We transform overlooked places into vibrant communities, delivering true value and legacy for local residents and businesses as well as our investors. Our core focus oncomplex mixed-use regeneration development and specialism in PPP allows us to unlock significant opportunities to deliver sustainable socio-economic growth. Our unwavering commitment to quality design underpins our endeavour to manage and improve the environmental aspects of the places we create.

Our approach

For us, ‘sustainability’ means investing in the long-term success of our developments, assets and team. It is a strategic approach that is fully aligned with our vision to create places where people and enterprise can thrive, and it involves taking account of socio-economic and environmental aspects alongside financial ones. Hence sustainability is integral to our existing governance structures and management procedures, and we believe this approach is more effective than having stand-alone sustainability committees and policies. Environmental and social aspects are considered as part of a broader conversation around specific projects at Board level and are incorporated into the overarching brief used for all projects.

We have identified ‘places’, ‘buildings’ and ‘people’ as key intervention points for delivering sustainability. Maintaining a first-rate approach to community engagement and delivering the greatest possible social value on all of our projects remains our main focus area in terms of socio-economic impact, and we consider our major environmental impacts to be energy, water, waste and materials.

We are aware that the issue of sustainability is becoming increasingly important to our stakeholders, and with this in mind we are undertaking to review our strategy, combining the past strengths of Development Securities and Cathedral Group to set an ambitious approach based around the environmental and social risks and opportunities which are most material to our business and our stakeholders. Having already established processes to manage energy-related risks across our development and investment portfolios, we are particularly keen to engage our tenants to support them in meeting their sustainability aspirations, as well as making sure that sustainability risks are identified and managed within our supply chain.

Key focus areas

We focus our sustainability strategy on three main areas: the places we create (both communities and environmental aspects), the buildings we own and operate and the people who work for us.

We maximise the positive place-making impacts of our projects, striving to improve well-being and pride within communities by providing new and valuable facilities, jobs and investments, as well as bringing people together from the very start of our involvement. We are diligent in the identification and management of environmental risks and in meeting the aspirations of clients, partners and local authorities with regard to environmental quality standards.
We aim to measure and monitor our sustainability impacts at the building level and deliver regular, transparent reporting on our performance. We seek to support our tenants and suppliers to monitor and reduce their environmental impact, including energy and water usage and waste management.
We recognise that the health, well-being, productivity and skills of our people are vital to our future success. We invest in staff training, educational development and wellness initiatives. We provide a stimulating workplace and foster engaging, collegiate culture.

We are already proactively measuring the energy, carbon, water and waste performance of our schemes’ construction works and seeking solutions that minimise environmental impact and maximise cost and resource efficiencies. As part of a long-standing focus on our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, we are calculating the embodied carbon of all our developments up to practical completion and comparing the data with previous projects as well as industry benchmarks. As we commence a new development, our external environmental consultants hold at least two briefing sessions with the design team and contractors to explain why and how the embodied carbon is calculated to ensure that the required data is collected correctly. We have found that this approach has increased awareness of the environmental impacts of the development process and it now helps to inform decisions around material selection and procurement on a regular basis. The constant aim is to improve on previous performance. This can be challenging given the varied nature of the development pipeline, but as our development portfolio matures, so the dataset of comparable projects grows, allowing for better quality benchmarking.