The Howard Group recognizes its responsibility in reducing the environmental impact across all business units. With almost half of CO2 emissions in the UK generated by buildings, according to Governmental statistics, the development and ongoing management of property within the built environment has a crucial role to play in improving environmental sustainability.
We will strive continually to improve our environmental performance across our business portfolio, whether through careful design in the development of new properties, refurbishment of existing property, or through the ongoing management of our tenant occupied properties. All new developments are designed to meet BREEAM “Very Good” rating standards. When developing we require our contractors to demonstrate their commitment towards reduce waste and recycling and reuse of materials, and we diligently monitor this process. It is our belief that this approach delivers better value as landfill taxes can be reduced and materials can be recycled. We aim to reduce to a minimum the risk of any environmental contamination, ecological damage or pollution. In addition, we examine and monitor the potential effect upon the local ecological situation, working hard to increase biodiversity in habitats surrounding our developments.
We stress the importance of environmental concern to our own staff and thus we foster an ethos of environmental responsibility within our own offices and among our own employees. Particular areas we intend to focus on include energy, water and waste consumption. We also aim to encourage tenants and contractors to consider their environmental responsibility, and we are working through our Howard Property Services division to support this process.
Improving environmental sustainability can lead to a direct reduction in the long-term cost of utilities and plant maintenance and reduces the risk of obsolescence. While energy and water consumption is mostly in the hands of our tenants, we seek to do as much as we can through at the point of refurbishment to increase the energy efficiency of our buildings.
We will continue to pay close attention to the environmental effect of our investments, including adding high quality and environmentally sound properties to our portfolio and investing in sustainable businesses and those demonstrating a commitment to the environment.
We will carry on extending our goal of long term sustainability to our environmental responsibilities, not only complying with all relevant legislation but also taking a proactive approach and striving to improve our environmental performance.