The finding was highlighted in a sustainability report this week under the Next Generation project, which involves bodies such as WWF-UK, the Housing Corporation and many house builders. The investigation revealed that only a quarter understand the carbon footprint of their operations.
Berkeley Group was given top place for sustainability, followed by Taylor Wimpey, Countryside Properties and Crest Nicholson.
The study found that 65 per cent have published a corporate sustainability strategy. The same number have waste management plans and 60 per cent have targets for better energy efficiency.
The bottom five include CALA Homes, which argued that it was not accurately assessed. Group development director Robert Millar said the company is piloting schemes using alternative forms of energy and eco-friendly materials. Last year the firm's Grandholm Village in Aberdeen won the best brownfield development in the What House awards.
The report notes that some firms chose not to disclose details that could have affected their ranking. It calls on the government to introduce sustainability incentives for home builders.
Building a Sustainable Future is available at PlanningResource.co.uk/doc.