Liverpool’s first property sector sustainability conference commits to taking action on climate change in LCR

Leading figures and businesses in the Liverpool City Region’s thriving property sector have pledged to work together to tackle climate change and sustainability in the region.  The commitment was made at a unique conference organised in Liverpool yesterday by North West property company, The Momentum Group, and 2030hub.

Held at Aloft Hotel on North John Street as part of Liverpool’s support of the UN’s Global Goals Week to promote its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, ‘Building A Sustainable City Beyond 2030’ was the city’s first-ever conference focused on sustainability in LCR’s property sector.

Seven speakers – Simon Mansfield from Liverpool City Council, Matt Breakwell from Kimpton, Martijn Horsman from Redevco, Sunny Johal of Glenbrook, Pete Swft of Planit-IE, Sophie West from Savills, and Ed Green of Grosvenor – shared their insight, perspectives and expertise on the risks of climate change.  They also spoke of the action needed to address sustainability effectively, and the societal, environmental and commercial benefits of doing so.

Common across the speakers were five themes that the city’s property sector will embrace:

  1. Measurement is vital, to establish existing benchmarks, to set ambitious targets and to track progress. In addition, the way the costs of addressing climate change are assessed needs to be done differently.  Key is focusing on whole life costs, rather than the payback period
  2. Mindsets need to change to make a positive impact on climate change and sustainability. The City Region’s property sector needs to bring about cultural and behaviourial changes; ‘business as usual’ is not enough
  3. Action is needed now, both to hit legally binding targets and to stay ahead of the inevitable legislation that will come from central and local government. There is no time to wait
  4. A series of steps is more effective than trying to make a big leap. By developing plans and implementing them in a series of initiatives, any organisation, regardless of its size and what it does, can make a positive difference
  5. Collaboration is key. Every organisation is facing challenges in meeting its commitments, but many of those challenges are common to all.  By working together, sharing best practice, and the businesses in Liverpool City Region’s property sector supporting one another, a difference can and will be made

David Connor, co-chair of the conference and CEO of 2030hub, the world’s first UN Local2030 Hub, commented: “We do not talk about sustainability in the built environment enough in Liverpool, so thank you to Momentum for making today happen.  The big win is awareness, and this conference is a significant step in achieving that in the Liverpool City Region.”

Ed Green, Sustainability Director at Grosvenor, added: “When I come to events such as this, I leave feeling we have a chance.  It is vital, however, that everyone, from clients to the supply chain, take this seriously.”

Karl Clawley, The Momentum Group’s sustainability lead, opened the conference by presenting a summary of the impact of the property and construction industries in the UK.  The built environment generates 25% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, while the construction sector is responsible for 39% of climate change.

He commented: “It is incumbent on us all to take action and to do so now.  The conference, and the commitment made by the delegates, demonstrates that Liverpool’s property sector is serious about tackling climate change.  Having achieved that milestone, our focus now is developing a plan to make a difference.  The five themes will help shape it and The Momentum Group is committed to playing its part in ensuring what we agreed at the conference delivers positive change in the Liverpool City Region.”

The conference closed with a pledge from The Momentum Group to form a Liverpool Sustainability Property Group that will look to challenge and raise concerns within the property sector in the Liverpool City Region, with a number of delegates at the conference invited to join the group.