Sustainable opportunities in the United Kingdom

Before Article

Straatbeeld LondenGet on a plane or train and you’ll be in London – the vibrant capital of the United Kingdom – in less than 4 hours. A metropolis with a recognisable culture and architecture. Pubs on every street corner, children in school uniforms and a mix of Victorian buildings and towering skyscrapers. In addition to differences, there are also many similarities between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. As in the Netherlands, there are many opportunities in the United Kingdom to make buildings and homes more sustainable. The main 4 reasons can be read in this article.

1. Ambitious legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

In 2008, the UK was the first country to introduce a climate change act. By doing so, the British imposed on themselves a legal obligation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 compared with 1990. In June 2019, the target in the Climate Change Act was tightened to a 100% reduction, also known as net-zero.

This ambitious legislation offers many opportunities for the built environment. Forty percent of the UK’s total CO2 emissions come from buildings and homes, so there is a strong focus on reducing energy usage.


– Nanda Verschoor, Account Executive at CFP

Victoriaanse panden in Engeland2. A large savings potential for existing buildings

In the United Kingdom, there are still many buildings from the Victorian era. These buildings are generally poorly insulated and suffer from draughts. It is expected that 80% of real estate in 2050 will consist of buildings already existing today. Making existing buildings more sustainable is therefore important for achieving the objectives.
An analysis shows that 42% of the buildings in the London Square Mile have a green EPC. So there is a lot of scope for improving the energy performance of buildings. By investing £1.9 billion, all these buildings can be made energy-neutral. The government is also offering more and more subsidies for making buildings more sustainable.

3. Obligations for (minimum) EPCs

The EU Directive on the energy performance of buildings (“EPBD”), promotes the improved energy efficiency of buildings. The EPBD also applies to the UK. When constructing, selling or renting a building, a registered EPC is obligatory. In addition, since 2018 private real estate may be rented out only if it has an EPC of at least E.

4. Information on the energy performance of buildings is publicly available

In the UK, information on the energy performance of a building is publicly available. This means that advice can be obtained remotely on possible sustainability measures. On the basis of the available data, we were able to tailor our ‘automated consultants’ to the UK market. In this way, we provide the British with the right tools to get to work on making their building or entire portfolio more sustainable.

Written by: Nanda Verschoor, Account executive at CFP