Home » Property sector leaders appointed as UK Built Environment Climate Ambassadors

Property sector leaders appointed as UK Built Environment Climate Ambassadors

by Samiyah Mokaddus
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Dame Alison Nimmo DBE and a number of other influential property leaders have been revealed as UK Built Environment Climate Ambassadors that are part of the real estate army which has mobilised to fight climate change ahead of the United Nations COP26 summit in Glasgow in November.

The construction and operation of buildings and infrastructure is responsible for nearly 40% of global greenhouse gases. 

Understanding the scale of this challenge, many leading organisations recognise the urgent need to change for the good of the planet, and kick-start the high-paid green jobs revolution.

The UK’s role as host, and as the country that started the industrial revolution, has thrown a harsh spotlight on the size of the challenge, and revealed the huge economic potential in solving the problem.

The UK Built Environment Climate Ambassadors are:

  • Chris Brown, Executive Chair, Igloo Regeneration
  • Tor Burrows, Executive Director, Grosvenor
  • Guy Grainger, Global Head of Sustainability Services & ESG, JLL
  • Bill Hughes, Head of Real Assets, Legal & General Investment Management
  • Paul King, MD Sustainability & Social Impact, Lendlease Europe
  • Kevin McCloud, Designer, Writer & Television Presenter
  • Dame Alison Nimmo DBE, Non-Executive Director
  • Sunand Prasad, Principal of Perkins & Will, co-founder of Penoyre & Prasad and Chair of the Board of Trustees at UKGBC 
  • Diba Salam, Founder & Creative Director, StudioDS
  • Leila du Toit, Sustainability Manager, Canary Wharf Contractors Limited

As part of their role, the Built Environment Climate Ambassadors will champion the development of the Net Zero Whole Life Carbon Roadmap for the UK Built Environment. 

This project has been established to deliver a science-based trajectory for reducing built environment emissions in line with limiting global temperature rises below 1.5 degrees. 

A number of these individuals will take on the additional role of Building Life Ambassadors for WorldGBC, which will see them support the international campaign to promote the roadmaps and push for more progressive policies across Europe. 

Julie Hirigoyen, chief executive at UKGBC, said: “I am thrilled that this diverse group of influential leaders are taking on this role as UK Built Environment Climate Ambassadors.

“Appointed by UKGBC for their vision and unswerving commitment to climate action, they will help us to leverage this pivotal conference to galvanise stronger commitment and action from both industry and government towards net-zero carbon ahead of 2050.

“There can be no doubt as to the fundamental role that our built environment has to play in helping to achieve a decarbonized economy.

“And we need all the help we can get to bring multiple stakeholders on board if we’re to transform our built environment into one that enables both people and planet to thrive.”

Chris Brown, executive chair at Igloo Regeneration, said: “Awareness of climate change in the UK property industry has leapt forward in the last few years but time is running out.

“COP26 can be the trigger to unleash the industry to drive out carbon from the built environment. Our job is to help harness this momentum to deliver action.”

Tor Burrows, executive director at Grosvenor, said: “The urgent need to address carbon emissions associated with the design, construction, management and adaptation of buildings is undeniable.

“We desperately need change at scale – from individuals, to businesses and governments – talk needs to become action.

“COP26 is a critical moment for a global acceleration to a low carbon economy; as a Built Environment Climate Ambassador I’ll champion innovation, stronger environmental action and challenge current practice to help ensure a cleaner and greener future for all.”

Bill Hughes, head of Real Assets at Legal & General Investment Management, said: “Collective global effort by governments, policymakers, companies, investors and society is needed to tackle climate change and real assets have a pivotal to play within this.

“We have committed to net zero carbon across our real estate platform by 2050, and I will continue to champion the industry working towards decarbonisation and moving to being part of the climate change solution rather than part of the problem.”

Paul King, MD Sustainability & Social Impact, Lendlease Europe, said: “The last year has been an unexpected wake up call for us all. 

“We’ve discovered we can’t take anything for granted, and we need to act urgently to create places that are resilient to the impacts of climate change, promote health and wellbeing, and support connections within our communities.

“This is the moment to switch from rhetoric to global action and start designing and delivering inclusive, zero-carbon places. COP26 is a key milestone when we should be updating on our progress towards that goal.”

Dame Alison Nimmo DBE, non-executive director, said: “Let’s make COP26 our call to action.

“We are stewards of this now fragile planet, and we must respect its limits so future generations inherit a living and liveable ecosystem.”

Diba Salam, founder and creative director at StudioDS, said: “Achieving net-zero carbon by 2030-2050 through decarbonising our cities is the greatest challenge and yet our greatest opportunity in limiting global temperatures to 1.5 degrees.

“Net-zero carbon whole-life approach requires practical solutions and policies to support its implementation by all in the built environment.

“I look forward to developing and promoting practical policies tackling climate crisis and the lack of equality/diversity in the built environment through collaboration with UKGBC as a UK Built Environment Climate Ambassador for COP26 and World Green Building Council’s #Buildinglife campaign.”

Leila du Toit, Sustainability manager at Canary Wharf Contractors Limited, said: “We are all leaders in our own right. 

“And we can all be leaders to drive radical and transformational change in the built environment, to address this huge and unprecedented carbon and climate change challenge we are collectively facing.  

“I’m proud to be a part of this challenge, to collaborate and advocate what is needing to be done across the industry. 

“We need to be in this together so that we can all enjoy a decarbonised and more sustainable future.”

Image: Shutter.B/Shutterstock

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