How sustainable is your development?

The Sustainable Development Scorecard
United Kingdom (London)

What if you want to assess a proposed development’s contribution to the social, economic and environmental pillars of sustainability? A new free online tool has been launched to do just that, to score its ‘golden thread of sustainability’ – The Sustainable Development Scorecard.

So what is the ‘golden thread of sustainable development’?

The UK’s National Planning Policy Framework has this running through it, yet there is no clear-cut way to assess a scheme’s sustainable development credentials. This means the current assessment process is tricky and subjective.

That’s why property advisory firm Iceni Projects established an independent body called The Sustainable Development Commission in March 2016, to find solutions to this very real planning issue.

“Although the NPPF has a presumption in favour of sustainable development at its heart, assessing the degree to which a project complies with this is highly subjective,” explains Dan Jestico, Director for Sustainable Development, Iceni Projects. “Thanks to the Sustainable Development Scorecard, everyone from architects to developers to local residents will be able to easily assess how sustainable a proposal really is.”

“The Sustainable Development Scorecard means that for the first time, it will be possible to see to what extent a scheme really has a ‘golden thread of sustainability running through it’.”

Launched on 28 November 2017, the Scorecard is a free and easy-to-use tool. Users are asked a series of questions about the site and type of development and are then presented with a series of statements regarding the scheme and asked to respond on a five point scale from ‘strongly disagree’ to ‘strongly agree’.

The Scorecard tool will give two scores – a parity score and a sustainability score as well as a pdf report containing a summary of the scores, user responses and recommendations for improvement. The sustainability score assesses how closely the development proposals conform to the NPPF’s definition of sustainable development. This represents a combined score from each of the three pillars – economic, social and environmental. The parity score assesses how equally the three pillars are balanced.

That’s clarity.

AtlasAction: Assess a development.

Written by

Dan Jestico (29 November 2017)


Director for Sustainable Development at Iceni Projects with a history grounded in sustainable development and advanced numerical modelling.

Project leader

The Sustainable Development Commission

Support the Atlas

We want the Atlas of the Future media platform and our event to be available to everybody, everywhere for free – always. Fancy helping us spread stories of hope and optimism to create a better tomorrow? For those able, we'd be grateful for any donation.

Creative Commons License



Take me somewhere
Take me somewhere
Data Protection Act: LOPD.
In compliance with Organic Law 15/1999, of 13 of December, on Personal Data Protection, and the development of Rules of Procedure, approved by Royal Decree 1720/2007, of 21 of December, Atlas of the Future subscribers may be required to provide Personal Data, which will be included in a file owned by Democratising The Future Society SL. Such file is duly incorporated in the Spanish Data Protection Agency and protected in compliance with the security measures established in the applicable legislation. Subscribers may exercise, at any time, their rights of access, rectification, cancellation and/or opposition regarding their Personal Data. The subscriber shall notice their will, either under written form addressed to Democratising The Future Society SL, Ref. LOPD, Calabria, 10 6-3 08015 - Barcelona (Spain) and/or by e-mail, clicking here. Also, the subscriber shall communicate Atlas of the Future any modifications of their Personal Data stored, so that the information stored by Atlas of the Future remains at all times updated and error-free.
Get World-changing projects and news in your inbox weekly.