Green infrastructure has business benefits, report argues

24th February 2015

Related Topics

Related tags

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


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 The guidance has been archived after Natural England’s website was moved to the centralised .gov website..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.


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

Swing voters show strong support for renewables

There is strong support for renewable energy as a source of economic growth among UK voters, particularly among those intending to switch their support for a political party.

16th May 2024

Read more

A project promoter’s perspective on the environmental challenges facing new subsea power cables

3rd April 2024

Read more

The UK’s major cities lag well behind their European counterparts in terms of public transport use. Linking development to transport routes might be the answer, argues Huw Morris

3rd April 2024

Read more

Tom Harris examines the supply chain constraints facing the growing number of interconnector projects

2nd April 2024

Read more

The UK government’s carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) strategy is based on optimistic techno-economic assumptions that are now outdated, Carbon Tracker has warned.

13th March 2024

Read more

The UK government’s latest Public Attitudes Tracker has found broad support for efforts to tackle climate change, although there are significant concerns that bills will rise.

13th March 2024

Read more

A consortium including IEMA and the Good Homes Alliance have drafted a letter to UK government ministers expressing disappointment with the proposed Future Homes Standard.

26th February 2024

Read more

Global corporations such as Amazon and Google purchased a record 46 gigawatts (GW) of solar and wind energy last year, according to BloombergNEF (BNEF).

13th February 2024

Read more

Media enquires

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

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close