The BBP is a great example of what companies can do when we all pull in a similar direction for a common cause. It has changed a lot over the last five years but it is essentially held together by the same clear goal – to provide leadership and support to the real estate industry to help us improve the sustainability performance of our portfolios. The expansion in membership since 2009 along with the popularity of the outputs, is clear evidence of the success of this relatively simple approach.
But of course making any progress towards this relatively simple goal requires determined and sustained effort (some would say obstinacy). The strength of this organisation is truly a product of the dedication, time, inspiration, expertise and experience of the people the BBP brings together. It is quite an extraordinary group and a great honour and pleasure (mostly!) for me to Chair it.
I certainly expect the next five years to be at least as active for the BBP as the last, most likely more so. With the debate having moved on from ‘why would we do this?’ to ‘how do we do this?’, I genuinely expect the pace of change to accelerate. Whether business will be led by policy or policy by business remains to be seen but the climate has changed, whatever the short term political weather might suggest.
One of the most interesting new developments for the BBP is the forthcoming creation of a Managing Agents Partnership. As property owners we rely on good Managing Agents to deliver carbon efficiencies in our operational assets. Establishing a Partnership, linked to the BBP, to promote knowledge sharing and development amongst the key Managing Agent teams seemed a very logical step and one which we hope will generate new initiatives and ideas to improve performance for all the members and for the wider property industry too.
An important area of focus for us is extending the impact and reach of the work we produce. We need to get our messages way beyond the major landlords and fund managers who make up the majority of the BBP membership. To get close to the carbon emission reductions required to slow the impacts of climate change, we have to make sure all businesses understand how to use their space efficiently and productively to make a shift towards a sustainable economy. Then the property industry can get on with delivering better buildings. It’s a big challenge but the BBP members have shown already what can be achieved, so it’s clearly not impossible.
The BBP members are looking forward to sharing our insights and experiences with you through regular blogs and other information on the website. Come back and check it out soon.
Louise Ellison, BBP Chairman
Head of Sustainability, Hammerson