A company that is seeking to make excellence ordinary won the prize in this category. Sponsored by Saint-Gobain and Isover


Gentoo Construction

The judges commented that Gentoo was “going the extra mile” in sustainability. This is evident by the company seeking to create an internal culture in which the environmental impact of all decisions are considered. The aim of this consideration is to make being at the forefront of best practice the norm. This is typified by one of Gentoo’s current project, which is to build the first large-scale, Passivhaus-certified development in the UK. The homes rely on passive solar gain, air-tightness and super high standards of insulation, including triple glazed windows, to reduce energy consumption by at least 75% compared with the present requirements of the Building Regulations. On top of this it is also underaking an ambitious programme of refurbishing its housing stock with the aim of learning important lessons for the whole housing sector.


Aster Group

This year Aster Group, a not-for-profit organisation, has made some significant steps with its environmental sustainability. It put in place a policy and action plan aligned with ISO 14001, which it is looking to achieve in the coming year. Sustainability is now embedded in the organisation’s procurement approach and is included on prequalification questionnaires and tender documents. This year the company has measured and had verified its carbon, waste, water, paper and atmospheric pollutants for all its operations, in accordance with the international best practice standards, the Global Reporting Initiative and the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

Berkeley Group

Sustainability is embedded into The Berkeley Group’s business ethos both at strategic and project level. A sustainability policy has been in place since 2001 and was supplemented in 2007 when the company became the first major housebuilder to adopt a climate change policy. During 2008/09, the group’s operational carbon footprint stood at 7,837 tonnes of carbon dioxide, a 10% reduction on the previous year. Berkeley has committed itself to ensuring that all its sites that are seeking planning since January 2008 certify homes to level three of the Code for Sustainable Homes; commercial space must reach the BREEAM “very good” standard. This already equates to more than 11,000 homes and over 70,000m2 of commercial space.

Crest Nicholson

Crest Nicholson has a mission – to design and develop sustainable housing and mixed-use communities. The company looks to consider sustainability in all areas including its procurement policies, reducing the environmental impact of it offices and sites as well as considering environmental aspects such as flood risk, energy provision and ecology when buying land. The company has a number of exemplar projects under way including One Brighton, the UK’s first One Planet Living scheme. During 2008, 1230 of its homes were achieved an EcoHomes Very Good or Excellent rating, and the firm also completed its first home that reached level three of the Code for Sustainable Homes.