Survey of 7,000 property professionals show three-quarters doubt feasibility of green plans

The government’s zero-carbon targets for new building are unrealistic according to a survey of 7,000 people in UK property sector.

The report, called Hitting the Green Wall … and Beyond, was undertaken by the British Property Federation, international law firm Taylor Wessing, and specialist research and communications consultancy Spada.

According to the findings three-quarters of the industry – which accounts for nearly half of all UK carbon emissions – do not believe the government’s current zero carbon targets for the sector are realistic.

76% of respondents think that the government’s plans for making all new housing zero carbon by 2016 are unrealistic, while 73% believe plans to make new commercial property zero carbon by 2019 are unrealistic.

However, respondents are also convinced that the ‘stick’ of regulation is most likely to drive progress in future, highlighting the need for closer industry-government collaboration.

Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said: “With an industry that is sceptical about carbon reduction targets, closer collaboration between government and the industry is essential if these are to be met. Government will need to work with all sectors to understand fragmented views and identify why certain sectors feel the targets are more achievable than others”.

Other key finding of the report include:

The importance accorded to sustainability remains high, despite the recession, with over 68% saying sustainability was either ‘very’ or ‘highly’ important.

Sustainability strategies are now widespread, but success is frequently not measured.

A majority of all sectors (60%) have direct experience of using green leases and other green agreements.

A plethora of benchmarking tools exist, but these all measure diverse factors and there is little common application.

For a full copy of the report click here