Building a better future

As a construction company, we have recognised our need to make changes in the bid to limit the impact our actions have on the environment. We are committed to minimising our carbon footprint, protecting the environment and promoting sustainability in our methods, on and off site. Through new measures, technology and an overall environmentally conscious decision-making process, we strive to build a greener and healthier future. 

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“Atkinsons are dedicated to keeping our effect on the environment as minimal as possible. I have been in this business for over 30 years, we have always tried to help in any way we can. We understand that some of the works carried out during construction have the potential to cause or create a negative impact on biodiversity. However, there are areas in which we can contribute to enhance local biodiversity, leaving a positive legacy as a result of our operations. A specific aim of ours is to plant 10,000 native trees over the next 10 years, creating ecosystems for a variety of species.”

Neil McKaskie, Operations Director

Our Approach

We intend to improve our current practice and ensure our continuous awareness and adherence to rules, regulations, and guidance. We aim to deliver this by: 


  1. Strictly following all guidelines within the Habitat and Species Regulations to ensure habitat and protected species surveys are conducted efficiently and accurately where appropriate.
  2. Managing biodiversity risk and opportunities through a variety of additional risk assessments.
  3. Following and adhering all legal obligations, while implementing careful site management.
  4. Maximising opportunities for biodiversity enhancement where appropriate.
  5. Appointing ecological and biodiversity specialists when undertaking project specific biodiversity initiatives.
  6. Ensuring all employees and subcontractors are equipped with the knowledge and training they need to ensure they comply with all policies.

Throughout the planning phase of every project, we evaluate and oversee potential environmental risks that could affect species and habitats. We then implement measures to mitigate these risks, aiming to uphold and conserve the natural environment while enhancing biodiversity whenever feasible.

Ways in which we do this include the creation of new habitats during early construction to minimise the impact of habitat destruction, as well as buffer areas and landscape features which will aid and enhance wildlife, including the planting of native trees. We not only aim to protect existing habitats, but focus on linking and connecting existing landscape features to ultimately help species grow and evolve.


Where possible, we ensure each development has a soft landscaping plan approved by the local planning department. Not only does this improve site appearance, it is also a great way to increase pollinator activity. This supports biodiversity and is also a great indicator in identifying the overall health of an ecosystem. 


Adapting to our climate

We are measuring our Carbon Footprint, striving to decrease it annually through the adoption of innovative products and technologies, stringent waste and recycling management, and monitoring electricity, fuel, and water consumption.

Waste Reduction Measures

Recognising the significant impact waste and pollution have on our climate, we remain dedicated to maintaining our proactive approach to recycling. These practices have been integral to Atkinsons' operations for over 25 years, and we are determined to continually increase our recycling and reuse rates each year. In addition to recycling recreational waste, we conscientiously repurpose materials like sand, clay, sub-soil, and topsoil onsite, further contributing to our sustainability efforts.

Operational Impact

We believe our employees play a significant role in the successful implementation of our eco strategy. It is our goal to ensure that every member of the Atkinsons team understands the environmental impact of the construction industry. This approach provides our staff with the necessary framework to adhere to company guidelines when working independently. These guidelines include practices such as managing time spent on plant/machinery, appropriate travel/speed to and from the office and site, and electricity reduction measures.

Heart of the Community

We have identified the vital role we play in sustaining our community for future generations.

We value the community in which we live and work, and it is important for us to ensure we build homes that can also help our customers on their own journey to improving their carbon footprint. We want to quantify the social impact new build housing may have on a community and put strategies in place to ensure we counteract any negative impact.

We build homes for the future, therefore uphold the highest safety standards, leaving a legacy that delivers economic and environmental value to the communities we build. Throughout the longevity of each project, we invest significantly within the community our development supports, whether it be financial contributions, new and improved facilities, or sponsorship for local clubs.

Not only do we financially contribute towards the construction of new schools within upcoming communities, during our 40 years in business, we have helped a wide range of schools with the expansion of their current facilities, repairs due to flood/fire damage, the construction of new bespoke facilities and the donation of topsoil or other useful materials. 

Driving in the right direction

We have begun the transition from fuel sourced cars to electric, with the introduction of our first Atkinson Homes eco car.

We believe that electric vehicles are the future as they are cleaner and kinder to the environment than petrol and diesel powered vehicles. Not only do they not emit any exhaust gases, but they also reduce noise pollution.

The installation of EV charge points at our Head Office demonstrates our commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility. We are actvely reducing our carbon footprint, promoting sustainable modes of transport, and are providing the necessary facilities to our staff and customers.

Delivering on our promise


As part of our pledge to reduce energy consumption, we have successfully completed the installation of 48 x 375W PV panels, 3 x 8kW batteries and 6 x 7kW EV charge points, giving us 7 in total at our head office in Penrith.

The new hardware is all ‘smart’ and allows us to accurately monitor the energy we generate, use, and store throughout the day.

In the first month from the installation of our new solar panels, batteries, and EV charging points, we generated almost 5000kWh of energy. As a keen supporter of our local community and an established employer locally, we hope the implementation of these measures will set an example and help increase awareness surrounding the importance of becoming more sustainable. 

We endeavor to use local labour and where possible, source materials locally too in order to minimise travel and in turn, pollution. Streamlining the supply chain allows us to operate more efficiently and sustainably. 

We have enquired about adding a “Tiny Forest” to one of our future sites. A Tiny Forest consists of 600 native trees densely planted in a tennis court-sized plot of land. It provides a nature-rich land and accessible green space. This is also potential for outdoor learning as we plan alongside Earthwatch to recruit and induct local volunteers to help maintain the Tiny Forest. This initiative is not only important for biodiversity, but key in ensuring we have a generation full of knowledge to maintain these species moving forward-teaching others to care for our environment.

Affordable housing provides many benefits, some of which help towards environmental impact. Climate change can have a huge impact on housing security and over the last 12 years we have completed over 340 affordable housing units to help our local community. 

We ensure our new developments maximise green space, creating wildlife corridors within sections of each site. Wildlife corridors are a great way to mitigate some of the negative impacts during construction. They enable an increase of movement between isolated populations, increase genetic variability within species, and can also decrease heating and cooling costs when used as windbreaks.

Making the switch to renewable energy


We will keep looking for additional ways to become more sustainable within our operations. However, this is a step in the right direction, showing our commitment to the future.

In our future developments, we aim to be modern and innovative and are always thinking about additional steps we can take to improve. We are passionate about reducing the carbon footprint of the homes that we build, which is why we are implementing high standards of construction and innovative technologies. New homes are ultra-insulated and air sealed, so require little energy for heating.

As we head towards making our new homes as sustainable as possible, there are many new products and innovations to consider. On a recent scheme for Riverside Housing at Dalston Road, Carlisle, the average Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) rating was 83, which is equal to a ‘B’ Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The national average SAP rating is 67 with an equal to EPC rating of ‘C’, which makes our homes 30% more energy efficient.

We want to improve further, so we are implementing new strategies in the bid to build A rated homes at our upcoming development within Stainton. These homes can produce more energy than what is required, keeping the home at a regulated temperature all year round.

Each home on our development is oriented and positioned in a way to enhance the passive solar gain which maximises the heat the sun provides through glazed areas. We also strive to equip our homes with Solar PV panels, which will generate the electricity consumed within the home. Air Source Heat Pumps are also a great way for us to reduce our carbon footprint; they take heat from the outside air, converting it to a higher temperature to heat internal spaces. Most of our new homes now come installed with an Air Source Heat Pump, as well as a provision for EV car chargers, ensuring that they are fit for the future.

Our Methods

  • Solar Panels (PV)
  • Battery Storage
  • Air Source Heat Pumps
  • EV Car Chargers
  • Innovative Methods of Construction
  • Sourcing Local Labour and Materials Where Possible