For the benchmark this is an important year in terms of analysing trends, as it has been run with the same criteria for three years. This means that we can discuss industry trends in sustainability with the greatest level of confidence since NextGeneration was created in 2006.
Homebuilding is a long term activity; the nature of the product and the length of time taken to deliver a development from site acquisition to completion means that the industry must plan well in advance to make changes in its product or processes. Yet looking back over three years, we are very encouraged to see that performance in sustainability has increased significantly and this is the first year where a company has scored over 90% in the benchmark, approaching the "green ceiling" of the existing criteria.
The Government have announced the winding down of the Code for Sustainable Homes as it believes it has served its purpose. Consequently, we shall see the embedding of sustainability into core Building Regulations which is a positive and important step.
As well as looking back over interesting trends, we also take time in this report to look forwards to the emerging challenges in sustainability, and ask; where next for sustainable homes?
Capturing an accurate picture of sustainability performance requires a robust set of criteria which fully reflect the issues facing the industry, and enable comparability over time. In 2013 there are more than 250 criteria in sustainability strategy, governance and risk management and their impact on the environment and on society.