of the best solutions to help decarbonise the built environment.
Barratt smashes emissions target seven years early
The UK's largest housebuilder has hit its carbon target seven years early, having seen its operational carbon emissions fall by 21% since 2015.
Energy-generating building materials backed by £36m Government funding
The UK Government will spend more than £36m on new technology that will enable building materials to generate, store and release clean energy.
Meet the Sustainability Leader: Encore Cistern - Sustainability Product Innovation
With entries soon closing for edie's revamped 2019 Sustainability Leaders Awards, this new feature series will showcase the achievements of the 2018 winners, revealing their secrets to success. Up next: our 2018 Sustainability Product Innovation winners, Encore Cistern.
UKGBC launches sustainable innovation guide for built environment
The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has launched an innovation manual to help companies working in the built environment sector put sustainability at the heart of their operations.
London commits to global cities 'net-zero carbon' building pledge
The leaders of 19 global cities have committed to eliminating carbon emissions from new building portfolios by 2030, in order to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement.
Solar-powered breweries and Ikea's electric rickshaws: The sustainability success stories of the week
As part of our Mission Possible campaign, edie brings you this weekly round-up of five of the best sustainability success stories of the week from across the globe.
If you think sustainable procurement costs more – you’re doing it wrong
Failure to observe a simple economic principle is at the heart of the myth that sustainable procurement costs more. It shouldn't. But bad procurement will cost you more.
Government 'distorted figures', says Tidal Lagoon Power
The developer behind plans to build a £1.3bn tidal lagoon plant in Swansea Bay has accused the government of distorting figures used to justify its decision not to back the scheme.
Construction Sector Deal: Government sets course for halving building energy use and emissions
The Government has launched its much-anticipated £420m construction sector deal, which provides a framework for the built environment sector to halve the energy use of new buildings by 2030.
How intelligent are we in our fight against exploitation?
There's still a feeling that labour exploitation doesn't happen in the UK. Positive sentiments for change aside, nothing is more powerful than taking action.
Unlocking the Fourth Industrial Revolution for the planet
Back in 1970, at the dawn of the modern environmental movement, American Futurist Alvin Toffler coined the term 'Future Shock'. Toffler highlighted that the late-20th Century was experiencing a phenomenon unique in human history in which technology was changing faster than people. This in turn led to widespread discomfort and confusion as well as frequent social and economic upheaval.
World Green Building Council calls for net-zero building sector by 2030
The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) has called on the built environment sector to set ambitious targets that eliminate carbon emissions for building portfolios by 2030, in order to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement.
Report: Circular economy a 'powerful force' to meeting Paris Agreement goals
Circular business models and greater material efficiency of products in the transport and built environment sectors could reduce emissions by 3.6 billion tonnes annually - putting the globe on course to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement.
Show me the money… from sustainability
At my keynote at edie Live, I spoke about a vision of a sustainable built environment, how far away from it we currently are and what the industry is doing to move towards it. It's evident that, despite some positive progress, we need to fast-track the level of change and one way of achieving that is by making the business case for sustainability abundantly clear.
Theresa May unveils plan to halve building energy use by 2030
Prime Minister Theresa May vowed to halve the energy use from new buildings by 2030, as part of a speech that championed the role that science and technology will play in delivering the Government's Industrial Strategy.
Sustainability 'imagineered': The Disney-led resort powered by geothermal energy
edie's senior reporter Matt Mace travels to the outskirts of Paris to uncover how Villages Nature Paris tapped into geothermal energy to deliver on a holistic 10-step sustainability framework.
The state of sustainability 2018: edie publishes final insight report for UK businesses
edie's year-long sector insight report series concludes today (14 May) with the final edition which rounds up the key sustainability drivers, challenges and opportunities facing Britain's biggest industries.
How Landsec is achieving a sustainable future for the built environment
This brand new series of video interviews showcases the sustainability superheroes who are achieving 'Mission Possible' for their business. First up: Landsec's head of sustainability Caroline Hill explains how the property developer is working to achieve a sustainable future for the built environment.
Paving the way to a better built environment
Construction businesses lie at the juncture of some of the world's most pressing environmental and societal challenges. Here, the UK Green Building Council's chief executive Julie Hirigoyen charts the progress being made across the industry in the key areas of climate change, resource use, nature and biodiversity, health & wellbeing and socio-economic impact.
Construction sector sustainability: edie launches latest sector insight report
The key drivers, challenges and opportunities facing sustainable business in the UK construction sector are revealed in edie's latest sector insight report, published this week.
UK construction firms have ramped up sustainability efforts, edie report finds
EXCLUSIVE: Almost two-thirds of businesses operating in the construction industry are now more committed to taking action on sustainability than they were 12 months ago, despite having to deal with challenges caused by a lack of funding and an unstable policy environment.
Taking the measure of sustainability
Managing what you measure remains as true a maxim as ever in the world of sustainability, especially given the additional impetus provided to governments, businesses and civil society by the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, measuring progress on sustainability - whether for businesses or cities - is a complex task.
We have a problem and a lot of plastics
Plastic is everywhere: it is in the air we breathe, in the water we drink, it is the food we eat and in the clothes we wear. We have a plastics pollution problem, leaching into our environment and finding its way into our marine environment, being swept up to the Arctic, ingested by marine life causing harm, polluting our waterways and reducing the aesthetic value of the places we love the most. How we manage plastics is a serious issue, but things just got a bit more complicated.
edie Live 2018: eight key things we learned
After a fascinating two days of inspiration, insight and expertise, edie looks back at some of the most crucial messages taken away from edie Live 2018.
UK construction industry aims to halve emissions in built environment by 2025
The Government has struck an agreement with the construction industry in a deal which aims to halve emissions in the built environment over the next eight years.
Public sector bodies: Is now the time to monitor, analyse and manage your energy consumption?
Businesses and Public sector bodies spend the equivalent of £22bn on energy every year. Yet it is often overlooked by these organisations, who lack the knowledge of how much they are consuming or even potentially wasting.
Health and wellbeing: the next frontier for the built environment
Each year, millions of working days are lost because of work-related stress, depression or anxiety, highlighting the direct impact employees' health and happiness can have on business performance. Redesigning and reimagining the workplace to better support how work is done now and in the future could not only enhance employee wellbeing, but also improve performance and productivity.
In practice: Landsec's BREEAM Outstanding headquarters designed to WELL standards
As more companies look to create the right work environments for staff wellbeing, Landsec created the UK's largest fully WELL Certified space for staff health, which also achieved a BREEAM Outstanding rating.
The Problem with Solar (and other Renewables)
Night is the Achilles Heel of solar and this leads onto other interesting problems with other domestic renewable options
The impact of the Modern Slavery Act, two years on
The Modern Slavery Act shone a spotlight on the issue of modern slavery and human trafficking when it was written into UK law two years ago. But what effect has it had so far?
Raising the bar on sustainability: Not just “the what” you do, but “how” you do it
Sustainable business is on the rise. More and more organisations are realising that they can do well by being good to people and planet. The most recent report on sustainability performance of listed companies, from Carbon Clear, states that the transition towards more sustainable business is happening more because of carrots (demand) rather than sticks (regulation).
Finding sustainable purpose: How we found new life after public funding through profit for purpose
Britain's Energy Coast's chief executive Michael Pemberton discusses the company's transformation from a publicly-funded entity to a firm with a profit for purpose property business model that champions sustainability in the built environment.
Sadiq Khan calls for greater powers to tackle construction pollution
Sadiq Khan has written to Defra Secretary Michael Gove to ask the Government for greater powers to tackle construction pollution, as industry experts call for urgent action to improve the state of sustainability in the UK built environment.
edie Explains: The green office
The purpose of a green office programme is to enable a business to improve the efficiency of its everyday operations by taking practical steps to reduce office resource consumption and implement more sustainable practices that benefit both the organisation and its employees.
BRE launches guidelines to combat modern slavery in the construction sector
A new eight-step guidance plan has been launched to help companies in the property and construction sectors become "best in class" in combatting global human rights abuses across value chains.
Willmott Dixon cuts carbon emissions by 13% in a year
Construction firm Willmott Dixon has called on the industry to "strive to find less carbon-intensive ways to operate", as the company's latest sustainability report details a 13% reduction in carbon emissions over the last 12 months.
Thinking outside the box: going circular
Many businesses now recognise the importance of moving towards a circular economy; the environmental imperatives stare us straight in the face. We cannot continue along a linear path of take, make, dispose forever, or indeed for much longer. It is simply not sustainable for the planet nor for long term value creation within business. The potential size of the prize of a more circular approach for the economy and society is also large.
Why the retail industry wants stronger laws to tackle modern slavery
How often do you consider that the person washing your car, or painting your nails, or working in the farm near to your home, or working in the construction site next to your office could be a victim of modern slavery? The chance that a person going about their daily lives in the UK will come across a victim of modern slavery is growing, according to the National Crime Agency.
Flexibility essential for post-Brexit sustainability, says JLL UK
Sustainability professionals must be flexible in their pursuit of long-term CSR goals during the current period of political and business uncertainty created by Brexit, the head of sustainability at property and investment management firm JLL UK has said.
It’s getting hot in here: how to create warmth without burning fossil fuels
As the UK continues to battle its way to an 80% reduction of its carbon emissions by 2050, a sinking feeling has begun to set in for those who are aware of and involved with decarbonising the UK. Our current infrastructure and policies do not provide the right basis required to transition to a low-carbon economy at speed.
Interserve updates sustainability targets to account for business growth
Construction firm Interserve has set new sustainability goals for 2020 and 2025 to better reflect the "sheer scale and change" of the business, which has reduced construction waste by a quarter and carbon emissions by almost 20% since 2013.
Business 'crusade' built on leadership can deliver zero-carbon buildings, says NG Bailey
EXCLUSIVE: The biggest barrier on the pathway to zero-carbon buildings is a lack of "appropriate leadership" from Governments, although this has presented the private sector with an opportunity to train and retain the next generation of sustainability leaders.
Kerbside drink carton collections up 16-fold in decade
The kerbside collection of beverage cartons for recycling has seen a 16-fold increase across local authorities in the past decade, according to new figures released this week.
The state of sustainability: edie launches new series of sector insight reports
The key sustainability drivers, challenges and opportunities facing UK businesses are being explored in a new series of industry-focused edie insight reports, with the inaugural sector summary investigating the state of sustainability in retail published today (5 July).
A circular economy for the built environment
Circular economy concepts are being developed and trialled so fast that the Construction Products Association has created a Knowledge Resource for Circular Economy Thinking in Construction just to keep pace with the subject.
We Are the Oceans: a new way to educate consumers on plastic waste
As sustainability practitioners search for new ways to drive consumer engagement, edie's Matt Mace hears from the 23-year-old founder of a new campaign group which is utilising music, video games and social media campaigns to capture the hearts and minds of millennials in tackling the issue of ocean plastic waste.
In practice: Canary Wharf Group's closed-loop Clean Coffee Zone
With the Canary Wharf Estate welcoming almost a million visitors every week, site owner Canary Wharf Group has seized upon an opportunity to ignite a resource revolution. Through the creation of closed-loop 'Clean Coffee Zone', coffee-related waste is now recycled and turned into new resources.
Carillion surpasses carbon goal five years early
UK construction firm Carillion is "working hard" to set science-based targets for their sustainability programme, after the firm's latest sustainability report revealed that a carbon reduction target has been surpassed five years ahead of schedule.
Autonomous systems for environmental monitoring
Autonomous systems are a key priority in governmental agendas. In 2013, David Willetts included them as one of the Eight Great Technologies that will propel the UK to future growth. In 2017, the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund was created that prioritised "robotics systems...that can be deployed in extreme environments."
Insight and inspiration - a roundup of the latest edie interviews with the experts
EXCLUSIVE: From behaviour change to smart buildings, energy security to driving efficiency at scale, we round up the latest exclusive insight and interviews with sustainability business leaders.
Balfour Beatty 'leading the way' on ISO 20400 sustainable procurement standard
UK construction contractor Balfour Beatty has become the first company globally to be assessed to the ISO 20400 standard for sustainable procurement, which was formally published last month.
Waitrose rolls out Europe's first 500-mile biomethane trucks
As part of an ongoing transition towards alternatively- fuelled trucks and lower fleet emissions, Waitrose has spent the early months of 2017 trialling Europe’s first 500-mile biomethane trucks, with plans to scale-up the project over the coming years.
'Lego block' buildings: Adaptability essential for building stock to combat climate change
The impacts of climate change are exasperating the living conditions of humans, forcing them to be adaptable, a trait that should be mirrored in the global building stock.
In practice: Costa's new low-carbon coffee roastery
What makes Costa Coffee’s new £38m roastery in Basildon "one of the most sustainable buildings in the world"? This free case study provides an overview of all the low-carbon and resource-efficient features of the retailer's flagship sustainability project.
edie explains: ISO 20400
This edie explains business guide, produced in association with edie's supporting partners Action Sustainability and BSI, provides an in- depth summary of the new ISO 20400 Standard which is the world's first international standard for sustainable procurement
edie Live exhibitor focus: Munters
Ahead of edie Live at the NEC on 23-24 May, we get up close and personal with some of our exhibitors to find out what visitors can expect to see from them at the show, what's new and how they can help in the drive towards sustainability targets.
Sustainability megatrends: The ever-changing landscape of population growth and social change
Next in edie's series of thought-leadership articles on the global impact of megatrends, Carillion's chief sustainability officer David Picton explores how businesses can adapt to the increasing challenges of demographic and social change at a time when populations are continuing to rise and people in all regions are living longer.
The risks and rewards of brokers
As the non-domestic retail water market opens on April 1, brokers are anticipating a boom in business. edie sister title Utility Week has provided an in-depth guide to the utility broker market as it stands, and considers how it is likely to change after market opening.
In practice: Gatwick Airport's 'world-first' waste management plant
Gatwick’s pioneering energy-from-waste plant represents a huge step forward for sustainable aviation. Find out how it works, who was involved and the key results the facility is driving in this new 'in practice' case study.
UK Green Building Council encourages firms to tackle embodied carbon
The UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) has offered new guidance for construction and building firms on how to decarbonise their operations and supply chains further, through effective embodied carbon measurement.
SDGs mean business: How credible standards can help companies deliver the 2030 Agenda
This new report published by WWF and ISEAL indicates how businesses can contribute strongly to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and unlock new market opportunities by using credible voluntary sustainability standards to transform entire sectors and supply chains.
10 top tips to drive engagement with your CSR report
What are the key components required to produce a sustainability report which drives engagement on a range of CSR issues among key stakeholders? edie brings you the secrets to sustainability reporting success with this latest top-tips guide for businesses.
First batch of businesses offer support for net-zero building project
Three businesses have thrown their weight behind a new project aimed at achieving net zero emissions in the global building stock by 2050.
UK-GBC: Innovation will enable sustainability leadership in construction
EXCLUSIVE: Fresh from the launch of its inaugural Innovation Lab workshop, the UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) has claimed that fostering innovation can restore confidence and strengthen leadership in the built environment during a time of "increased difficulty and uncertainty".
The New Plastics Economy: Catalysing action
This new report is one of the first key deliverables of the New Plastics Economy initiative.It represents a logical next step to the 2016 report: from rethinking the future of plastics to catalysing action.
UK Green Building Council aims to foster collaboration through new Innovation Lab
The UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) has introduced a "radical new approach" to inspiring innovation in the built environment, after launching its first Innovation Lab that will offer workshops and collaborative opportunities to develop new solutions in the construction industry.
edie explains: Water retail competition
This edie explains: Water retail competition guide provides an in-depth summary of the government-led strategy which will allow all non- domestic water users to switch suppliers of water retail services.
Closing the gap: Five steps to improve building performance
It is commonly accepted that most of our non-domestic buildings are not performing as well as they could be, in terms of cutting carbon, reducing energy usage and meeting occupiers' needs.
INFOGRAPHIC: Energy efficiency benchmarking survey
edie, in association with E.ON, conducted a survey with selected readers responsible for energy management, asking them to identify the energy efficiency activity they had already completed or had underway.
'Paris Agreement-proof' buildings needed to curtail soaring emissions
Energy demand from the building sector will double by mid-century without widespread adoption of low-carbon technologies and a significant improvement in building and appliance efficiencies, new analysis has found.
The Sustainable Business Covered podcast: Episode 14 - The past, present and future of green buildings
As edie's green buildings month draws to a close, we visit the inspirational home of the UK Green Building Council for a live episode of the podcast, including an exclusive chat with the Council's campaign and policy director John Alker.
Energy efficiency: up to 35% of UK properties could be unlettable by 2018
It is estimated that up to 35% of properties in the UK could be unlettable by April 2018 if action is not taken to improve energy efficiency ratings. The Energy Act 2011 contains a provision for minimum energy standards, and from 1st April 2018 it will be unlawful for a landlord to lease a non-domestic property with an EPC Rating of less than E.
Hemel Hempstead set to welcome 'world's most sustainable residential tower'
The town of Hemel Hempstead is poised to welcome the world's "most sustainable residential tower" to its ranks in 2018, after Lumiere Developments unveiled the range of technologies it has turned to in order to create The Beacon.
Consistent procurement critical to achieve circular construction, report claims
A collective, industry-led approach to procurement in the development of major infrastructure projects across the UK would help achieve a circular economy in the construction sector, a new report from a cross-sector group has found.
Laying the foundations for a more sustainable built environment
Kicking off edie's 'green buildings month' of editorial content, World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) chief executive Terri Wills argues it is time to change our perspectives on the buildings we use every day, and start seeing them as an integral part of the solution to global warming.
Building industry calls for EU-wide 2050 energy efficiency vision
A coalition of industry-leading businesses from the building sector including AkzoNobel, Philips Lighting and Siemens have urged the European Commission (EC) to implement continent-wide action to improve the energy efficiency of Europe's building stock.
Circular housing turns cities in vital ecosystems
Housing solution based on circular economy principles can change cities' agility in the future.
Tarmac lays the foundation for concrete energy reduction
Construction firm Tarmac has ramped up its energy efficiency efforts through the roll out of on-site technologies, the uptake of demand-response, and the development of an energy management system to help measure, monitor and improve efficiencies across the business.
edie Responsible Retail Conference programme
Can sustainability and profitability go hand-in-hand? Are current retail business models fit for purpose if we are to deliver the transformational change needed to create a low-carbon, zero-waste economy? Download now.
Brighton sets 'sustainability benchmark' for eco-tourism with i360 opening
The world's first vertical cable car, the British Airways i360, has opened on Brighton's seafront, with the developers "aiming to set a new global benchmark in sustainability".
Interserve shares rocket after decision to close energy-from-waste business
Construction firm Interserve's share price has risen sharply after a decision to exit energy-from-waste contracts was announced as part of a half-year update this week.
PAS 2080: Construction industry welcomes new guidance on carbon reduction in infrastructure
UK construction firms have praised the release of a new common framework for reducing carbon emissions when delivering infrastructure projects, which could mark a "key step-change" in supply chain sustainability.
Three-quarters of UK construction firms operate a low-carbon strategy
New research has revealed that the UK construction industry recognises its long-term duty to the environment, with 75% of companies now operating a low-carbon or carbon reduction strategy.
Building Revolutions: Designing a circular economy for the built environment
The circular economy makes complete sense for short-lived consumer products, but can it really work for something as enduring and complex as a building? David Cheshire, sustainability director at engineering firm AECOM, provides an answer.
UKGBC to create sustainable exemplar for built environment through headquarters retrofit
The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has unveiled the blueprints for the refurbishment of its London headquarters, which attempts to outline the feasibility of sustainable initiatives in the built environment.
Ground-breaking 'net zero' buildings project launched by WorldGBC
All of the world's buildings will be 'net zero' emissions by 2050, under a bold, pioneering plan unveiled today (28 June) by the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC).
The Business End of Climate Change
In the first edition of this study, researchers look at five initiatives that companies have joined to limit climate change: Science Based Targets, EP100, RE100, Zero Deforestation and the Low Carbon Technology Partnership initiative (LCTPi).
Decoupling emissions from economic growth: the Interserve success story
With a number of global reports recently highlighting that national carbon reductions are being achieved while economies are growing, one of Britain's biggest construction firms is proving that sustainability and profitability can also go hand-in-hand for businesses.
Berkeley Homes unveils sustainable housing design concept
Property developer Berkeley Homes has unveiled a new sustainable housing design concept which outperforms traditional terraced housing by reducing up to 25% off utility bills and allowing residents to save up to 83% on gas bills and 30% on water.
Most European countries see construction as circular economy priority, report reveals
The majority of European countries have identified plastic and packaging, construction and demolition waste and food waste as key priority materials that need to be focused on in the transition to a circular economy, according to a new assessment from the European Environment Agency (EEA).
Breaking barriers: How to build a circular economy fit for the future
Two weeks ago, I was sat on the Leaders Stage at the edie Live exhibition in Birmingham, chairing a session on 'new business models'.