South-West based housebuilder, Newland Homes, is marking its 30th year in operation this year by becoming the first traditional housebuilder in the UK to sign up to the United Nations’ Climate Neutral Now pledge, demonstrating its steadfast commitment to sustainability as it strives towards a greener future for us all.
The latest United Nations IPCC Report has recently reminded us how critical climate action is.
The Climate Neutral Now Initiative is a voluntary international scheme which encourages and supports organisations to act now in order to achieve a climate neutral world by 2050, as enshrined in the Paris Agreement. Newland Homes is contributing to the transformative change needed to reach global net zero greenhouse gas emissions and will report its progress annually to the initiative.
Jeremy Drew, Developments Director for Newland Homes comments: “This is a significant undertaking for our business, involving a fundamental step forwards in our mindset . By signing the Climate Neutral Now pledge, we made a commitment to measure our greenhouse gas emissions, implement means to reduce them, to consider offsetting, and to report our progress annually. The construction industry is estimated to contribute 10% of global greenhouse gases, so as a sector we have to be at the forefront of change.”
With the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow just weeks away, the spotlight on the environment has never been stronger. Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change UNFCCC commented: “We need to slash emissions as soon as possible. At the very least, we must be carbon neutral by 2050. There is no separate path, there is no alternate universe. This is what we must do.” She continues to say, “Don’t wait for change to happen— help drive it.”
Newland Homes has spent the last two years investing in measures to decarbonise its homes, well ahead of the Government’s timeframe for lowering carbon emissions in new builds. Its first zero carbon homes have commenced construction and will be launched in the early part of next year in the North Somerset village of Tickenham, closely followed by zero carbon homes in Chapmanslade, near Frome, and then Semington, both in Wiltshire, and with many more in the pipeline. These homes create as much prime energy* as they need at zero cost to the homeowner, thanks to their use of highly efficient air source heat pumps, extensive solar panels providing renewable energy and high levels of insulation. As with previous developments, car charging points for hybrid or fully electric cars will also be pre-wired within the new homes.
Newland Homes is also allocating part of its development land to create two special 30th anniversary woodlands at the Tickenham and Chapmanslade developments Over 1,200 fast growing, native trees will be planted in layers to recreate the characteristics of natural forest, which stores carbon, improves air quality, provides a haven for wildlife and a place for people to connect with nature. Field maples, silver birch, hawthorns, crab apple and English oak trees are amongst the species planned, and some of the larger trees will offer homes to insects, birds and bats for the next four hundred years.
Newland Homes is an independent company based in Gloucester. It has been responsible for over 130 developments across the South West and more than 3,400 homes since its inception in 1991. The company has always invested heavily in sustainable initiatives and many of its recent development schemes include solar PV panels, water butts to harvest water, composter areas in the garden and integrated eco-bins; small initiatives which facilitate a change in consumer behaviour.
Jeremy concludes: “We are climate considerate in our actions, not just words. Our strategy is reviewing and reducing carbon emissions across our operations. The UNCNN initiative is helping to cement and support that goal, and for us and our customers, delivering zero carbon homes across our developments is a critical step.”
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