What is Sustainability and Sustainable Development?

Sustainability is defined by the 1987 Brundtland Commission report for the United Nations as "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

It is a broad concept which is commonly agreed to cover three dimensions being the environment, the economy, and social welfare.

Overlapping with these dimensions is the concept of sustainable development and the need to prioritise the environment ahead of short-term profits.  

The key to sustainable development is to find the best way of delivering property with due care and consideration to not only limit the environmental impact of construction but also enhance the natural surroundings in a way that benefits the local economy and improves the enhances the experience of its users.

How does Gentian approach Sustainable Development?

When constructing / refurbishing buildings consideration is given to reducing the consumption and waste of materials and, wherever possible, using recycled products.  Each project is built to incorporate energy saving initiatives to reduce our client’s reliance on fossil fuels and minimise their energy waste.

We believe that the internal design is just as key as the fabric of the building.   The inside of any building needs to provide its user with a positive experience and promote mental wellbeing through well-thought-out lighting, sensitive décor and aesthetic furniture, where applicable.

Gentian works closely with innovative green technology companies in order to offer our clients the latest initiatives to help towards their carbon reduction goals. Technology such as EV charging points, battery storage, solar panels, plastic bottle recycling vending machines and waste-to-energy facilities are just some of the products we can implement.

Gentian strives to comply with the relevant environmental and social legislation and guidance including the Climate Change Act and Part L of the Building Regulations and aim to achieve EPC ‘A’ ratings where possible.

Sustainability and the NHS

The NHS has implemented an ambitious strategy to become the World’s first net Zero national health service, with two mains goals:

1.      For the emissions they control directly (the NHS Carbon Footprint), they will reach net zero by 2040, with an ambition to reach an 80% reduction by 2028 to 2032;

2.      For the emissions they can influence (the NHS Carbon Footprint Plus), they will reach net zero by 2045, with an ambition to reach an 80% reduction by 2036 to 2039.

We work closely with the NHS throughout the internal design stage of our buildings to create an environment that enhances the experience for healthcare workers, patients and visitors when visiting or working in the hospital.  Particular focus is given to maximising natural light, using aesthetically stimulating materials, increasing circulation space and providing relaxing dwell areas, amongst other criteria.

In order to achieve this, Gentian works closely with the NHS to produce and implement sustainable initiatives.  We can implement the latest green technologies to the NHS both within their existing buildings and in new construction projects going forward.  We provide free energy assessments to NHS Trusts with the appropriate advice on how to deal with any issues highlighted.

What are Gentian’s sustainability goals and what actions are they taking?

Our sustainability goals are to decarbonise our business; to become net zero carbon by 2030; design climate change resilient properties; and create a lasting positive social impact in the communities where we develop our buildings.  Furthermore, we are targeting an average ‘B’ EPC rating across our portfolio.

An example of Gentian’s approach to sustainable development is our project at Sturt Farm in Burford.  Here we are redeveloping a dilapidated farmstead to provide 11 residential units and six holiday lets, carefully considering the materials being used and the environmental impact of the project.  

Each unit will have LED lights throughout, hot water underfloor heating powered by an air source heat pump, water via a bore hole and landscaped gardens using turf from local companies and stone from local quarries.  All units have achieved an EPC ‘B’ rating.

Approximately 250 trees have been planted at Sturt Farm, with the final figure expected to be close to 300 trees, in order to limit the environmental impact the development has on the local area and Gentian’s business as a whole.

Corporate & Social Responsibility

Sustainability is not only about the environment, but also encompassing corporate and social responsibility.  Gentian is committed to supporting the local community in the vicinity of its offices and projects.  We have donated to over 20 different charities supported by our NHS partners.

Gentian helps a wide range of organisations from Winchester Rugby Football Club where we are a long-standing sponsor, to funding the community garden for three years at Ouseburn Farm in Newcastle upon Tyne.  

We are also proud to support Yellow Door (www.yellowdoor.org.uk), a charity that works to prevent and respond to domestic and sexual abuse across Southampton and Western Hampshire.

In 2020 we made a commitment to contribute £10,000 to be spent on good causes in the local community for every new Gentian property development.  As such in 2021, alongside our convenience store project for Mid Counties Co-op, we worked with West Dean Parish Council to award community grants to seven local groups in Bream including sports clubs, community groups, the local preschool and primary school.

Decarbonise and become net zero by 2030

Design climate change resilient properties

Create a lasting positive social impact in the communities where we develop our buildings

Sturt Farm, Burford

Current Project

Sturt Farm is situated on the edge of Burford affectionally known as the 'Gateway to the Cotswolds' and is a collection of 17 units once forming part of a former working farm which had fallen into disrepair, but now being redeveloped to create high-quality sustainably-considered dwellings.

Project Partners

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