The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has launched a new report to support industry recognise and capture the significant value and benefit of nature-based solutions across urban developments.
UKGBC’s report - The Value of Urban Nature Based Solutions - reveals the scale of positive outcomes which Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) can deliver for the industry, as well as the wide range of stakeholders who can benefit from their implementation across cities and urban areas.
The guidance will support industry to capture and better communicate the true value and wide-ranging benefits of NBS, enabling practitioners to develop a stronger business case for using NBS and unlock financial opportunities.
NBS offer an adaptation approach for our cities and built environments to become more resilient to the impacts of climate change. However, delivering NBS at scale will require both public and private funds to be committed at increased levels. To date, the majority of global finance for nature has been provided by the public sector, coordinated by national and local governments. In the UK a £976m spending gap has been identified for the provision of accessible green (and blue) spaces. Greater support from the private sector will therefore be critical to bridging the finance gap for adaptation.
It is primarily intended that UKGBC's guidance will be used by decision makers in the built environment, such as developers and asset owners. In addition, members of design teams can use this information to support the case for NBS on a project level. This includes sustainability consultants, ecologists, and landscape architects. It will also be useful to local authorities with an interest in adaptation strategies and green infrastructure. Finally, financial institutions such as investors and lenders will find this report useful.
UKGBC’s director of business transformation, Alastair Mant, said: “Nature-Based Solutions are an exceptional solution for the challenges of our time, offering an adaptation approach for our cities and built environments to become more resilient to the impacts of climate change. The current lack of awareness and understanding of the benefits associated with NBS has resulted in their financial value being consistently undercalculated. UKGBC’s report seeks to challenge the dominant narratives surrounding urban NBS delivery, providing a broader framing of its benefits, beneficiaries, and value that underpins a more holistic business case.”
Federated Hermes’ head of investment, Eoin Murray, said: “This report is an important step to mainstreaming the integration of NBS in urban developments and provides some simple tools to anchor NBS at the core of projects. From raising awareness on the multiple benefits of NBS to developing innovative finance models, this guidance encourages decision makers to explore and implement the process of NBS integration.”
Troup Bywaters + Anders’ managing partner, Peter Anderson, said: “We are witnessing the stark reality of humanity’s consumptive approach to the planet’s resources with an alarming trend in nature loss, which not only contributes to climate change but is also accelerated by its impacts. Our industry needs to move beyond current compliance-based thinking to a regenerative one, recognising that the built environment can be a force for positive change. UKGBC’s guidance provides a practical framework for assessing the contribution of nature based solutions to add value to a place, the neighbourhood and our environment. By creating opportunity and pathways for biodiversity through our urban spaces we can play our part in reversing this decline with buildings and infrastructure that exist in harmony with nature and the environment.”