Gloucester housebuilder commits to United Nations' Climate Neutral Now pledge
By Matt Hall | 7th September 2021
Barnwood-based Newland Homes is marking its 30th year in operation this year by becoming the first traditional housebuilder in the UK to sign up to the United Nations' Climate Neutral Now pledge.
The Climate Neutral Now Initiative is a voluntary international scheme which encourages and supports organisations to act now to achieve a climate neutral world by 2050, as enshrined in the Paris Agreement.
Newland Homes said it hoped to contribute to the transformative change needed to reach global net zero greenhouse gas emissions and will report its progress annually to the initiative.
Jeremy Drew, developments director for Newland Homes said: "This is a significant undertaking for our business, involving a fundamental step forward in our mindset. By signing the Climate Neutral Now pledge, we made a commitment to measure our greenhouse gas emissions, implement means to reduce them, to consider offsetting, and to report our progress annually. The construction industry is estimated to contribute 10 per cent of global greenhouse gases, so as a sector we have to be at the forefront of change."
With the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow just weeks away, the spotlight on the environment has never been stronger.
Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change UNFCCC said: "We need to slash emissions as soon as possible. At the very least, we must be carbon neutral by 2050. There is no separate path, there is no alternate universe. This is what we must do." She continues to say, "Don't wait for change to happen— help drive it."
Newland Homes has spent the last two years investing in measures to decarbonise its homes, well ahead of the Government's timeframe for lowering carbon emissions in new builds.
Its first zero carbon homes have commenced construction and will be launched in the early part of next year in the North Somerset village of Tickenham, closely followed by zero carbon homes in Chapmanslade, near Frome, and then Semington, both in Wiltshire, and with many more in the pipeline.
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 providing renewable energy 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 is also allocating part of its development land to create two special 30th anniversary woodlands at the Tickenham and Chapmanslade developments. More than 1,200 fast growing, native trees will be planted in layers to recreate the characteristics of natural forest, which stores carbon, improves air quality, provides 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 the next four hundred years.
Mr Drew added: "We are climate considerate in our actions, not just words. Our strategy is reviewing and reducing carbon emissions across our operations. The UNCNN initiative is helping to cement and support that goal, and for us and our customers, delivering zero carbon homes across our developments is a critical step."
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