Environment Bank celebrates new Credits scheme

A Yorkshire-based business is seeking to restore biodiversity and create new wildlife habitats throughout the UK, with the help of its pioneering ‘Credits’ scheme.

Environment Bank has hired 20 professionals, including ecologists, marketing, operational and legal experts to work on its new product, Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) credits. This will offer developers a simple way to implement BNG and generate a guaranteed income for landowners. The aim is to unlock economic growth, while funding conservation and biodiversity projects across the UK.

Housing and commercial developers, infrastructure businesses and corporates in the UK are now required by law to ensure BNG on all new projects or risk planning permission being refused.

The Environment Bank’s latest recruits include CEO James Cross, formerly Chief Executive of Natural England, Ecology Director Emma Toovey, Head of Operations Dana Foster, and Commercial Director Alexis Perry.

Company founder, Professor David Hill, CBE, created the concept of biodiversity net gain in 2007 and has long campaigned for it to be mandated into planning law. This was achieved with the passing of the Environment Act last November.

Prof. Hill said: “We have been waiting for this moment for many years and we are incredibly pleased and proud to see it finally become law. All credit to Defra and Natural England for ensuring its inclusion in the Act.

“BNG means leaving the natural environment in a better state than before a development or infrastructure project was built. Ensuring this happens via the planning process has now been made law through the Environment Act. This presents a greater opportunity than ever before to restore nature across our country at scale. This is critical because we have seen an unprecedented 60% decline in biodiversity over the past five decades.

“At Environment Bank, in anticipation of the Act we have put in place the necessary structures to allow us to deliver BNG at scale. This includes expanding our team of expert ecologists so they have a national footprint across England, strengthening our operational capabilities, and reviewing our board of directors and senior management team.”

Environment Bank is currently creating its first habitat banks, tapping into thousands of hectares of land to restore wildlife habitat and support the Government’s targets for nature recovery. Founded in 2006, the Bank has evolved rapidly and seeks to be a catalyst for change in the way development is done across the UK.

CEO James Cross continued: “Having grown our team from six to 26 in the past 12 months, we are now in a prime position to help developers and corporations unlock the opportunities created through the Environment Act.”

Full details at environmentbank.com.

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