Industry leaders share their ESG practices, offering crucial insights for navigating a sustainable future


Source: Shutterstock

As we mark Earth Day, it serves as a poignant reminder of the global imperative to embrace sustainable practices across all sectors, including the built environment. With climate change increasingly impacting communities worldwide, the property development sector faces mounting pressure to adopt responsible and eco-conscious approaches to construction and urban planning.

Against this backdrop, industry leaders from Quintain, King’s Cross, WilkinsonEyre, The Crown Estate, and Stanhope PLC have come together to share their perspectives on demystifying ESG (environmental, social, and governance) practices within the field. Their insights shed light on the evolving landscape of sustainability within property development and underscore the critical role that all commercial organisations can play in shaping a more environmentally resilient future.

As we navigate the complexities of climate change and environmental degradation, these statements offer valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities facing the built environment sector. From embedding sustainable behaviours within communities to championing regenerative design principles, these leaders demonstrate a collective commitment to driving positive change and building a more sustainable and equitable world for generations to come.

Clare Masters, head of sustainability at Quintain

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Clare Masters, head of sustainability at Quintain

“Creating an energy efficient building is only one aspect of tackling the climate crisis. The property and development sector must ensure that low carbon behaviours are embedded as a way of life and become habits, alongside other aspects of sustainability to ensure thriving and sustainable communities.

“At our 85-acre development at Wembley Park, we continue to actively engage with our residents, visitors and stakeholders to learn from shifting behaviours, fundamental to ensuring low carbon initiatives will succeed in the long term. From promoting active travel initiatives and installing over 300 electric vehicle charging points across the estate, to offering DIY bicycle fixing sessions and initiating the ‘Donation for Devices’ project to tackle electronic waste, we aspire to make sustainability an integral part of life at Wembley Park for our residents and wider community.

“We also recognise that net zero approaches in the built environment industry must stretch to inform all aspects of business strategy and be part of our supply chain process. When working on Repton Gardens, our tenth build-to-rent development, we chose our suppliers on the strength of their sustainability credentials, processes and initiatives. By partnering with suppliers who share our commitment to sustainability, and utilising knowledge we had gathered from elsewhere at Wembley Park, we managed to make Repton Gardens our most sustainable project yet.”


Source: Quintain

Repton Gardens

Jamie Quinn, sustainability director at King’s Cross

Jamie Quinn colour

Jamie Quinn, sustainability director at King’s Cross

“ESG isn’t just an acronym but a way of thinking and doing for us at King’s Cross. We know that around 40% of global carbon emissions come from the built environment, so we have a responsibility above most to address its impact. This includes tackling both the upfront embodied carbon associated with construction as well as the operational emissions from running places and spaces once they’re built.

“In 2021, we were one of the first major developments in the UK to achieve carbon neutrality and since then we have been laser focused on reaching net zero carbon by 2035. One of the first steps we’re taking to achieve this is by decarbonising our energy network, with works taking place later this year to create an all-electric system – removing the use of fossils fuels completely. We’re also continuing to optimise our managed buildings, working alongside our occupiers to reduce operational energy.

“Helpfully, there are initiatives coming forward like the UK Net Zero Carbon Building Standard that will help the industry prove its buildings are net zero carbon and in line with the UK’s climate targets. Due to be published later this year, King’s Cross will be one of its earliest adopters.”

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Source: Shutterstock

King’s Cross

Nuno Correia, head of sustainability at Wilkinson Eyre


Nuno Correia, head of sustainability at Wilkinson Eyre

“As a practice founded on the principles of integrated design, sustainability is a central element of our design approach. Launching our sustainability manifesto three years ago was a key milestone in communicating our ESG strategy and commitments to decarbonisation. We are now reflecting on our progress so far and setting out future commitments and aspirations.

“We have recently completed two significant retrofits (LSBU Hub and Battersea Power Station) and the most sustainable speculative office tower in the City of London (8 Bishopsgate), and what we have learned on those projects around circularity and high-performance design is inspiring and informing our current work.

“Earth day is a great reminder of the power of collective action in tackling climate change. We are collaborating with others in industry and academia on research to scale up retrofit and exploring regenerative design approaches. We see this as crucial in how we look to the future and support the change needed in the built environment.”

Battersea Power Station Phase Two_Peter Landers_ORIGINAL_1

Source: Peter Landers

Battersea Power Station Phase Two, by Wilkinson Eyre

Jane Wakiwaka, sustainability director at The Crown Estate


Jane Wakiwaka, sustainability director at The Crown Estate

“Protecting and enhancing the natural environment is a key priority for The Crown Estate. As stewards of some of the UK’s most iconic areas – both across the built environment and nature – we are always looking for ways to reduce carbon emissions and embed sustainable practices for the benefit of future generations.

“The ways in which we are shaping our historic London portfolio is a clear example of this commitment. We are working closely with Westminster City Council, alongside our local stakeholders, to develop ambitious plans for Regent Street’s public realm, while looking at the need for skilled workers to deliver sustainability improvements to our heritage buildings so that they might contribute to a net zero future. Alongside this we are about to embark on several developments in the Capital, that will not only meet high sustainability standards, but will also follow sustainable construction practices.

“If we are to collectively achieve our national net zero goals, then we must embrace significant investment into both new and old assets. By working together, we can ensure that our entire built environment remains exciting and appealing, while acting as a catalyst for a sustainable future.”

Nils Rage, head of ESG at Stanhope

Nils Rage - Stanhope - Headshot

Nils Rage, head of ESG at Stanhope

“At Stanhope, we remain steadfast in our commitment to halve our carbon intensity by 2030, paying careful attention to the carbon footprint throughout the entire lifecycle of any project we take on. We are constantly implementing innovative technologies and construction methods that keep embodied carbon levels to a minimum. This means retaining as much of a building’s structure where we can, illustrated through projects such as 76 Southbank and Woolgate, while also delivering sustainable new-build commercial schemes such as 8 Bishopsgate.

“As one of a handful of B Corp-certified developers, Stanhope is equipped with both the resources and the infrastructure to deliver truly sustainable projects across the UK. Building resiliently is an ethos embedded into our company culture. Yet, with that level of care comes a responsibility to encourage others to do the same. After all, we will only reach our Net Zero targets if we work collectively and not in silos.

“This also requires us to at times educate clients, peers and project partners on the commercial and social benefits of building responsibly. This Earth Day, it’s important to recognise that ESG should not be lip-service in the built environment, especially if we hope to achieve the UK’s target of Net Zero by 2050.”


Source: Wilkinson Eyre

The 8 Bishopsgate reception area