Crest Nicholson is rated second in the survey into housebuilders' attitudes to climate change

South-east housebuilder Berkeley Homes has come top of an annual survey of housebuilders' attitudes to climate change.

The survey, by a partnership of green charities, government agencies and private firms, rated Crest Nicholson second in the survey.

Miller Homes and Inspace, part of the Willmott Dixon Group, came third and fourth respectively.

The survey rates the top 20 housebuilders in the UK for their attitude to adapting to the threat of climate change, both in their published information, and in further interviews to find the practical evidence of change. Berkeley scored 85% compared to the partnership’s definition of best practice.

However three of the builders, Cala Group, Gladedale and Kier Residential scored zero, having no published information on their attitude to climate change and not taken part in further interviews. Three others – Galliford Try, Morris Group and Bloor Holdings – scored less than 10%.

Nevertheless the Next Generation partnership’s report said the scores represented “clear progress” since 2007. In 2007 no housebuilders had a climate change strategy in place, whereas eight of the 20 now do, with 55% now measuring operational energy requirements of their homes.

The report also called on government action to make it easier for builders to meet the target. It said it needed to work with industry to provide a clearer cost analysis of building to the different levels of the Code and evaluate the implications of the current market conditions on the deliverability of both its affordability and sustainability targets.

Iain Wright MP, Parliamentary under Secretary of State, CLG said: “This report underlines that the whole industry has made a good start and appreciates the scale of the challenge, but we cannot rest on our laurels and now is the time to press on. Irrespective of short-term conditions in the housing market, climate change is a vital issue and we must be taking action now to deal with the consequences.”

Paul King, chief executive of the UK Green Building Council said: “While in the short-term housebuilders are understandably pre-occupied with distressing market conditions, the ones that have taken sustainability and climate change seriously recognize that investment in research and development is essential to medium-long-term success and competitive advantage.”

The Next Generation partnership is made up of national quango the Housing Corporation, green charity WWF-UK, Insight Investment and the Bank of Scotland, with the analysis carried out by Upstream, part of property consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle.