When the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report was published in August 2021, there was no mistaking the stark warnings being made.
In the simplest terms, time is running out to minimise the catastrophic impacts of climate change and rising global temperatures. As the headlines read at the time: it’s code red for humanity and for the planet.
It has never felt more imperative for businesses like Countryside to commit to, and be accountable for, the role we play in managing our impacts on the environment as well as help to create a low-carbon, sustainable society much more quickly.
This is why Countryside has committed to becoming a net zero company by 2030.
Our report Pathfinder: Marking out the route to Net Zero sets out the principles that Countryside will follow to respond to the global call to arms for climate action. It provides our people, partners and other stakeholders with a clear roadmap for what we want to achieve and how we are planning to do that.
It also reports our science-based targets, which have been verified by the Science-Based Targets Initiative.
Our Pathfinder report supports our Approach to Sustainability, which outlines Countryside’s three high-level ambitions for our contribution to a sustainable built environment, driven by 25 stretching targets.
Building Net Zero Carbon Ready Homes
Several very important pieces of legislation and regulatory changes by Government are rapidly propelling the housebuilding industry towards a low-carbon future. This includes significant changes to the UK building regulations in both 2021 with changes to Part L (Conservation of fuel and power) and in 2025 with the introduction of the Future Homes Standard.
These regulatory changes will impact the way our homes are built and run. But they are necessary if the UK is truly committed to transitioning society to be more sustainable. Our report Pathfinder: Marking out the route to Net Zero provides details about Countryside plans to respond to these changing regulations.
Significant collaboration and innovation are required across the industry if we are to effectively meet the new regulations and support customers living in their new homes.
We have joined the HBF Future Homes Task Force, a cross-sector group that is bringing together Government, housebuilders, utility providers, material suppliers and environmental groups to address the sector-wide issues that must be resolved collaboratively.
Supporting a just transition
The transition to becoming a low-carbon economy and society will impact everyone in some way. It is critical that Countryside play its part to help avoid any unintended negative economic consequences that this transition may create. We want to support a “just transition” – one that improves lives and livelihoods, ‘levels up’ across communities, and leaves no-one behind.
We joined the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), which is leading the just transition charge in the built environment. We will be looking to work closely with them to identify opportunities to lobby for a just transition across the sector.