Company showcase: Berkeley Group

The house builder is the first in its sector to become carbon positive.

by MT Staff
Last Updated: 30 Nov 2016

Website: berkeleygroup.co.uk

Head office: Berkeley House, 19 Portsmouth Road, Cobham, Surrey KT11 1JG

Number of employees: approx 2,500

COMPANY SUMMARY

The Berkeley Group builds homes and neighbourhoods in the South of England. It is made up of five autonomous companies - Berkeley Homes, St George, St James, St Edward and St William. We work together with other people to tackle the shortage of good quality homes; and we make a lasting contribution to the landscape and to the communities we help create. We build homes for everyone: from families to first-time buyers, students to older people, and luxury living to affordable housing. Our business is about placemaking not just housebuilding. It is about creating strong communities where people enjoy a great quality of life.

COMPANY CULTURE

Berkeley has created an environment where people have the confidence and freedom to operate to the best of their ability. The core values that underpin Berkeley remain unchanged from its early days. These are a passion for great places, having integrity, showing respect for people, thinking creatively and achieving excellence through detail. This culture informs the way we work, the way we lead the business, and what we deliver to our customers. We focus just as hard on the way we work as the products we deliver.

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

The Berkeley Foundation was established in March 2011. It supports young people and their communities across London and the South of England. Since it was established, the Foundation has committed nearly £9m to more than 85 charities and worthy causes. These range from in-depth strategic partnerships with programmes like Street Elite and charities like Shelter and Crisis, to smaller scale partnerships with the local designated charities chosen by staff in our offices and sites. Our goal is that every employee across the whole company does something every year to support the Foundation.

ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY

Berkeley does not have a separate sustainability strategy. We integrate sustainability into a plan for our business, which is called 'Our Vision'. Our single biggest contribution is to create new places that grace their surroundings and will stand the test of time. Berkeley is proud to have been awarded the Queen's Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development. We are the only housebuilder to have won this award twice.

OUR VISION

This year, Berkeley launched the next phase of a long-term business strategy called Our Vision. This involves a set of 10 commitments which include:

- Going Carbon Positive, becoming the first major housebuilder in Britain to do so.

- Ensuring at least 1,500 people across our workforce undertake an apprenticeship or vocational training.

- Taking a lead in community development, implementing plans to improve people's quality of life in all the places we build.

- Delivering a net biodiversity gain across our sites, ensuring that new development positively contributes to the environment.

INNOVATION

Innovation runs through our development cycle. It begins at the land acquisition stage, where Berkeley has worked closely with local authorities to regenerate government land and in joint ventures with other land owners, through product design, to new ways of delivering and measuring customer service. In 2016, Berkeley launched the Urban House. This new type of home has a modular design and can be fabricated off-site, then built in just 10 weeks. It also has a smaller, more efficient footprint meaning we can double the number of homes on a plot. It reinterprets the traditional family home, maximising living space and cutting up to 25% off utility bills.

The Urban House represents the first time a large-scale developer has designed and delivered its own housing typology.

OPPORTUNITIES

Passionate individuals are the key to our success. The group is always keen to recruit experienced, talented people to help us continually improve.

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