Here, Rob Hudson, Interim Chief Executive Officer, shares his thoughts on biodiversity and our ambition to achieve a net biodiversity gain associated with all our development activity.
After watching David Attenborough’s ‘Extinction: The Facts’ on Sunday evening, it is clearer than ever that we must all manage our consumer demands in an environmentally conscious way. Where rich, diverse landscapes have been destroyed to make way for agricultural land, biodiversity loss has been having a more profound impact on the world – and our lives – than ever before. From the loss of animal species, to the constant dangers of global warming, we all have a part to play.
This year, I was proud to be part of St. Modwen’s Responsible Business launch where we set ourselves a series of ambitions, aligned to the UN’s Sustainability Goals, that we could deliver to leave a positive impact on the environment and society.
While watching Sir Attenborough’s show, our ‘Biodiversity & Sustainable Environments’ ambition really stood out to me. Through our developments, we can’t deny that we make a mark on the natural environment. While our impact is tiny compared with the global food supply chain, we do change landscapes through our work.
However, landscapes can be improved and biodiversity increased if a responsible approach is taken.
We have set ourselves the ambition to achieve a net biodiversity gain of at least 10% associated with all our development activity. This means that we will increase the biodiversity of a development so that it is even better than when we started.
For example, large swathes of grasses and soils often don’t provide habitats for a diverse mixture of wildlife. In fact, by planting a wide selection of the right trees, hedgerows and species-rich grassland, we can create new habitats for wildlife that didn’t previously exist there. Sustainable draining systems, such as ponds, swales and wetlands, also make a significant improvement to the ecology of a development.
As a business, we have committed to making a positive impact on the biodiversity of our projects.
At a personal level, it’s about the choices we make.
At the end of the day, we’re all building for the future, so let’s make sure it’s a bright one.”