ESG Survey by BLG Shows Clear Customer Demand for Energy Efficient Houses

During January 2023, BLG carried out a pilot Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) survey to a number of our developer clients, and the results were both informative and consistent from an ESG perspective.

The initial conclusions were:

•  More than 70% of respondents plan to have improved or enhanced energy efficient features in their developments. Features mentioned included air source heat pumps, increased insulation, triple glazing, and solar panels.

•  More than 80% of respondents believe that homebuyers are enthusiastic about energy efficient or low carbon features. However, comments submitted included: houses need to be competitively priced; certain customers are looking for EPC A or B rating; higher buyer energy specifications required at higher house price points; and initiatives tend to follow and be guided by building regs.

•  More than 90% of respondents actually did not have plans to measure the carbon footprint of their business.
Perhaps on the last point, we could speculate that the process of doing so isn’t yet widely understood, so in January, BLG looked in to this further, and for the first time set about to calculate our carbon footprint. This showed that as a company of 26 employees, we generated 18,000 kgs carbon emission per year, primarily through the staff use of vehicles. Surprisingly though, the process to do this calculation was actually far simpler than we had expected and proved to be an interesting learning exercise for the team.

Our overall conclusions from this recent BLG client pilot survey are that there is clear customer demand at the right price, for energy efficient houses, as well as a willingness from developers to improve energy efficiency in their products. However, given the low level of plans for measuring carbon footprints, coupled with a widespread lack of guidance in measuring carbon footprints across the UK as a whole, we believe there is a fundamental education gap in an understanding of how carbon emission is generated and measured.

Thus, our key challenge for improving ESG in 2023 within our business sector will be ‘how to improve the awareness of how carbon emission is generated and can be saved or offset’, and BLG will be taking the necessary steps to reduce its carbon footprint and strive to be a carbon zero company in the future.

BLG’s pilot ESG survey was conducted with 13 of our developer clients, and having seen the value of information in all of the responses received, we are now planning to roll out a more comprehensive ESG questionnaire later this month to our wider client base. We hope that you will all be involved, and the results of which will be published with you all to help build a shared understanding of ESG knowledge.


“We have used BLG for development finance for over 8 years. During that time we have found their knowledge and expertise in the property development industry to be second to none. Their loan process, pragmatic and flexible approach to lending and flexibility when required has supported our business needs throughout the period and provided us with support to deliver new homes in Bristol and the surrounding areas.”

“As property developers you never know the curve balls that you may get and a project that is great on paper may prove a bit more tricky.  This happened to us on a project that BLG have funded and throughout they have supported us.  Our business likes to be collaborative and when we hit those tough moments it really felt like we were working as a team with BLG.  If you have a decent project you can get it funded, but what you really need is a business that is there to support and advise you as well.  For us on this project it was BLG.”

“I approached BLG Development finance with an opportunity I had in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, to build 5 new build houses in 2021. My main contact was Anil Bains who is a Director covering Asset Management. Within very quick timescales, BLG provided me with indicative quotes in regards the finance levels they could offer me. Having considered those levels, I requested a valuation to be carried out which again was dealt with swiftly. We proceeded to completion. The build went very smoothly with monthly monitoring being carried out by BLG and monthly drawdown requests dealt with in a very timely manner. Due to a difficult time generally in the market in regards selling, I was in need of a six-month extension to the loan which again was appraised very quickly and granted. Having dealt with numerous funders over the last 20 years, I can only speak highly of my personal experience with BLG and would very confidently work with them again on any future projects. “

"From our side it has also been a pleasure working with BLG and the team there. We have found you easy to deal with, proactive in resolving any minor issues that have arisen through the project and shown great flexibility in working with us as a partner. We will certainly like to work with you on future partners."

“I really appreciate your hard work. We really like the way you communicate & I must say I haven't seen many people who are that approachable.”

“A very efficient processing team, dealing with the DD once deal credit approved, through to completion”

“Many thanks for your efforts on this one and getting it approved and sorted so swiftly, very much appreciated. I am sure I will be speaking to your over the coming months.”

“We had other funding options, but chose to use BLG again, as we work well with the team, who always provide very clear information and advice with a friendly approach throughout the funding process. Very efficient and always very helpful.”

“Many thanks Anil, it’s been a real pleasure working with BLG so far.  We’re lining up the next project too”

“We would recommend all staff we have dealt with at BLG, as we are very satisfied with the team and the initial offer/terms presented, then you and the funding team, through to the draw down team at valuation stage.”

“All documents are clear and the way you keep clients informed, all the way along the funding process, is refreshing for us”

“With regard to what should be improved at BLG, we work with many lenders in our business and we do not get the help and response we have had on the two projects with all at BLG on our funding for our developments.”

“We would particularly mention Dave Edwards and Tom Pitts as being central to having a smooth working relationship and being positive and helpful at all times. Their guidance in helping us navigate the project from inception to completion was invaluable. As was their patience, particularly at the beginning. We look forward to many future projects with the BLG team.”

“We would like to express our appreciation for your support on our development in Bristol. We were very pleased that, from the outset, you shared our vision of the project to convert a dated but classical building, that had outlived its usefulness as a school, into unique luxury apartments with views overlooking the city. We found our dealings practical and streamlined. Monthly payments were processed in an efficient and timely manner.”

“BLG are very good at communicating with clients and all documents are very clear and all at BLG are always happy to help.”

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