The UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) urges the property industry to play a leading role in protecting and enhancing natural features and biodiversity in the UK’s towns and cities. On Feb. 24, a UK-GBC task group announced a new report presenting the business case for green infrastructure. The report, Demystifying Green Infrastructure, finds that introducing green infrastructure into the built environment offers a number of business opportunities, including a potential increase in the value of land and property as well as social and environmental benefits. For example, a report by Mersey Forest provides evidence that high quality green environments can contribute to an uplift in property values. Some case study examples suggest rental uplifts of up to 20%.
In the report, the term green infrastructure is used to describe natural and semi-natural features ranging from street trees and roof gardens to parks and woodlands. Aimed primarily at property developers and clients, the report also identifies business risks from failing to incorporate adequate green infrastructure into building projects — such as planning delays, increased costs, flooding, and reputational damage.
“We have to shed the image of green infrastructure as a fluffy optional extra, an additional cost, or an unnecessary burden,” said John Alker, director of policy and communications and acting CEO of UK-GBC. “There are a growing number of clients and developers demonstrating that green infrastructure is absolutely central to quality place-making, and that there is a clear business case for it. This has to become the norm.”