Market leading experts

Our sustainability experts understand the challenges and opportunities facing the real estate sector and can advise you on how best to transform your business.

In 20 years we’ve not only watched the industry head in a more sustainable direction, we’ve been actively involved in this shift. In such a short time we’ve launched our own ambitious sustainability agenda called ‘Building a Better Tomorrow’, and we’ve become a prominent centre of sustainability expertise for the industry.

Year after year our market-leading experts provide hundreds of companies with sustainability advice, including some of the biggest and best names in the industry. Our expertise ranges from sustainable construction projects and financing renewable energy, to developing carbon strategies for a single building, to entire portfolios.

We’ve had a hand in the largest wind farms in the UK and some of Europe’s greenest commercial property developments. We’ve advised on ground-breaking corporate sustainability programmes for FTSE companies and even cut carbon on some truly iconic property portfolios, including London’s Regent Street. All this and much more would not have been possible without the passion and dedication of so many talented colleagues within the JLL family.

The founders of Upstream Sustainability Services, discuss the sustainability landscape 20 years ago and the changes they’ll like to see in the next 20 years.

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Meet the team

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Sophie Walker

What sustainability achievement stands out over the last 20 years?
Paris Climate Change agreement in December 2015 is the big game-changer for me, a monumental effort to institutionalise carbon reduction in global politics and make it business as usual for the private sector. On a personal level, JLL’S UK Executive committing 5 years ago to embed sustainability in everything we do was the start of a sea-change.

What one thing would you like to see happen to set the industry to on a more sustainable path?
For me, the critical needle mover is population-wide education and awareness campaigning. I’d like us to say “let’s stop climate change” and then go about it with the same public vigour as “stop smoking” or “use seatbelts”. Let’s make it simple, but population-wide.

UK Head of Sustainability

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Emma Hoskyn

What sustainability achievement stands out over the last 20 years?
The biggest achievement is how the industry’s understanding of sustainability has changed over the years and how the language of sustainability, previously unfamiliar, is now commonplace for real estate professionals.
What one thing would you like to see happen to set the industry to on a more sustainable path?
I’d like to see more real estate companies totally commit to the sustainability agenda. To do so, there needs to be better communication of the risk and opportunities – not just over the next year, but over the next 5, 10 or 20 years.

Director, Upstream Sustainability Services

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Darren Berman

What sustainability achievement stands out over the last 20 years?
One of the key achievements was working with Merton and Croydon Council on specific carbon reduction requirements for planning. This significant achievement shifted national planning policy, and started a process where planning authorities put in place policies supportive of sustainable development. It also raised the profile of sustainability as an issue for property investors.

What one thing would you like to see happen to set the industry to on a more sustainable path?
I would like to see new business models being adopted across the property sector that overcome the barriers to adoption of sustainable practice and facilitating real collaboration across supply chains from suppliers of materials, developers, investors, tenants and customers.

Lead Director, Upstream Sustainability Services

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Andries Van Der Walt

What sustainability achievement stands out over the last 20 years?
Experiencing the transition of sustainability from a fringe-issue to a core business for us and our clients has been a personal highlight. I have helped developers, REITs and mainstream investors take their very first steps in sustainability, helping them grow to become leading voices in sustainability.

What one thing would you like to see happen to set the industry to on a more sustainable path?
I would like to see more companies embrace the concept of making a net positive contribution, and a wholesale acknowledgment of the need for a circular economy. We are seeing companies beginning to embrace these principles, and I would love to see this become standard for all companies’ strategy.

Head of Sustainability, Property and Asset Management

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Dane Wilkins

What sustainability achievement stands out over the last 20 years?
The huge progress made by the UK renewables industry which, after nuclear, is the biggest contributor of electricity generation in the UK and is also sustainable and green. In 20 years, renewable energy generation has risen from providing 2% to over 25% of the UK’s energy mix.

What one thing would you like to see happen to set the industry to on a more sustainable path?
My vision is that the development of renewable generation, storage and decarbonisation technologies will enable every UK household to be carbon neutral by 2040. This, alongside full electrification of our transport network will enable the UK to meet its 2050 objective of reducing GHG emissions by 80%.

Head of Energy and Infrastructure Advisory

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David Bell

What sustainability achievement stands out over the last 20 years?
We were planning advisors to SSE on the Beauly Denny overhead transmission line project – one of the largest infrastructure projects in Scotland. The project allowed the movement of substantial renewable energy from Scotland to be deployed throughout the GB system and to consumers and businesses.

What one thing would you like to see happen to set the industry to on a more sustainable path?
Combating the effects of climate change is a critical issue – much of our current real estate will still be with us by 2050. Establishing viable low carbon decentralised retrofit actions to existing buildings and urban areas will be essential to put the sector onto a more sustainable footing.

DIRECTOR, RENEWABLES PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT

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Niall Robertson

What sustainability achievement stands out over the last 20 years?
A personal highlight was delivering the British Council for Offices award-winning BREEAM \'Excellent\' fit out of the UK Green Investment Bank\'s HQ. The project was selected as a pilot for the BREEAM Refurbishment and Fit Out scheme, helping shape industry guidance. It was a pleasure to work with a client who embraced the benefits of sustainable design and construction.

What one thing would you like to see happen to set the industry to on a more sustainable path?
I would like to think that sustainability practices will become the industry standard over the next 20 years, with sustainably sourced materials being the norm and a stronger focus on the impact that the built environment has on employee wellbeing.

Director, Building Consultancy

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Paul Akehurst

What sustainability achievement stands out over the last 20 years?
The most significant impact in energy and carbon management came when ‘carbon emissions’ got prominence in the board room through the requirement to pay for emissions. Carbon became a commodity that the CEO and FD would have to deal with direct and was no longer ‘hidden’ in energy bills.

What one thing would you like to see happen to set the industry to on a more sustainable path?
Simply for sustainability to be at the top of the agenda, rather than an after-thought at the bottom. Health & Safety has made it to the top in many companies with ‘safety moments’ even in office meetings; this is where sustainability should be.

DIRECTOR ENERGY & SUSTAINABILITY

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Katherine Cooke

What sustainability achievement stands out over the last 20 years?
The rise of sustainability on JLL’s agenda - I was involved in the initial conversations around JLL’s approach to sustainability, so witnessing the acquisition and growth of Upstream, and the emergence of the Building a Better Tomorrow agenda has been immensely rewarding.

What one thing would you like to see happen to set the industry to on a more sustainable path?
Companies with a strong reputation for sustainability are becoming increasingly aware of the need to embed sustainability throughout their organisation – including the buildings they occupy. In light of emerging legislation and the prominence millennials place on sustainability, more and more corporates will embed sustainability throughout their businesses.

Director, Strategic Consulting

Contact us

Our Transforming Real Estate campaign celebrates the achievements of both JLL and the industry over the past 20 years. As industry leaders, our insights and advice will help you navigate and benefit from a more sustainable future.

Contact us to find out about how we are transforming the real estate industry and how we can help you.

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Contact us

Our Transforming Real Estate campaign celebrates the achievements of both JLL and the industry over the past 20 years. As industry leaders, our insights and advice will help you navigate and benefit from a more sustainable future.

Contact us to find out about how we are transforming the real estate industry and how we can help you.