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Greener Recovery: ​Sustainability and nature within development
14 Jul 2021 12:45     A+ | a-
The team all attended the LI Greener Recovery Festival and wanted to share our thoughts. We have created a series of blog posts detailing the event through our eyes.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were discussed with enthusiasm in several sessions across the week, not least by Jason Longhurst, Simon Cox and Joseph Daniels (UK BCSD , PRO-LOGIS, and Project Etopia) in a great panel session, where they each showed that they are trying hard, and succeeding in many ways, to embed the SDGs into their thinking.

We came away feeling like there is a need for a much more widespread implementation of the SDGs - could the Landscape Institute lead the charge?!
The Landscape Institute has published Landscape for 2030, an evolution of the 2008 climate change position statement that establishes landscape as a leader in the fight against climate change and biodiversity loss.

The 'Software Facilitating Green Design' session was a great debate on the power of #GIS and #BIM to help design and quantify 'Green' benefits.

Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) will soon rightly become a much more onerous requirement (The Environment Bill demands 10% BNG), and modern technology can help us to achieve it. BNG Calculations are based on habitats, as 'placeholders for biodiversity'. Recording habitat groups/descriptions, with associated quantities and qualitative metrics, gives a score for baseline that can then be calculated against, post-implementation.
We were also interested to learn that 'Conservation Covenants' are a thing of the future...

The quote on calculating Natural Capital was especially well received:
"There is no other part of a project that will be so valuable in 30 years' time, as a tree"
The value of trees increases over time, where other elements of a development depreciate...

However, we must remain mindful of people as well as 'nature', our work as Landscape Professionals is to "protect, conserve and enhance the natural and built environment for the public benefit".

Helen Hoyle gave a useful insight into her research on the interpretation / education of people on benefits to invertebrates, which helps them to accept and value more untidy looking planting.

"We have to respect people as well as biodiversity"

Pictorial Meadow in Sheffield

We like the concept of 'cues to care' - a mown meadow edge strip, or desire line path, can go a long way towards indicating that biodiverse planting is intentional!

Dr Peter Shepherd discussed a need for a 'Commission for Environmental Infrastructure', with the ear of government and significant funding (e.g. scale of HS2).

"No niche is too small to be worrying about it - we need rewilding in National Parks, as well as Local Parks down the road"

2B couldn't agree more - we include the same level of environmental thinking, no matter what the scale of the project. This type of thinking must become ubiquitous, and we should address with urgency the disconnect between planning policy/process/delivery and nature/biodiversity enhancement.

Another topic discussed during the festival was net zero within the construction industry. Alastair Mant's Keynote on the UKGBC report 'Renewable Energy and Carbon Offsetting' gave pause for thought on 'Whole Life Net Zero Carbon'.

The construction industry needs to be mindful of not only the costs of construction, but of operational energy, and end-of-life implications.
The session on preparing for COP26 gave an insight into the harsh reality of the world we are living in; none of the speakers think that enough is being done to achieve climate targets. Cities are trying hard, but lacking the resources (particularly finance) they need to achieve the goals that have been set

2B is proud to be amongst 1500+ companies that have now signed up to 'Construction Declares'.

We first ran the blog above as a series of posts on our social media channels – follow us to be the first to get updates in future!

The whole conference is now available on LI Campus at
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