A leading sustainability authority, Bureau Veritas, is encouraging nationwide developers to pay close attention to the the London Plan 2021 which includes strict sustainability performance metrics, or risk being left behind in meeting future planning requirements.
The advice comes as the London Plan is hailed as a blueprint for how the Government is set to manage planning policies moving forward. The outlined sustainability performance metrics are aligned to the Government Construction Playbook and Procurement Policy Notices (PPN), which increase the expectation and focus on sustainability credentials.
The London Plan 2021 was introduced in March 2021 and sets out a clear development strategy for Greater London for the coming years. Sustainability is at the heart of the plan, which introduces ‘zero carbon’ standards, with a requirement for buildings to be constructed in line with ‘circular economy’ principles.
Hailing the focus on sustainability as a step in the right direction, Bureau Veritas, which has helped some of the world’s leading organisations to build robust and structured sustainability strategies, is calling on developers to follow London’s example and factor sustainability standards into their developments now, ahead of almost certain planning reform.
Julie-Anna Smith, South & West Europe Sustainability Services Leader at Bureau Veritas, said: “The Government’s strict sustainability performance metrics as part of the London Plan are almost certainly a sign of things to come. As the Plan forms part of the statutory development plan for London, which means the overall planning system in London will operating in a more joined-up way than ever before, it is likely to serve as an accelerator for planning reform across England – resulting in the need for more sustainable practices and products, paving the way for future generations to thrive.”
The sustainability requirements outlined within the London Plan are closely aligned with Bureau Veritas’ sustainability areas of specialism, with a focus on improving air quality, decreasing environmental noise and reducing carbon emissions.
Julie-Anna continues: “The Government Construction Playbook and subsequent PPNs clearly outline the expectation around sustainable development when it comes to the London Plan. Whilst it may seem like a simple task to meet some of these expectations, all too often we find businesses struggling to demonstrate a long-term commitment to sustainability which can ensure they are well positioned to seize future opportunities and manage risks associated with a changing climate and the growing expectation to conduct business responsibly.
“We urge developers and suppliers to get ahead of the game now when it comes to managing their sustainability practices and to consider appointing an independent specialist that can support businesses in meeting the enhanced sustainability PPN requirements as part of the London Plan, but also to meet longer-term requirements.”