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The Business Magazine July 2024
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Barratt and David Wilson Homes: unlocking the power of sustainability

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Barratt Developments, comprising Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes (BDW), is on a mission to become the UK’s leading sustainable housebuilder and sees that commitment as going beyond just greener policies, and instead cultivating a legacy of sustainability and supporting other organisations to do the same.

Recognising its vital role in sustainable building practices, leading UK housebuilder Barratt not only aims to build high quality homes that are energy efficient and sustainable, the company makes sure its working practices are too.

The company’s ‘Building Sustainably’ framework prioritises nature, places and people, which means preserving the natural world by using resources responsibly, while designing great places to live that meet the highest quality standards.

It also applies to people, both in and outside of BDW, and aims to support human rights and treat people with respect. This pledge revolves around nurturing diverse talent and prioritising the safety and wellbeing of people working at Barratt, as well as those living and working across its developments.

BDW Southampton division is currently building brand new homes across the Dorset, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and West Sussex patches. A lot of time and resource has been spent talking to customers to understand their ever-changing life needs, so that they can be reflected where possible into BDW’s modern home designs.

Each of its homes has green features built in that are up to 64% more efficient compared to an older property, so homeowners can save up to £2,200 per year on energy bills. Also, built-in water saving appliances can help homeowners reduce their water consumption by 26% per person per day, compared to the national average.

According to a recent survey by BDW Southampton division of 1,000 people aged between 25 and 60 living in Dorset, Hampshire, West Sussex and the Isle of Wight, 54% said saving money on energy bills was the main motivator behind making lifestyle changes. 56% said they made more efforts to cut energy consumption and 54% said they were more conscious of water usage. 60% of survey respondents said they engage in sustainable practices every day to make sure they conserve energy and reduce water usage.

Far from removing green space, BDW actually added 372 hectares of green space in 2023 (that’s 532 football pitches!) by doing things like restoring or renovating areas that were previously unusable, or bringing private land into public use for all to enjoy. It all starts with Barratt’s ecologists, who do a thorough study of the area to find out which features need to be enhanced in order to encourage local wildlife, like ponds, shrubs, trees and hedgerows.

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Walking the dog or playing football with the kids at the weekend is all part of enjoying where you live and it’s one of many reasons why BDW brings these spaces into use so that they can be developed into gardens and shared community spaces.

BDW’s green commitment doesn’t just stop at its developments, as the company’s aim is to create inspiring communities of tomorrow by respecting the environment in which they are built in today.

Part of that aim is to support the local communities in which they build, either through investment of local roads and infrastructure or provision of local jobs. Barratt also has an active community engagement programme which works with schools to provide various education facilities, such as improvements to play or classroom facilities, and educational opportunities. It also offers placements and workshops for older children and young people, covering things like interview techniques and learning new skills outside of a traditional classroom setting.

BDW’s community focus also extends to wider community projects. Each month, the company donates £1,500 via its Community Fund to support worthy local projects. Plus, BDW Southampton division’s chosen charities for 2023/24 are the Hampshire-based Mountbatten Hospice and children’s charity, No Limits. The division also works closely with the Saints Foundation, the charity arm of Southampton Football Club, which focuses on making positive changes to people of all ages to lead happier, healthier and more active lives, and value their physical and emotional wellbeing.

In total during 2023, BDW Southampton division raised £250,000 for worthy causes in the region.

Included in that impressive total was a £40,000 building project at Vermont Special Educational Needs (SEN) school in Southampton. The three-week refurbishment saw Barratt volunteers work to overhaul the school’s outside area and transform a storage room into a sensory room for its children to unwind.

The company’s dedication to sustainable practices now extends further, as it seeks to help support and recognise companies that are on the same mission to improve their surroundings and make more sustainable decisions that impact both their business and the community.

Last year BDW Southampton signed up to become an Ambassador for the prestigious inaugural Big Sustainability Expo and Awards. Held at the Hilton Ageas, the Expo and Awards highlight and celebrate businesses’ achievements in creating or supporting greener methods of working. It was such a success that the Big Sustainability Expo and Awards will be making a return in 2024 and promises to be even bigger and better than before.

And, hot off the press, BDW has just announced it has taken on the role of sponsor for the ‘Sustainable Development Project’ category at the South Coast Property Awards and the ‘Sustainable Green Investment Award’ at the Hampshire Business Awards, both of which are organised by The Business Magazine.

Involvement in these categories not only allows Barratt to share its extensive knowledge and understanding of sustainability, but also allows them to connect with businesses that have the same goal in mind.

BDW has already met with some superb companies that are creating products and services that not only help them make more sustainable choices, but are actively encouraging customers and suppliers around them to do the same.

According to BDW Southampton’s recent survey of 1,000 people living in the area, 66% of respondents said they would actively seek out or support companies with strong sustainability initiatives – so it is really important that all of us do our bit to reach that common goal.

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