ESG Summit
Exploring Climate, Costs and Choices

From climate change to inequality, the challenges facing commercial real estate today are paramount. The built environment is at a crucial crossroads, necessitating prompt and resolute action. There is a global expectation for a fresh perspective in business, driven by consumers who are increasingly advocating for more impactful initiatives. Business leaders must undergo transformation to maintain a competitive edge and real estate is under pressure from its investors, occupiers and government to decarbonise. Join EG’s ESG Summit to gain insights, engage in discussions and discover solutions to some of the most significant challenges facing commercial real estate.
09:00-09.40Registration and breakfast
09:40-09:45Chair’s opening remarks

Chair: Julia Cahill, senior writer, EG
09:45-10:05Opening Keynote: The future of ESG
 
ESG is under attack from all sides. True believers wish to keep practising ESG but call it something different; opportunists recognise that an ESG label no longer helps launch funds or attract customers; opponents seek to ban ESG outright. But if ESG is to be scrapped, what do we replace it with? Retiring the term but continuing the practice fails to address the legitimate challenges to ESG; abandoning the practice throws the baby out with the bathwater. This talk will propose “rational sustainability” as a fundamental shift in the way ESG is practised.
 
Alex Edmans, professor of finance, London Business School and author of Grow the Pie: How Great Companies Deliver Both Purpose and Profit. 
10:05-10:35Investing with purpose: The rise of impact investment funds in CRE
The surge in impact investment funds within commercial real estate signifies a major shift toward sustainable and socially responsible development. As awareness and demand for these funds increase, they are poised to significantly influence the future of the built environment, providing both financial returns and societal benefits. Learn how these funds drive sustainable development and successful outcomes and what opportunities lie ahead for growth and innovation in impact investing within the built environment.

Adrian Benedict, head of real estate solutions, Fidelity International
Charles Royle, portfolio manager, AEW
10:35-11:15Retrofit: How is the built environment performing?
Retrofitting presents financial, practical and societal challenges and opportunities. Lowering emissions and, ultimately, energy consumption is essential, regardless of legislative incentives but key questions persist. How can we finance this transformation? What is needed to accelerate progress? Do we possess the infrastructure for large-scale retrofitting? Are we planning successful net zero transition pathways for assets? Is the built environment capable of seizing opportunities and surmounting these challenges?
 
Karli Hiscock, partner, Bates Wells
11:15-11:40Coffee and networking break
11.40-12:20Panel discussion: Sustainability and the high street
Exploring the value of inclusive urban spaces that stimulate growth, vibrancy and connectedness. Are the buildings and structures within retail, hospitality and residential sectors equipped to meet the demands of a net zero-focused world and mixed-use communities of tomorrow?

Mark Robinson, head of regeneration, New River
12:20-12:40ESG Insights – Decarbonisation: Optimising space usage with data
Underutilisation of buildings incurs considerable costs and burdens. Every square metre of space represents notable financial and carbon footprints. Can tackling this issue accelerate progress toward achieving net zero emissions? How can data help?
12:40-13:05ESG Insights: Embracing placemaking social value/Inclusive innovation
13:05-14:00Networking lunch
14:00-14:30Case study: Putting nature at the heart of the development cycle
Value of nature-based solutions/biodiversity in creating resilience to the long-term impacts of climate change
14:40-15:10A crisis in workforce sustainability
The race to create a sustainable, environmentally conscious industry is on – and the stakes couldn’t be higher. As the demand for eco-friendly buildings and operations skyrockets, businesses must adapt or risk being left behind. The time to act is now. What crucial skills are needed in the built environment to spearhead the shift towards a net zero economy? What tools and initiatives will be needed to build skills capacity? How can we encourage more people to prepare for a green career? Join us in this urgent quest to build a competitive, futureproof workforce committed to sustainability

Bára Melezinkova, head of ESG. LondonMetric plc
Chris Oldham, senior policy and programme manager, Innovation and Growth, City of London Corporation
15:10-15:35Decarbonising real estate portfolios with Corporate Power Purchase Agreements (CPPAs)
Investors and developers in the UK have grappled with uncertainty in recent years due to geopolitical and macroeconomic events driving high and fluctuating energy prices. This challenge comes amid increasing pressure to achieve net zero emissions. The CPPA model is emerging as a popular solution, enabling firms to acquire renewable energy, providing certainty over supply and allowing investors and developers to decarbonise their property portfolios. Additionally, CPPAs assist corporate occupiers to reduce their own emissions and use renewable energy. This session will explore how renewable energy and CPPAs, along with other tools, can be utilised by real estate businesses to decarbonise their portfolios and meet ESG and net zero targets.
 
Chair: Liz McKillop-Paley, partner, Shoosmiths
15:35-16:10Leadership at the crossroads: harmonising stakeholder interests for ESG success
In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, leaders face a critical challenge: aligning multiple stakeholder interests around ESG priorities. This panel discussion will delve into the complexities leaders encounter when balancing the diverse and often conflicting demands of investors, employees, customers, and the broader community.
 
16:10-16:30Inspirational keynote
16:30Closing remarks

Julia Cahill, senior writer, EG
16:30-17:00Networking drinks

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