Opportunities for your organisation

In April, we published our annual operating plan for 2015-16. Developed in collaboration between our board, our team and – most importantly – our members, it is jam-packed full of exciting opportunities to get involved with our work.

These opportunities typically bring substantial benefits to the partnering organisations, including: ability to help shape and drive UK-GBC’s campaign initiatives, demonstration of leadership on sustainability issues and profile raising and branding across industry and Government. A summary of key opportunities is provided below under each of the headings: 

  • Leadership & Innovation
  • Energy & Carbon
  • Health & Wellbeing
  • Cities & Communities
  • Knowledge & Skills
  • The Business Case

Leadership & Innovation

To tackle the environmental challenges we face, the sustainability of the built environment must be radically improved in a short time - a task beyond individual company’s R&D programmes. As such, innovation is a big theme for us this year, and we’re currently seeking lead partners for our exciting, new “Innovation Lab” (i-lab) project. This will offer members the opportunity to work collaboratively, in a structured innovation process, to develop business models designed to solve a key industry problem. Experience from our Future Leaders programme suggests that participating in such a project can be transformational, creating huge benefits for both the individuals involved and their organisations.

Key contact: Cat Hirst.

On which note we can’t forget our leadership programmes. Our Future Leaders programme will enter its fourth year this year, and is already open for applications. And after a successful debut we’re also seeking nominations for the second iteration of our Leadership Accelerator, which is targeted at a more senior audience. Alongside both of these, our Leaders’ Network continues to go from strength, bringing together a significant group of Board-level Directors and CEOs for quarterly meetings and discussion sessions.

Key contact: Zach Rootes.

Energy & Carbon

As ever, we’ll be working hard to push the Government to raise its game on carbon and energy policy related to the built environment, and to provide members with opportunities to feed their views into the development and implementation of new regulations. But with political will to legislate at an all-time low, we will be launching a new campaign designed to advocate the value to UK Plc of a low carbon built environment, making the business case for action by both industry and policy-makers.

Key contact: Richard Twinn.

Alongside this, we plan to run a Task Group which will look to create a standardised Embodied Carbon Brief for clients - Key contact: Natalia Ford - and another project looking at how carbon reduction targets can most effectively be set for major infrastructure projects - Key contact: Mark Edwards. On a similar theme, we also plan to devote some serious effort to translating the outcomes from the Paris climate negotiations into practical advice for our members through our work on Science-based Targets – including guidance and training opportunities. 

Key contact: Hannah Clement

Health & Wellbeing

Following our work in the office and retail sectors, we are set to publish a new report on health and wellbeing in homes on 5 July. This year is all about encouraging action. We are launching a number of “how to” briefing guides over the summer, for different parts of the sector. 

We’re also launching a “Living Lab” programme that will offer the opportunity for development teams to be guided through the health and wellbeing elements of their project by a combination of peers and experts. These activities will, of course, be complemented by a host of related learning and development activities, ranging from webinars to masterclasses.

Key contact: Elinor Huggett

Cities & Communities

Building on two years of successful “City Summits”, we are expanding our work on cities and communities with a new programme of diverse but connected activities.

We have exciting plans to follow up on key recommendations coming out of this year’s Summit with Birmingham, which includes the launch of a task group examining how retrofit can be used to drive and support area-wide regeneration. 

Key contact: Richard Twinn.

We will also be developing a new “City Leadership Summit”, bringing together senior figures from key UK cities to discuss common agendas in driving sustainability at the city-scale. Subject to a successful funding bid, we also hope to launch a complementary capacity-building programme for local authorities, designed to help them make the most of existing and new powers in the face of ever-diminishing resources.

Key contact: John Alker

Knowledge & Skills

As ever, we will be running a comprehensive learning and development programme, designed to build capacity across the sector. As well as our masterclasses that examine specific sustainability issues in detail, we have broadened our programme to offer an essential introduction to environmental, health & wellbeing considerations to non-sustainabilty professionals.

To help with that we are launching an all-new, shorter introductory e-learning module that we would love to see members and non-members alike incorporate as a key element of their corporate induction programmes. We’ll also continue to offer a wide range of face-to-face sessions – again with an emphasis on shorter formats – from masterclasses and half-day courses to on-site learning visits.

Key contact: Elfrida Hamilton-Russell.

The Business Case

Aligned with our renewed emphasis on the business case, we also aim to help members articulate the commercial value underpinning action on sustainability. Following a roundtable to explore the needs of a range of different members in this area, we’re considering how best to facilitate better knowledge exchange between our member organisations around the return on investment of different sustainability initiatives. 

A number of projects have already been identified, including one looking in detail at a number of top-rated buildings, and how their sustainability credentials have translated into tangible benefits for their owners and occupiers.

Key contact: Mark Edwards

In collaboration with some of its more advanced members, UK-GBC is also considering the development of a ‘Beginners Guide to capturing the value of sustainability’ focusing specifically on the value drivers that are most relevant to companies in the property and construction industry. 

Key contact: Julie Hirigoyen

We rely on our members as Task Group participants, research partners, project sponsors, presenters and students. Without your help, many of our projects simply wouldn’t be possible. Indeed, a number of those listed above are still only aspirational until we secure the buy-in, funding, and support of a small number of members to drive them forwards. 

So if any of these activities strike a particular chord with you personally or your organisation, please get in touch with the people highlighted above, or with our Head of Commercial Policy and Partnerships, Richard Griffiths.