Investing in long-term success

Our approach to sustainability

At U+I we take our ESG – environmental, social and governance – responsibilities seriously and are constantly seeking ways of improving our approach to regeneration to be more sustainable.  Our approach connects the social and environmental value we create for people, places and communities with long-term financial returns for our investors.

The world in which we operate however, is changing rapidly, exacerbated by Covid-19. This is accelerating trends that were already underway in how people live and work, and has increased the importance of responsible regeneration.

The growing shift to ‘social’ impact makes it more important than ever to support the mental health and welfare of individuals – aligned with the Government’s approach, centred on supporting people. Businesses will need a clear purpose, that pushes for a fairer society and which strengthens its role in helping communities to prosper. Delivering social benefits to the communities in which we work are the principles on which U+I was founded as we commit to delivering responsible schemes, that encourage health and wellbeing, whilst protecting the environment. 

For us, sustainability is what can be achieved when we work together. It means fostering unique partnerships to secure the socio-economic success of our developments; transforming overlooked, underestimated town centres, urban places and brownfield sites into vibrant neighbourhoods; developing resilient assets and investing in our people.

We measure our material sustainability impacts in the context of our focus on complex mixed-use regeneration developments, our specialism in regeneration projects and the management of our investment portfolio.

The connection between the social, environmental and financial aspects of our performance means our approach to sustainability is integrated into our existing governance structures and management procedures. Sustainability is part of the broader conversation around specific projects at Board level, and is incorporated into the overarching brief used for all regeneration projects and asset management strategies.


Key focus areas


Our places

We maximise the positive placemaking impacts of our projects. We work to improve wellbeing and build pride in communities by providing new and valuable facilities, jobs and investments which boost local economies.

We bring people together from the start, working in collaboration through the planning and development process to involve the local community and create places that meet local needs.

Our Circus Street development in Brighton, for example, is turning a derelict former municipal market into an innovation quarter and a powerhouse for regeneration in the city centre.

In FY20, we delivered: 

  • 0.08% lost time for accidents/incidents across U+I’s sites 
  • 1.9 locally employed people for every £1 million of project spend 

Our buildings

We aim to measure and monitor the sustainability impact of our buildings and deliver regular, transparent reporting on our performance. We seek to support our tenants and suppliers in monitoring and reducing their environmental impact, including energy, water usage and waste management.

In FY20, we delivered: 

  • 89% BREEAM Excellent/LEED Gold or above across our new developments 
  • 1,768 tonnes of CO2 equivalent Scope 1 and 2 emissions across our investment portfolio and office assets 

Our people

We recognise that the health, wellbeing, productivity and skills of our people are vital to our future success.

We invest in staff training, educational development and wellness initiatives, while providing a stimulating workplace that supports an engaging, collegiate culture. Our approach is underpinned by our values of intelligence, imagination and audacity.

In FY20: 

  • 93% employee satisfaction with U+I as a place to work 
  • 400+ hours of volunteering by staff, raising over £54,000 for Shelter 
  • 89% of employees enrolled in our Vitality wellbeing programme 
  • 61% of employees benefitted from subsidised gym membership 

Our non-financial KPIs:


Target for BREEAM Excellent/LEED Gold rating or above

Achieve BREEAM Excellent/LEED Gold or above across all new developments


YoY target for Scope 1 and 2 emissions

13% year-on-year target for reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions compared to the FY2020 baseline; become net zero carbon by 2030


Target for lost time to accidents/incidents

0.1% lost time to accidents/incidents across U+I’s sites


Target for local employment

3 locally employed people across the project portfolio for every £1 million of project spend