Clarion sets 20% biodiversity target for all new developments 

Clarion sets 20% biodiversity target for all new developments 

Housing association launches Nature Recovery Strategy for both new homes and existing neighbourhoods

Clarion Housing Group has set out their plan for tackling climate change and biodiversity loss with a new blueprint for recovering nature, increasing community well-being and facilitating environmental stability.

Miles Lewis, director of sustainability at the housing association, launched the Group’s Nature Recovery Strategy by explaining: “[It] represents a comprehensive approach to enhancing biodiversity, improving community well-being, and building climate resilience across our developments and existing neighbourhoods.

“As we confront the dual crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, Clarion is dedicated to pursuing activities that not only recover nature but also support our broader climate and sustainability goals.”

Lewis outlined the three key focus areas for delivering the sustainability strategy:

  • Biodiversity & nature: We aim for a measurable biodiversity net gain (BNG) above the mandatory levels for all new development projects, aspiring for 20%. For our existing neighbourhoods, our goal is a 10% voluntary BNG uplift on up to five communities each year.
  • Well-being & placemaking: Our initiatives are designed to enhance the physical and mental well-being of our residents by providing increased access to high-quality green spaces. This promotes community cohesion and supports healthier lifestyles.
  • Climate resilience: By integrating nature-based solutions in our designs, we enhance ecosystem services that mitigate the effects of climate change, contributing to greater environmental stability around our properties.

The strategy includes specific ‘Nature Actions’ to ensure both new developments and existing homes and neighbourhoods contribute positively to local biodiversity.

The housing association used their Clarion Index, Clarion Voice and nature focus group to shape the strategy around residents concerns and desires for the practicalities of enabling nature recovery across Clarion’s homes and neighbourhoods.

Results include:

  • 70% of Clarion residents think climate change is important to them personally (Clarion Index, 2023)
  • 75% of those surveyed showed positive attitudes towards nature recovery (Clarion Voice, 2024)
  • The main concerns around any approach to nature recovery are linked to maintenance (70%) and potential messiness (55%) as well as raising concerns around financial implications if green space improvements

Clarion says it aspires to deliver nature improvements through changes to management and maintenance regimes and to deliver enhancements which will not financially impact residents. 


In other Clarion news, Birmingham City Council’s planning committee has granted approval for the development of new homes in Digbeth by Latimer, the development arm of Clarion Housing Group.

The development of the Clyde Street site in Digbeth will deliver 481 new homes, of which 55% will be affordable housing through shared ownership and social rent.

Caritas takes steps to help fight against climate change

Caritas takes steps to help fight against climate change

Caritas has signed up to environmental subscription service, Ecologi, to become a climate positive workforce to help tackle climate change.

The initiative enables individuals and businesses to calculate and compensate their carbon footprint, fund climate projects and meet their eco goals.

Founded in 2019, Ecologi currently has 25,151 members who have collectively planted 24 million trees and reduced 822,656 tonnes of CO2. Ecologi’s plan is to reduce half the world’s emissions by 2040.

Since joining in the collective action, Caritas and its sister companies Fortress & Castle and Castle Express have offset 66.72 tonnes of CO2e by supporting the following projects:

  • producing renewable wind energy in Bulgaria
  • using waste biomass to produce electricity in Chile
  • Preserving Amazonian rainforest in Brazil
  • Solar power generation in Tamil Nadu and Telangana, India
  • 66.72 tonnes of CO2e is equivalent to one of the following: 51 long haul flights, 200m2 of sea ice saved or 165,532 miles driven in a car.

    The company has also, to date (Nov 2021), planted 10,172 real trees, supporting both reforestation projects in Mozambique and mangrove planting in Madagascar.

    Furthermore, Caritas, Fortress & Castle and Castle Express have committed to planting trees across the world and locally in the UK every time an invoice is paid.

    This will see the companies planting hundreds of trees each month. They have also committed to offsetting the CO2 emissions of their employees while at work. This is calculated based on the number of people in the team and their work-generated carbon footprint, compiled from basic day-to-day work activities, energy consumption and travel.

    Discussing the decision to join Ecologi, Simon Fitzsimmons, Director of Client Services said: “Climate change is here and is already causing damage across the world, so it’s important that businesses of all sizes take action. We’re excited to have joined 8,255 other businesses working with Ecologi to prioritise climate leadership.”

    To keep up-to-date with the projects Caritas are funding and to see the locations of the trees the company has planted, visit