May 4, 2023
The UK Green Building Council has launched new guidance which it claims will empower the built environment sector to deliver Biodiversity Net Gain as a key element in its developments. Biodiversity Net Gain policy requirements will come into effect in November and will mandate that all new developments must design and deliver solutions that support nature.
The UKGBC claims that alongside the climate crisis, we face an ecological crisis in which biodiversity in the UK is under severe and urgent threat. With half of the UK’s economy linked to nature and the UK one of the most biodiversity depleted countries in the world, restoring our natural environments is critical to building our future green economy, the organisation suggests.
The new Biodiversity Net Gain requirements set out in the Government’s Environment Act present huge opportunities for the built environment to restore nature and build more regenerative towns and cities. Yet many organisations need more specific and practical support to build their understanding of the complex concepts involved. To make Biodiversity Net Gain as accessible as possible to organisations across the UK’s built environment, UKGBC has published a series of user-friendly factsheets and definitions that explain the key concepts.
This is the first in a wider series of resources designed to help organisations meet – and where possible, go beyond – Biodiversity Net Gain, developed with support and advice from Defra and Natural England. The factsheets are designed to demystify key themes and strategies; and signpost to key resources and support that will support the delivery of BNG.
Hannah Giddings, Senior Advisor for Resilience and Nature at UKGBC said: “BNG has the potential to transform how the UK’s built environment can play its part in restoring and regenerating nature and tackling the global ecological crisis. As well as enriching the natural world on which we all depend, we know that nature-positive solutions can build more resilient environments, tackle the climate crisis, and improve people’s lives, health, and wellbeing. These assets are an important step towards UKGBC’s mission of ensuring that BNG can be adopted by as many organisations as possible, as quickly as possible.”
The factsheets published by UKGBC also explain the broader concept of Environmental Net Gain which, though not enshrined in legislation, remains a powerful strategy for organisations in the built environment to maximise the wide social benefits of nature-positive strategies that can tackle the climate and ecological crises.