Climate considerate housebuilder, Newland Homes, has announced it is on course to achieve at least a 50% reduction in the company’s carbon footprint by the end of 2024, and furthermore, it will be retrospectively carbon neutral through offsetting with immediate effect.
The independent housebuilder, based in Gloucestershire, expects to achieve a 75-tonne (14%) reduction in company carbon emissions for 2021 compared to 2020, at a time when the number of houses built has increased by 75% on the previous year.
75-tonnes of carbon emissions are equivalent to driving a diesel car 11 times around the circumference of the globe.
Jeremy Drew, Developments Director for Newland Homes, comments: “This is a tremendous achievement by Newland Homes’ dedicated workforce. We have moved past target setting and into an active phase of delivery at Newland Homes. Many of the changes we’ve made have not been radical. They have simply taken a moment’s reflection to do things differently to how they have been done in the past and a “can do” attitude to solving problems, rather than being derailed by them. We have moved forward incrementally with a plan to embed environmental and ecology considerations into everyday thinking across the organisation.”
The company’s first zero carbon homes will launch in the first quarter of this year in North Somerset and Wiltshire. These homes create as much prime energy as they need at zero cost to the homeowner, thanks to their use of highly efficient air source heat pumps, extensive solar panels with battery storage options and high levels of insulation. As with previous developments, car charging points for hybrid or fully electric cars will also be pre-wired within the new homes.
Newland Homes has taken the following steps to achieve company-wide carbon reductions:
- Electricity for Newland Homes’ offices and development sites is now sourced entirely from renewable providers.
- The company car fleet has started the transition to electric vehicles.
- All new zero carbon homes will have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) assessment of 103/100, placing them well above the highest energy efficiency rating of A. According to Government data*, only 2% of new homes built in 2021 achieved an A rating.
- Fossil fuel heating in new homes is being replaced with renewable energy sources, such as air source heat pumps and solar panels with battery storage, enabling the phase-out of gas.
- Homes are equipped with white goods that are A-rated or above as standard.
- An increased level of insulation is being provided within the homes.
Newland Homes’ carbon emissions dating back to the start of 2021 will be offset through verified offsetting providers and further initiatives are in the pipeline to progressively reduce the company’s carbon footprint. This year, the Newland Homes construction teams will start using hydrotreated vegetable oil in place of diesel, which has a much lower carbon footprint and is significantly better for the environment. Red diesel usage equated to 35% of the company’s overall emissions for 2020.
The company is also creating two special 30th anniversary woodlands at the Tickenham and Chapmanslade developments this year. Made up of fast growing, native trees planted in layers to recreate the characteristics of natural forest, these will store carbon, improve air quality, provide a haven for wildlife and a place for people to connect with nature. Field maples, silver birch, hawthorns, crab apple and English oak trees are amongst the species planned, and some of the larger trees will offer homes to insects, birds and bats for hundreds of years.
Jeremy continues: “We have and will continue to adapt our business operations, to trial new technologies and finesse the know-how to decarbonisation. We’re starting to review embodied carbon in our products and supply chain and we’ll tackle this head on. We recognise that offsetting isn’t the only answer and reduction is the way forward.”
Newland Homes has calculated its carbon footprint using the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) framework, designed to increase awareness of energy costs within organisations, provide them with data to inform adoption of energy efficient measures, and to help them to reduce their impact on climate change. It is now a legal requirement for companies to report on emissions.
The company’s SECR has been independently assessed by Inspired Efficiency, a Gloucestershire-based company who helps organisations reduce energy use and carbon emissions, by implementing solutions that deliver outcomes that are realistic, pragmatic and valuable.
Newland Homes was the first traditional housebuilder in the UK to sign up to the United Nations’ Climate Neutral Now pledge, demonstrating its steadfast commitment to sustainability. The Climate Neutral Now Initiative is a voluntary international scheme which encourages and supports organisations to act now in order to achieve a climate neutral world by 2050, as enshrined in the Paris Agreement. Newland Homes is contributing to the transformative change needed to reach global net zero greenhouse gas emissions and will report its progress annually to the initiative.