Select Committee on Environmental Audit Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum from Countryside Properties PLC

  Countryside Properties' objective is to create enhanced returns for shareholders whilst developing sustainable communities that offer the highest quality of life to everyone. This is best achieved, we believe, through our innovative and responsible approach to development. In "Thinking beyond today", we take a long-term view in everything we do, but always with the intent of adding value to our business.

  Our strategy strongly supports the Government's four principles of sustainable development:

    —  Developing high and stable levels of economic growth and employment.

    —  Enabling social progress which recognises the needs of stakeholders.

    —  Providing effective protection of the environment.

    —  Encouraging the prudent use of natural resources.

  At Countryside Properties we are rising to the challenges of shifting demographics, diverse societal cultures and climate change. In doing so we are recognised as a leader in creating sustainable communities, by not just meeting, but also contributing to the progression of the Government's development policies. We believe being a good corporate citizen benefits all our stakeholders. Indeed, by working to embed our environmental, social and ethical activities across our business we are:

    —  Improving relationships with Government and its agencies, non-government organisations, our employees, customers and suppliers.

    —  Enhancing our reputation particularly with planning authorities and landowners.

    —  Controlling our non-financial risks.

    —  Maximising the attractiveness of Countryside Properties' shares to investors.

    —  Protecting our reputation and creating a stronger brand and greater customer preference.

    —  Attracting and retaining talented people across the Group.

    —  Working with our supply chain to promote good practices, deliver cost savings and add value.

    —  Reducing non-essential operating costs and overheads.

  Tangible benefits of such an approach include: creating design lead development solutions, reducing environmental impacts and improving management systems.

  Looking forward, we intend to start measuring the eco-efficiency of our products and maximise the benefits to our business, customers and the respective local communities.

  By taking an enlightened approach to corporate social responsibility we are making it easier to grasp the many benefits and opportunities it creates.

June 2004

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