The pandemic has taken precedence over all other issues seen across the world this past year. Although tackling COVID-19 has been at the forefront of everyone’s minds, climate change and CO2 emissions continue to damage the planet regardless of any crises. It must be duly noted then that the housing sector adds astronomically to these pressing matters.
It approximately takes over 50 tonnes of CO2 to build the average UK house, more than a person produces in a decade. To say that these figures should be reduced significantly is putting it lightly. Things need to improve within this area in order to best protect the planet for future generations.
Recent developments will see some change. Five UK housing associations recently announced their partnership in early April to improve energy efficiency in their 300,000 homes. The Greener Futures Partnership (GFP) also features a plan to develop decarbonisation solutions for the sector, with the cost for zero-carbon standards reaching £20,000 per property. Going forward, investors must also factor in these aspects for any new development. And many already have.
Investors across the UK can lead the line and directly contribute to the lowering of carbon emissions. By implementing climate change measures within their due diligence process, they can take advantage of the public’s growing need to be more energy-efficient. Solar panels, heat pumps and heat networks are becoming more and more desirable not only in helping out the planet but also in saving money. The government has also been stepping up their efforts with the £300m Green Homes Grant voucher scheme. Investors can tap into these government-funded schemes to help in their vision, with the homeowner benefitting as a result.
Partnering with a developer which shares these beliefs, such as one of the founding GFP members, investors can even set out to make their properties net-zero. As a property developer, you can benefit from companies that lower their carbon footprint, for example, through carbon-negative concrete blocks. It has been calculated that concrete is the widely used man-made material in existence and, if it were considered a country, it would be the third-largest emitter of CO2 emissions in the world. If developers were to consider alternative materials, this innovation would be vital in achieving carbon targets.
The reduction of the carbon footprint is vital for the future of the planet. The facts and figures being reported on are just the tip of the iceberg. With enough forward thinking and planning, investors can genuinely become the frontrunners in innovation surrounding the net-zero target. They can help the world reach the goals necessary for its preservation.