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Sustainability set to remain big concern

More than nine out of ten UK companies believe sustainability will continue to be a growing issue for building industry despite the financial downturn.

Those were the results from a poll held during a webinar hosted by the UK Green Building Council last week.

The responses received from 80 firms revealed that British companies see sustainability as a growth area over the next 3 years, regardless the current financial crisis.

More than 92% of respondents felt that sustainability would either grow as an issue or stay at the same level despite the credit crunch.

27% said that the financial crisis has had no adverse effect on their organisation’s efforts to tackle sustainability and more than half (55.54%) said it had caused it to become an even bigger focus for them over the past 6 months. 

The general consensus from respondents was that during these times of uncertainty, it is important for government to stick to ambitious green targets, maintaining the direction of travel for policy and regulation.

More than 96% either agreed or strongly agreed with this statement.

Paul King, UK-GBC said: “I think we’ve seen an end to ‘boom and bust’ for sustainability. This time it’s going to remain high on the political and corporate agenda because the climate change imperative is now so strong. This is reflected in what the building industries are facing in terms of government policy and regulation – not just in the UK but around the world.

Failure to adapt and innovate will lead to obsolete buildings and obsolete companies. Those that grasp the opportunity will prosper, those that don’t will fail. UK-GBC members recognise this and want to be among the winners not the losers.”

Tim Mockett, Managing Director of Climate Change Capital commented: 'Property is a medium to long-term asset class. Sustainability is not going to go away and this will feed through into value. Sustainability will therefore increasingly be taken into account by the investor community.'

Paul Edwards, Head of Sustainability, Hammerson: 'Sustainability is becoming increasingly fundamental to the way we do business despite the economic climate. As a long-term property holder it’s important to recognise what state you need to be in when we come out the other side of the credit crunch. Energy and waste costs have risen, and clients are becoming much more aware.'