• Capabilities: Environmental Solutions

Helping clients build greener

UK - New communities should be built in a way that not only reduces the carbon impact of development, but also actively contributes to wider and longer-term carbon reduction. From water, waste, and energy, to community, culture, health and wellbeing, sustainability principles should inform every aspect of a new development.

Defines and measures sustainability

As part of Arcadis’ Climate Response proposition, we developed the Sustainability Target Assessment Rating (STAR) framework to embed sustainability into the heart of all our projects.

The STAR framework is a way to define, assess and measure sustainability throughout the project lifecycle, and is especially potent in informing design decisions. 

This approach was recognised by Birmingham City Council. Arcadis worked with the team, which included the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and Zero Emission Cities, to help identify and achieve Birmingham City Council’s sustainability priorities for the new Smithfields project; one of the major growth locations in Birmingham city centre. Using our STAR tool, we were able to embed sustainability into the heart of the masterplanning process. 

The resulting report set out the proposed Sustainability Framework that will support Smithfield meet this vision and draws together a range of sustainability standards and examples of ‘best’ and ‘aspirational’ practice that, if embedded, will deliver the sustainability aspirations of Smithfield.

Assessment against the framework allows sustainability performance to be tracked throughout the development of the masterplan. This is visualised through simple spider diagrams so the client could clearly see where they are excelling and where they need to focus their efforts more. 

STAR ensures the Smithfields development will provide high quality office space and a healthy living and working environment, at the same time as offering a strong return on investment.

Arcadis is also using this framework with other Local Authority clients to embed this thinking into emerging projects and working with major banks to assess how we can use the model to monitor environment, social and governance performance of projects or to help manage wider corporate performance for non-financial reporting.

Emma Arnold, Technical Director | Head of Environmental, Health & Safety Advisory, Arcadis:

“Birmingham City Council recognised that this development could demonstrate how communities can be built in a way that not only reduces the carbon impact of new developments, but may also actively contribute to wider carbon reduction.

“We put forward our STAR model as part of the solution for Birmingham and led on the delivery of the framework.

“As our clients in all sectors and industries look to develop and meet aspirations for carbon reduction and sustainability, this is something we can share with them now.” 


Defines and measures sustainability

Questions about this project

Emma Arnold

Technical Director | Head of Environmental, Health & Safety Advisory Ask me a question
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