Green infrastructure has business benefits, report argues

24th February 2015


Related Topics

Related tags

  • Construction ,
  • Business & Industry ,
  • Ecosystems ,
  • Biodiversity ,
  • Natural resources

Author

Patricia Bryson

Incorporating natural features in the built environment offers business opportunities, according to a report by the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC).

Street trees, roof gardens, parks and woodlands can potentially increase the value of land and property, the report states. It also claims that natural cooling from living walls and roofs can cut the cost of running air conditioning equipment.

Conversely, a failure to incorporate green infrastructure in developments brings risks for developers such as delay or refusal of planning permission. If buildings with green infrastructure are built, occupiers may be at risk of local flooding, UKGBC warns.

The report outlines the tools that businesses can use to measure the value of green infrastructure and includes case studies highlighting best practice. Examples include Canary Wharf’s new Crossrail station, which features reed beds and water terraces to improve water quality and biodiversity.

John Alker, acting CEO of the UKGBC said: “We have to shed the image of green infrastructure as a fluffy optional extra, an additional cost or an unnecessary burden. There are a growing number of clients and developers demonstrating that green infrastructure is absolutely central to quality place-making, and that there is a clear business case for it. This has to become the norm.”

The report was sponsored by Aggregate Industries, Canary Wharf Group and Skanska.

The report comes after a coalition of organisations, including the Landscape Institute, the Land Trust, the Town and Country Planning Association and Groundwork wrote to the government at the end of January to express their concern about the disappearance of online planning guidance on green infrastructure. The guidance has been archived after Natural England’s website was moved to the centralised .gov website..

The organisations fear that green infrastructure has effectively been downgraded in the planning system, since if guidance on the issue is not part of the government’s official national planning practice guidance, it will carry very little legal weight in the planning process.


Transform articles

National climate plans could see fossil fuel demand peak by 2025

Demand for fossil fuels will peak by 2025 if all national net-zero pledges are implemented in full and on time, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has forecast.

15th October 2021

Read more

The Green Homes Grant is set to deliver only a fraction of the jobs and improvements intended, leading to calls for more involvement from local authorities in future schemes.

23rd September 2021

Read more

COVID-19 recovery packages have largely focused on protecting, rather than transforming, existing industries, and have been a “lost opportunity” for speeding up the global energy transition.

23rd September 2021

Read more

Half of the world's 40 largest listed oil and gas companies will have to slash their production by at least 50% by the 2030s to align with the goals of the Paris Agreement, new analysis has found.

9th September 2021

Read more

None of England’s water and sewerage companies achieved all environmental expectations for the period 2015 to 2020, the Environment Agency has revealed. These targets included the reduction of total pollution incidents by at least one-third compared with 2012, and for incident self-reporting to be at least 75%.

30th July 2021

Read more

The UK’s pipeline for renewable energy projects could mitigate 90% of job losses caused by COVID-19 and help deliver the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda. That is according to a recent report from consultancy EY-Parthenon, which outlines how the UK’s £108bn “visible pipeline” of investible renewable energy projects could create 625,000 jobs.

30th July 2021

Read more

Billions of people worldwide have been unable to access safe drinking water and sanitation in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a progress report from the World Health Organisation focusing on the UN’s sixth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) – to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030”.

30th July 2021

Read more

The oil and gas industry is set to burn through its allocated carbon budget 13 years early unless decisive action is taken immediately, new analysis has found.

22nd July 2021

Read more

The UK will no longer use unabated coal to generate electricity from October 2024, one year earlier than originally planned, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has announced.

2nd July 2021

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert