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What is a sustainability statement?

March 5, 2021

Sustainability and building compliance expert. Specialising in low energy design, SAP, SBEM, BREEAM, and air testing for the construction industry,

Andrew Sadler



Your sustainability statement is a comprehensive, multifaceted document that highlights all aspects of the environmental impact of any planned development. Read on for our full guide.

You may have heard the phrase ‘sustainability statement’ – but do you really know what it means?

A sustainability statement is different from both Energy Statements and SAP calculations as it covers ALL aspects of the environmental impact on a dwelling. Energy Statements and SAP, on the other hand, focus purely on energy.

What is a sustainability statement? A sustainability statement is a report showing how a developer will address local objectives concerning environment and sustainability. It covers everything from CO2 emissions, to renewable energy targets.

Your sustainability statement should show an awareness of the important objectives concerning environmental issues, alongside the steps you will take to achieve them. 

What should you include in a sustainability statement?

A sustainability statement should demonstrate how you will address the key policies around sustainability, including those set by your local authority. It should cover:

This list is far from exhaustive, but it gives you an idea of the extent to which your sustainability statement needs to tap into.

Why do you need a sustainability statement?

Basically? The more you can prove your sustainability and efficiency, the better.

Your local authority may ask for a sustainability statement as part of a proposed planning application. Even if they don’t, it can add real value to your application, while minimising any potential risks from the word go.

Sustainability statements tend to be needed if you want to undertake any projects on greenbelt land. Since 2012, the National Planning Policy Framework has stated that local authorities can only allow for buildings on greenbelt land in exceptional circumstances. If you can prove your project has exceptional sustainability qualities, then it could fit the bill.

How do you complete a sustainability statement?

To start off, you need to get in touch with your local authority to clarify their requirements. In line with these requirements, you will complete a comprehensive report taking the following elements of your build into account:

You will need to show which sustainability options you are considering and how these will contribute to cutting carbon emissions for the wider environment. We suggest completing your sustainability statement early on in your project, so that it can support your planning application.

Can Buildpass complete my sustainability statement for me?

It would be our pleasure! 

Our team of energy and sustainability consultants will join you to assess and report on your project. We’ll take the hassle out of writing your statement, and also provide guidance and advice on any ways you can improve the energy efficiency of your dwelling.

To find out more about our services, please book a free consultation.

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