Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Landmark Raises the Bar in the Sustainability Software Market

We're pleased to announce the launch of Sustainability Sure, a new platform brought to market via a strategic partnership with ManageCO2. An innovative environmental software development company whose mission is to make carbon, sustainability and energy management easy. 
Sustainability Sure is a new sustainability platform that meets the full requirements of the new (October 2013) mandatory carbon reporting for all UK incorporated and stock exchange listed companies. Uniquely, Sustainability Sure combines energy meter analytics, CRC compliance and reporting, GHG reporting and CSR in a single platform. It also conveniently enables companies to automate the data collection and data entry without any IT implementation. In addition the management information derived from Sustainability Sure delivers benefits beyond simply legislative compliance, such as enabling costs to be allocated to specific cost centres as opposed to rolling up to a general ‘catch all’ corporate pot. This platform therefore meets the needs of the Finance Director as well as the Head of Sustainability. Ultimately, Sustainability Sure is a comprehensive and highly intuitive sustainability platform.

We, as Landmark forged a reputation in the energy and sustainability market via their Carbon Counter product, launched in 2010, to help companies manage their emissions in light of the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) legislation. Sustainability Sure now supersedes Carbon Counter.

Sustainability Sure is powered by the ManageCO2 software platform which is doubly accredited and independently tested by SGS, the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, and the CDP (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project). Thanks to this accreditation, Sustainability Sure is the only software solution that has been independently tested against, and meets, the international Greenhouse Gas Protocol and ISO 14064 (the international standard for environmental management) as well as DEFRA’s standards of 2012 and June 2013.

ManageCO2’s success stems from the fact that the software was purpose built to fit both the current legislative framework and also easily adapt to future legislation. This has resulted in a product that is seamless and straightforward in its day-to-day application.

David Mole, Business Development Director, Landmark Information Group comments:

“Sustainability Sure combines ManageCO2’s carbon, energy and sustainability software excellence with Landmark’s experience, highly regarded reputation, and excellent sales and marketing teams to offer a truly market leading product.”

Sustainability Sure has already helped a leading university better manage their emissions. As the platform automatically calculates certain exemptions which were valid in this case for the university, analysis showed that the university had in fact overpaid tax on its emissions.  This was flagged because of the way that Sustainability Sure works ensures that data is automatically entered and checked for errors, before generating an automatic report. This results in a far simpler and smoother process for the user.

Adrian Fleming, CEO and Founder of ManageCO2, said:

“Both Landmark and ManageCO2 have an aligned vision for the future of this sector, and this was a logical next step in the development of our relationship. It is a fantastic partnership, one which together makes us probably the largest global carbon and sustainability software provider in terms of client numbers, which currently is in excess of 200 companies with their 100,000 buildings stretching across all seven continents.”

As UK remains on high alert, Know Your Flood Risk campaign launches new Flood Recovery Guide to support victims through the clean-up

Last week saw the largest tidal surge in 60 years, resulting in devastating floods across much of South East England. With further flood warnings being issued across the UK, data from the Met Office suggests that flooding could threaten to become an even more regular occurrence over the coming years.

Since 1960, there has been a gradual increase in how often the UK experiences periods of extreme rainfall. Intense rainfall, which used to occur on average once every hundred days, has gradually become more frequent so that in the last decade heavy rain now falls roughly once every 70 days[1]. The impact of this can be felt nationwide and, with almost 1,400 properties having been affected by the most recent floods alone, more and more homeowners and tenants alike are being urged to take into account the practical considerations surrounding recovery.

Against this backdrop, and in order to provide householders with practical advice in the event of a flood, Know Your Flood Risk has launched its new Flood Recovery Guide. Written by Mary Dhonau, Chief Executive of the Know Your Flood Risk campaign, along with Researcher Carly Rose,  both of whom have first-hand experience of flooding, the document offers an accessible step-by-step guide to help victims through the initial stages of recovery, as well as in the months to come regardless of whether the property is insured or not.

As Mary explains: “When I first flooded, I was caught utterly unaware. I was woken in the middle of the night by my son telling me that downstairs was under a foot of water. I lost all my youngest son’s playgroup drawings along with many other irreplaceable photographs and possessions. However what struck me at the time was the complete lack of help or guidance for people such as myself, caught in that situation.

 “It can be extremely traumatic, and facing the clean-up process is daunting. However, by drawing on our own experiences we’ve been able to break the problem down into a series of manageable steps. It can be tempting to try and tackle everything at once, but there are some really important factors you need to take into consideration, from liaising with your Loss Adjuster through to some really basic health and safety considerations.”

“The average flood claim is estimated to be around £30,000,” Mary continues. “However in many cases householders, particularly in the rental market, don’t even have the benefit of flood insurance simply because it is too expensive. If this is the case there are still a number of things you can do, and often there are grants and charities in place to support you. The real benefit of this guide is that it offers guidance and advice regardless of your situation. Every flood is different, and every house is unique, so the processes you need to follow will not necessarily be the same as your neighbour. It can take up to 12 months before any repairs are completed, but with the right support and guidance, you can ensure that the recovery process is on track even from day one.”    

“We understand as well as anyone the loss, disruption and heartache that flooding causes,” Mary concludes. “However recovery is possible and, even when the situation seems most overwhelming, simply following some practical steps can make all the difference in terms of getting things back on track following the damage caused by flooding.” 

The Know Your Flood Risk Flood Recovery Guide offers a wealth of practical hints, tips and guidance, along with third-party information sources and advice, all presented in an accessible, easy-to-follow format. The Guide is free to download at

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Subsidence - Advice for Conveyancers

In his latest blog, Andy Lucas, Managing Director of Property Assure, looks at properties that have been affected by subsidence and the key documents Conveyancers should be obtaining.

The Valuation Survey includes questions pertaining to evidence of movement and subsidence.  (It should be noted that the Valuation Surveyor is not equipped to identify whether the property is at risk of subsidence only if there is evidence of its occurrence – but we’ll revisit this in a later blog).  Where historic subsidence repairs have been identified the Conveyancer should obtain the supporting documentation to verify that any repairs have been undertaken accordance with the Building Research Establishment (BRE) subsidence classification and repair guidelines and or whether an insurance claim was made by the vendor.

There are 2 main documents that should be obtained:

·         It must be remembered that a significant proportion of subsidence repairs do not require underpinning of the foundations.  However, if any underpinning has been carried out it is a notifiable operation under the Building Regulations and as such, inspections and sign off by the Local Council Building Control Officer should have been carried out.  A formal Completion Certificate should be issued by the Council at completion.

·         Where the repair has been undertaken as an insurance claim, the insurer appointed Building Surveyor / engineer should have produced a Certificate of Structural Adequacy.  This is issued under guidance of the Institution of Structural Engineers (1994) although there is no actual contractual or legal requirement for one to be provided and it is not a guarantee. 

So in the event that previous subsidence is identified you should look to obtain the Completion Certificate issued by the Local Authority and Certificate of Structural Adequacy issued by the engineer/ surveyor who specified and periodically inspected any repairs under an insurance claim.   They should both be available from the Property Owner

The first step is to understand your subsidence risk.  If previous cracking or subsidence has been identified it is always worthwhile appointing a Building Surveyor / engineer to undertake a specific check on the property and review any supporting documentation and thereafter identify whether specific further investigations are required (soil samples, monitoring etc). 

Visit for more guidance and advice on Subsidence.

Andy Lucas
Managing Director
Property Assure Ltd

Risky Business 2013 : Environmental Due Diligence Conference

David Mole Business Development Director, Landmark Information Group 

Around 100 delegates, including environmental consultants, engineers, geo-technical consultants and members of the media attended our flagship annual conference Risky Business 2013.

Held at the Institute of Civil Engineers on Wednesday 27th November, speakers including media commentator Jonathan Davis (Jonathan Davis Wealth Management), unexploded ordnance expert and former paratrooper Simon Cooke (6 Alpha Associates) and Chairman of DEFRA’s Contaminated Land National Expert Panel, Andrew Wiseman( Harrison Grant Solicitors) delivered the latest developments in the field of environmental due diligence. 

Jonathan, Simon and Andrew were joined by fellow industry leaders to deliver updates on a range of topical issues such as the implication of the National Planning Policy Framework on land affected by contamination, ground-gas, European air quality, the macroeconomic outlook for the UK economy, unexploded ordnance, the CL:AIRE Definition of Waste: Code of Practice, flooding, legal issues and sustainability beyond risk-based management.

New to this year’s Risky Business was the launch of our Technology Tomorrow exhibition to showcase our exciting upcoming technological developments including mobile devices and workflow efficiencies.   Delegates were given exclusive access to test and provide feedback on the beta versions of our online map analysis tool, Envirocheck Analysis, and Envirocheck Analysis Mobile, which clients will be able to use during their site investigations.  Please do view our latest video here.

We’d like to thank our speakers for providing such topical insight and for generating much debate. Risky Business 2013 has once again been a huge success and we are still receiving positive feedback along with suggestion for next year’s agenda.  Please do email me at for any subjects you would like to be covered at future events.