Australian giant Lendlease bagged the prize of Best Residential Developer after impressing judges with its unwavering commitment to sustainability, innovation and diversity.
The firm has sought to set itself apart by leading the way in delivering sustainable regeneration projects, building approximately 2,000 residential units in 2016.
Its flagship £2.3bn Elephant Park development in Southwark has already been recognised by others for its credentials. The 10 ha scheme is the only UK scheme included in the C40 Climate Positive Development Programme.This means the energy efficiency of the homes being built is up to 30 per cent higher than required by current regulations.
The first phase of the project won the RIBA London award and was the only residential scheme shortlisted for the 2016 Stirling Prize.
Included in the Elephant Park scheme is Lendlease’s new ‘Futurehome’ concept, which will be the first Passivhaus-standard development in London’s Zone 1. It will include 15 sustainable houses designed to meet ultra-low energy-efficient benchmarks.
“A hugely impressive business with a clear strategy and vision for delivering a mix of quality residential developments”
A social conscience is clearly at the heart of its business, as Lendlease founder Dick Dusseldorp has said: “Companies must start justifying their worth to society, with greater emphasis placed on environmental and social impact rather than straight economics.”
In Southwark, the company introduced a Be Onsite not-for-profit initiative which has given 500 long-term unemployed people and ex- offenders training and work opportunities.
And last year the firm was recognised for its Hungate project in York due to its engagement with local schools and workshops for York College graduates.
The judges were similarly impressed by the group’s commitment to diversity. Lendlease has a company-wide target of reaching 50:50 gender representation by 2025. Currently 29 per cent of the firm’s workforce – including executive level – are women.
Lendlease is also leading the way on mental health, and last year ramped up its mental health first aider programme, which means that one in three employees are now trained. The firm also offers Wellbeing Leave, which allows staff to take time off to focus on their physical and mental wellbeing.
The judging panel said: “Lendlease is a hugely impressive business with a clear strategy and vision for delivering quality residential developments.
“In a fiercely fought contest, we were impressed that a company of such scale is bringing real innovation and showing genuine commitment to sustainability. The firm also impressed for its drive towards a truly diverse workforce.”
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