Problem Addressed

The built environment is directly responsible for 25% of UK emissions, lifting to 42% if you include surface transport. Developers and construction companies are choosing to deliver projects that are in-line with global targets, to assist with the ambition of reaching 100% net-zero emissions buildings by 2050. Any development can have a significant impact on the environment, communities, and the people that it serves.

Solution Overview

Planet Mark thinks that those impacts should always be positive. By helping embed sustainability from the outset, their programme supports BREEAM assessment and provides points towards the Considerate Constructors Scheme, along with contributing to 9 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Planet Mark Development Certification requires the measurement and reduction of whole-life carbon emissions, engagement of the supply-chain and the inclusion of the local community. In this way every building, from its design through to its operation, can combat climate change, support biodiversity and contribute to the society that it serves. Planet Mark measures the whole-life carbon emissions of each development and compares it to a notional baseline. A lifecycle assessment (LCA) of each building is measured and conducted by a Planet Mark approved LCA consultant. Third party verification from Planet Mark then adds rigour to the LCA calculation and provides a clear, digestible breakdown of the carbon footprint. Stakeholders are also engaged to raise awareness around sustainability. The certification includes a local community engagement programme which links the development to local schools and colleges, delivering sustainability education to young people as well as helping them reduce their own carbon footprint and save money. Workshops to engage supply-chain, professional teams, main contractors, developers and occupiers will also be co-hosted.

Development can have a significant impact on communities, and the people that it serves. Planet Mark recognise the importance of communicating sustainability at every stage of the development process. To help make this happen, they provide a comprehensive package of materials and toolkits, to inspire site teams and workers and help them understand how they are supporting the sustainability objectives of the development. The programme helps communicate commitments to society and the environment during the design, construction and operation of a new building.

The certification offers an easily identifiable symbol, signifying that the building is positively impacting society and the environment. Through measuring lifecycle carbon emissions, quantifiable reductions in embodied and operational carbon are highlighted. The carbon impact of all stages of a building lifecycle are measured, and any identified hotspots are considered as potential areas to achieve reductions. Any reductions are measured against a ‘business as usual’ notional baseline, with achieved certification helping clients meet planning requirements.

The certification has been used to successfully meet planning requirements for carbon reduction and also engages the supply-chain. The Considerate Constructors Scheme has a strong focus on communication. A series of posters and banners communicates sustainability benefits of achieving Planet Mark to site workers and the local community. Through working on, and learning about a sustainable development, a legacy of sustainability is created through low carbon materials, services and specifications in tenders. Planet Mark certification can also support achievement of BREEAM and LEED points.

The certification aligns with the UKGBC Net Zero Carbon Building’s framework and upon the purchase of offsets, a development can market the building’s zero carbon character, in-line with the UK’s zero carbon policy.

Cost is dependent on the size of the development. It includes the certification fee, a stakeholder management fee and fees for community engagement. An additional fee payable to an LCA consultant is required. This can be with an LCA consultant with whom the client has an already-established relationship or someone recommended by Planet Mark.

Case Study

Planet Mark has been working with Prologis for over 10 years to help them reduce whole life carbon in their developments. There has been an average reduction of over 25% across 70 developments, with reductions in both embodied and operational carbon. They have worked with Prologis’ supply chain to ensure all contractors are aware of their influence on reducing carbon. Many of these contractors are now members of Planet Mark, resulting in common values and the same goals across the supply chain. Planet Mark has also engaged with over 70 schools and colleges, delivering sustainability workshops to educate younger members of these communities and giving them the knowledge needed to make an impact in the future.

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