We estimate that around 42% of our plots are built in areas of high water stress, based on the World Resources Institute’s (WRI) Water Risk Atlas tool, Aqueduct. The issue of water stress is likely to become more serious as we feel the impact of a changing climate. Our Water Policy commits us to reduce water use and protect water environments and we have a target to reduce water use by 10% by 2025.
We received a B rating from CDP Water Security (2021: B).
We integrate water efficiency measures in the homes we build [link]. We also work to reduce water use in our operations and we integrate measures to protect water quality during construction and to manage surface water and reduce flood risk on our completed developments.
Performance in 2022: We used 28.9m3 of metered mains water per 100 sqm of build (2021: 32.1 m3). This is a reduction of 15% since 2019 which we believe is partly due to a reduction in the number of our sites using metered supplies. We believe this relates to a lack of availability of smart meters arising from a global shortage of semi-conductors. Many sites are also integrating water efficiency measures, for example, changing when they lay turf in customer gardens to reduce water use.
Nutrient neutrality: We are working with local authorities in some areas to address challenges associated with nutrient and water neutrality issues. Our Nutrient Working Group meets monthly to exchange updates best practices and we have been engaging with Natural England, water authorities and the Home Builders Federation on this issue. We are integrating measures on and off-site to address nutrient neutrality concerns including integrating wetland areas.
Air quality: on our construction sites and in finished homes can impact customer health and wellbeing. We conducted research with the Building Research Establishment (BRE) in 2021 to increase our understanding of the factors that influence internal air quality. This highlighted the importance of correct installation and use of ventilation systems and extractor fans and engaging with subcontractors on our standards. We include guidance for customers on how to maintain good air quality at home in our home manual and maintenance guide.