Jeff Fairburn, Group Chief Executive

"I believe that the understanding and application of our sustainability strategy across the business has improved."

I am pleased to introduce our 2015 Sustainability Report. During the year our business performed strongly, increasing the number of homes sold by 8% to over 14,500. I believe that the understanding and application of our sustainability strategy across the business has also improved. This alignment of social, environmental and economic performance is fundamental to our approach and we are, from the Board down, giving these issues more time and attention within our business.

The housebuilding sector is attracting ever greater scrutiny from different stakeholders and for different reasons. This is something we welcome as only by creating a shared understanding of the challenges we face will we be able to identify and implement effective and sustainable solutions that benefit not just our industry but the country.

Perhaps the most important challenge, and the one that has featured prominently in the media over recent months is the role that Persimmon and others in the housebuilding sector have to play in addressing the UK's housing shortage. A concerted and coordinated effort is required by the Government and all stakeholders to deal with the underlying causes as well as the symptoms. This has begun with various Government led initiatives and we are supporting these, in particular with a strong focus on building family homes and intensive skills training.

One of the major challenges we have to overcome is ensuring that we have the right people in place to deliver our strategy. Later in this report you will find details of how we are using a range of initiatives to attract, retain and motivate our employees. I joined Persimmon as a surveyor and I believe passionately that Persimmon should reward ability, contribution and endeavour. This meritocratic approach, which gives everyone the opportunity to realise their ambitions, is central to how we operate and an important differentiator from our competitors in the race for talent.

Finally, I want to draw your attention to two very significant additions to this year's report. The first is a section outlining both our strategy and specific actions in relation to Climate Change, an issue that affects us all. The second is the inclusion of objectives under each of the five themes that inform our sustainability strategy. In future years we will explain the progress we have made against these objectives in order to show stakeholders how effective we have been in implementing our sustainability strategy.

Jeff Fairburn, Group Chief ExecutiveMarch 2016