Click here to download the sustainability report 2023

Are you planning to attend UKREiiF in May 2024? If so we invite you to join us as a partner in the Sustainable Growth Pavilion. We have a limited number of opportunities remaining, so read on.

As a partner in the Sustainable Growth Pavilion, you'll enjoy an unparalleled profile and exposure in a high footfall area. The pavilion location is strategically positioned to attract the right audience for your business. Plus, you'll benefit from promotional activities as part of the pavilion, increasing your visibility and potential reach as well as networking with the other partners.

You can read more here about what is included in each of our packages and look at the programme structure over the 3 days 21-23 May 2024.

Sustainable Growth Pavilion Partner
£40K only one remaining - limited to three
There is one remaining opportunity to join Sir Robert McAlpine, Sir Robert McAlpine Capital Ventures, and Prologis for this high-profile experience.

Session Partner / Tier One Sponsor
£20k – Only 4 available *ONLY 2 LEFT*

Panel partner (Tier Two Sponsor)
£10k – Only 2 available

Networking partner breakfast / afternoon drinks (Tier Two Plus)

£15k - Subject to availability Tues/Weds - refreshments included

If you're interested and want to learn more about these exciting partnership opportunities, please don't hesitate to reach out us to have a conversation about suitability and provide you with all the necessary details.

Don't wait too long, as these opportunities are filling up quickly!

“The findings of the IPCC report demand actions, not just platitudes.  Businesses have the innovation, tech and capabilities now.  UKBCSD members are proving this every day.

“Businesses do not need world leaders to provide short-term, one-off funding to incentivise the transition to net zero, but a road map which enables businesses to invest trillions of dollars in the long-term change of our global economy.

“The barrier to change is the lack of a sustainable economy – we’re not talking about levelling up but enabling sustainable change.”

The UK Business Council for Sustainable Development is calling for:

1. A reward-based transition to net zero with no VAT charged on green energy use or sustainably created materials, fast-tracking environmentally friendly buildings and projects through the planning system and green taxes which are lower for companies which reach targets to transition away from carbon faster.

2. A clear and consistent set of outcome-based targets for businesses which enable regulators to legally determine who is meeting their commitments to transition to net zero. These targets should be based on the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

3. World leaders to commit to creating national laws based on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals at COP26.


As part of its work to update its Vision 2050, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) is releasing an issue brief advocating that now is the time for companies and investors to enter – and lead – the debate, not just about why capitalism needs to change, but about how we go about transforming it.

Even committed capitalists are beginning to argue that capitalism, in its current form, is unsustainable – socially, environmentally, and economically. Yet capitalism’s core features of private enterprise and competitive markets are essential to addressing our greatest societal challenges and unleashing the transformations required to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

To find out more and download the issue brief, click below:

Rosanna Lawn, Brand and Strategic Projects Director, Project Etopia

“We must all be braver in how we do things - people aren’t looking widely enough.  This goes a lot further than the real estate industry developing affordably and sustainably.  For us it is about using all our knowledge and combining it with other innovators, to create the eco cities of the future.”

Rosanna Lawn is Global Brand and Strategic Partnerships Director for Project Etopia, a modular developer founded in 2015 by Joseph Daniels, who last year was announced as Innovation Champion at the Building Innovation Awards.  The company’s modus operandi is to combine energy, construction and intelligent technologies to build the highest performing buildings, without contributing to climate change. 

“We joined UKBCSD because we know our product has all the credentials to make a massive difference in mitigating against the impact of climate change and, because of this, we want to have a voice among other forward-thinking industry pioneers.  We know UKBCSD members are leaders in their field so, in short, we want to be in the company of more experienced, trusted organisations.   We might be a young company but the way Joseph our CEO thinks is very different, we know we can bring something to the table too,  share our knowledge and ideas.”

Joseph and his team have created a modular system that has an EPC rating of up to 105 out of 100, is flood proof and has been seismic tested.  It has officially achieved ten times traditional building regs for airtightness and passiveness (Part L, Part P) and twice the passivhaus standard.  The homes are not only highly energy efficient, they actually create more energy than they use.  One has been built at the BRE Innovation Park, as an exemplar for the new BPS 7014 standard for modular homes.  The company built a demonstrator home in a shanty town in Namibia, capable of generating 25kwh per day but only requiring 3kwh to function.  They are also on site with a scheme in Corby, with other deals finalising with private, public and housing association clients. 

"The system consists of a combination of energy technologies - a renewable energy package that focusses on the way we generate, use and store energy within the home, construction technologies – the hyper sip, high performance panellised MMC materials that we construct the superstructure out of and intelligent technologies – the in house developed IoT device that can make any building smart through basic installation, which helps to monitor and manage energy usage and efficiency whilst enhancing the inhabitants' lifestyle through a range of convenient processes. Holistically integrated together, these core pieces of technology make up an incredibly high performing box that is flexible enough to be internally or externally designed, however is desirable.

“We have a product that is unlike any other and it can be volumized.  We want to work with other companies, give them access to our systems.  Everyone has the right to quality and comfort – as well as having exceptional environmental credentials, our houses at 'The Avenue' at Priors Hall Park, Corby, are 25% bigger than standard.  We want to work with housing associations, SMEs, as many different clients as possible to help build homes in large numbers, with minimal impact on the environment.”

Project Etopia is working with Samsung Electronics on a ground-breaking partnership that will bridge the gap between the technology and real estate world like never before. Project Etopia realise that the future of real estate lies within both sustainability and technology and through this partnership with a leading global tech giant, Project Etopia will be years ahead of the rest of the market. More details of the partnership will be released over the coming months, and spans sustainable solutions for new builds as well as existing housing stock.

Helen Drury, Sustainability Lead

In late 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on ClimateChange (IPCC) issued a stark warning. It clearly established that achieving the ambitions of the Paris Climate Agreement, limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees C to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change will require action at an unprecedented pace and scale.

Deep cuts in greenhouse emissions from the global economy are required by 2030, with net zero emissions by 2050.

This enormous challenge can only be tackled by governments, businesses and civil society working together to take ambitious action to radically reduce emissions.

We are committed to being a net zero carbon Group.  We have already been net zero carbon in direct operations since 2018. 

In April 2019, we recognised that the low carbon agenda needed detailed consideration in respect of our new developments and a decision was made to explore the status of net zero carbon in the industry and specifically in the logistics sector.

Over 75% of our carbon impact comes from our new developments, and this will only increase as we look to double our floorspace in the next 10 years.

We announced our net zero carbon in construction commitment in June 2020, with our development for DPD in Bicester and for Co-op in Biggleswade being the first two that will achieve this status.

We worked with our third-party consultants to carry out a carbon Lifecycle Assessment (LCA).  This identified the existing carbon footprint of a typical logistics development.  They then assessed how we could bring the emissions.  For Co-op Biggleswade, we have immediately identified ways to reduce the embodied carbon to 20,418 TCO2e (0.0333 TCO2e/m2) – a reduction of 37%. 

The biggest challenge, particularly for the industrial sector is its use of aggregates, concrete and steel which are carbon-intensive materials.

We are working with supply chain partners to identify lower carbon products and materials – for example with Cemex to source carbon neutral products

We have also engaged Kingspan to look at the cladding we use on our new developments.

Major players in the steel industry have launched an initiative known as ULCO2 (Ultra-Low CO2 Steelmaking). Its target is a reduction of specific CO2 emission of 50% when compared with current production methods. However, current estimates are that such products won’t be available to the commercial market until at least 2030.

Nonetheless, areas where carbon could be reduced were identified and for what couldn’t be reduced, Tritax looked at off-setting, following UKGBC’s guidelines and recommended vehicles.

We will offset the remaining carbon emissions to achieve a net zero carbon balance.

We believe that all new developments should be aiming for net zero carbon to meet the need to keep global warming to within 1.5C.

For those starting their net zero carbon journey, we recommend aligning with the UK GBC Framework Definition and carrying out a lifecycle assessment which will identify where the greatest carbon impacts currently lie in your supply chain.

Innerspace Homes is the most recent business to join UKBCSD.  Tony Dicarlo, Co-founder and Managing Director outlines the company ethos and commitment to embedding the SDGs.

“We spend more of our lives at home than any other place. So, if we’re serious about improving the health and wellbeing of people and our planet, there can hardly be a more important place to start.

Innovative thinking, a sustainable ethos and a passion for creating great homes defines our delivery of ‘Better homes for people and our planet’.

Innerspace Homes is a purpose driven business leveraging modular factory processes, green technology, sustainable materials and better design to tackle social and environmental issues in the built environment. We believe in building greener, healthier and more beautiful homes that are economical to run, all set-in sustainable places to help accelerate the transition to decarbonising housing.  We also understand owning a home is about investing in family, saving for the future and putting down roots in a community, which is why we promote Discounted Market Sale homes on our developments.

Alongside the Paris Agreement, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), were adopted by all United Nations Member States as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. Our commitment to the SDGs sees both social and environmental impact embedded deep into our business as a default, specifically:

No 3.        Good health and wellbeing - Ensuring healthy lives and promotion of wellbeing in all our built environments

No 7.        Affordable and clean energy - Ensuring access to affordable and less fossil fuel intensive energy sources for our homes

No 9.        Industry, innovation and infrastructure - Fostering innovation by using the factory build processes to directly reduce construction waste

No 13.      Climate action - Accelerating the transition to low/zero Carbon business operations and projects to directly improve the impacts of climate change.

We are a profits-with-purpose business, and as such our articles of incorporation direct us to assess profits AND our wider social and environmental impact.

Measurement is key.  We systematically collect and analyse myriad data to understand and implement improvements with every development to achieve continuous improvements on our social impact and environmental benefits.

Our use of offsite modular construction means our homes and place start from a higher sustainability baseline from the outset. Some of the benefits, when compared to traditional construction include;

Our homes currently far exceed the proposed 2025 Future Homes Standard, meaning our homes are reducing the strain on carbon emissions and people’s wallets and contributing to SDG’s today.

We benchmark and measure any site-based benefits from MMC compared to traditional construction as well as measuring, learning, iterating and reducing operational use and whole life (embodied) carbon. However, whilst zero carbon in operational use is straight forward, measuring and reducing whole life carbon to zero or near zero levels is a longer, more complex journey when not simply offsetting.

Our homes and places can improve wellbeing too. We use social value toolkits to provide robust social impact values as we carry out detailed social return on investment-based analyses on our projects AND generate a holistic overview of the value created by our portfolio.

The climate crisis demands we find a new approach to how we design, procure and build. By improving our sense of place, our health and wellbeing and measuring this success, we can begin to move away from traditional crude commercial returns to adopting more holistic returns metrics based on profits alongside impact.

By measuring, learning, iterating and improving, we will demonstrate the efficacy of our approach through  Impact-Weighted accounts which will allow for a qualitative ‘race to the top’, rather than continue the sector’s current cost driven ‘race to the bottom’. Now, more than ever as we enter a period of almost unprecedented house building to address the housing crisis, all stakeholders must be willing and able to measure and improve on the full cost they are having on people and our planet.

Partnership working is fundamental to our ethos of uniting and engaging a fragmented market, driving sector innovation and championing the enviro-economic benefits of sustainable development.  We are exploring opportunities to partner with other organisations and networks, among them the Institution of Civil Engineers, Town and Country Planning Association, Planning Portal, BRE(BREEAM), Federation of Master Builders, UK Business Group Alliance for Net-Zero, ADEPT, LGA, LABC and Landscape Institute amongst others.  Our objective, to promote the innovation of our members and discuss the tangible solutions that you are implementing right now.  More action, less talk.

Similarly, we are using our influence at Government level, offering up our members as ‘test beds’ to tackle some of the major challenges facing government, both national and local. 

“Using the language of ‘Build Back Better…sustainably’, climate emergency and the green recovery, we have been informing thinking on how to deliver and transition to net-zero carbon development and sustainable growth (and procurement) with DEFRA, One Public Estates, the Crown Estate, Departments for Communities and Local Government and Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy,” said Jason Longhurst, Chairman of UKBCSD.

“As an industry we know and understand the complexities facing all sectors, as we work to deliver on the UN’s climate change goals.  Because of the depth and breadth of our membership, we are in a unique position to take a lead role, particularly through our newly formed working groups.”

Simon Richards, Head of Sustainability, Sir Robert McAlpine

The word ’sustainability’ has become embedded in the public mindset. However, what it means, how you measure it and define success varies depending on your own personal or professional standpoint. It could be delivering Net Zero Carbon buildings, addressing the skills shortage or even securing a robust and profitable pipeline.

With that in mind, try and create a strategy for a business to deliver it.

For me, an effective sustainability strategy needs to get senior leadership and staff buy in, educate, deliver for our clients, drive innovation and be flexible enough to deliver in an evolving sector with increasing legislative oversight. And if you stand still or become complacent, your objectives and delivery models quickly become obsolete.

For Sir Robert McAlpine, in 2015 we set out to define what Sustainability meant to us. Our vision was to become the sustainable contractor of choice. Our resultant Sustainability Roadmap was released and implemented in 2016, a strategy which looked to embed sustainable development into our operations.

Sustainability is a broad discipline, touching every part of our business.  As a result, our roadmap attempted to target every aspect of social, environment and economic sustainability, and it ended up with a rigid set of deliverables for all of our projects to deliver.

Our teams worked tirelessly to embed the targets into our projects and delivered exceptional performance. However, in retrospect, we found that rigid company requirements actually stifled creativity. In some instances, they contradicted client drivers and targets, increased workload, fostering a negative mindset. It was counterproductive for what was essentially something designed with best intentions.

Sustainability requirements and focus have evolved considerably within the built environment since 2015. Governments and regulators are placing more emphasis on it and society is becoming more engaged, expecting it to be addressed.

In truth, when we sat down five years ago to design our strategy, we were pushing to be better in a space where sustainability was merely seen by some as “added value”.  Now in 2020, we find ourselves in a position where sustainability is a key driver of project success, an important element of work winning and something which our clients expect us to deliver.

The past five years were not in vain, however. The lessons, skills, and expertise that we gained through targeting everything in our original strategy has ensured that, as an organisation, we can deliver for our clients, whatever they ask.

As with the direction of sustainability, our strategy has evolved too. We’ve distilled our learning and in 2020 revised our sustainability direction to be client led and project focussed.

It promotes active engagement with our clients to understand their definition of sustainability, what they want to achieve and establish what is possible. We have confidence in what we can deliver. Ultimately, that approach leads to a joined-up vision with our clients, which means we maximise the benefits to the local communities and environment.

With a clear, project specific vision in place, instead of a rigid central strategy dictating project requirement, our teams have a strategy that is tailored for their project with ownership on how to achieve it. This helps them see the benefit, increasing buy in, and ultimately delivering value for our clients. It is supported, rather than dictated, and driven, by our inhouse sustainability professionals and wider subject matter expertise.

We also recognised that to maximise the benefit to the environment and drive the necessary change needed to address the global issues we face, we shouldn’t just be looking inwards. Our strategy needed to facilitate collaboration at an industry level to deliver the collective desire to make sustainable development the norm.

We therefore place industry collaboration and the sharing of lessons learnt as a key driver. This approach is already bearing fruits through our involvement in the establishment of initiatives like Contractors Declare, helping to address the Climate and Biodiversity emergencies.

Our sustainability journey thus far has taught me the following things:

We haven’t got all the answers yet, and are by no means finished, but we’ve come a long way from a one size fits all model of sustainability! I am excited for the future and the changes that we can collectively implement together.

Jason Longhurst, Chairman UKBCSD

At the start of the year, the only element we didn't predict was Covid-19 and our ability to respond, overcome fragility and address the new desire for a green revolution.   It was enough of a scene setter, in UKBCSD's 21st year, to reset how we position our membership to shape the strategic path to recovery and continue to positively disrupt the norm.   Now we are calling on our members to respond, defining opportunity and innovation in the most challenging enviro-economic years we are likely to live through. 

As a sector we need to make an investment shift, we need to approach the interlocking challenges of economic uncertainty and sustainability, making them a mutual value creation, with manifest benefits, that deliver against both the climate challenge and sustainable growth.

The public sector too is facing one of its most complex periods of change, challenge and opportunity.  Whether it is a climate emergency, crisis or challenge, net zero or real zero, single use or reduced plastics, is the public sector clear on the impact benefits it seeks to achieve?  The language is complicated, the actions and demands are many and the measure of success not clear or aligned.  The public sector has huge potential to connect services and people, to shape a sustainable approach that is transitional for our sector and measurable in terms of positive outcomes.  Having spent my career in the public sector, I would question whether it is really meeting the climate challenge, instead resting on pledges and platitudes.

Which segues me neatly into the UN 2030 SDGs.   My former Authority, Central Bedfordshire Council, set an approach that seeks to benchmark its actions against the SDGs. This will harness the organisation’s potential to address wider climate impacts, more than just carbon targets but far-reaching sustainability in all it does.  Other major areas are taking this on board, as they seek to become leaders in the green recovery.

I am not alone in believing that the SDGs should be embedded in every decision that is made, by all of us.  In a few weeks’ time we will be holding a closed Round Table discussion on this subject, supported by long standing member ENGIE, the results of which will be taken to a second, ‘public’ webinar in December, when we will invite questions and further debate.  We ask you, the UKBCSD membership, as leaders in your field, to help shape a proposition to Government, a demand for Legislation that will embed the SDGs within every public sector Invitation To Tender.  The aim is to apply the SDG benchmark metric to others, establishing an approach that goes beyond carbon counting, to driving sustainable places – a new SDG Act 2021 replacing the Social Value Act of 2012. Time to lead, not retrofit, sustainability to today’s challenges.

 In other words, “Demonstrate you are responding to the SDGs and you can work with the public sector.  If you can’t, end of story.  Must try harder. A lot harder”. 

The logical conclusion should be that the public sector will partner businesses like yours, the ones that have proven, tangible results, based on innovation, investment and commitment to sustainability.  I hope you’ll join us at our December event – details will be available soon.

David Middleton FRSA. Founding chairman of UK branch of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development

David Middleton was UKBCSD’s first and longest serving CEO, retiring in 2013. He was a man ahead of his time, ‘doing’ sustainability long before it became popular, respected or acknowledged as fundamentally important to our planet. We wish to share a resumé of his life with UKBCSD members, to ensure he is acknowledged by the sector he helped to create. Thank you, David. Your work continues.
- Jason Longhurst Chairman, UKBCSD


“David was a larger than life character full of passion and enthusiasm for making the world a more sustainable place, and proud to be a Brummie. He started his life in journalism, working for regional newspapers and radio, then turning to photo journalism in motor sport. It was during his time as a conference and events organiser that David had his ‘green epiphany’ conversion in 1988 while standing on a bridge in Pittsburgh looking down at a city decimated by the loss of the steel industry. Since then he devoted his not inconsiderable energies to promoting sustainable development to politicians, business and anyone who would listen.

David wanted everything he was involved in to be ‘doing’ not talking, and believed that it was the business community who actually do things and make things happen. In 1991 he helped launch, and later became CEO of, Midland Environmental Business Club, the leading Midlands business network focused on sustainable development. He was Secretary General of The Urban Renewal Foundation before adding the role of CEO of the UK Branch of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development in 2001. While at BCSD he expanded membership well beyond the oil and gas sector and championed UKBCSD, bringing it into the European fold.

David retired from UKBCSD and MEBC in 2013 to combine his two passions, sustainability and writing, to author four fast moving adventure stories which are a weave of fact and fiction. All stories, not surprisingly, have a sustainable development theme which could have world shattering consequences if not seriously accepted by politicians, business and the general public.

Throughout his career, David has been ably supported by his wife, Jennie, who was also his PA and secretariat – also trying in later years to control his workload to allow for his health issues.

David was justifiably proud of becoming a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce in 2017 in recognition of his 25 years of green economy and sustainable development work. His enthusiasm for debate, drive for change and of course his novels will be sadly missed by all who were touched by his life.”