Enlightening day for Alfie Burns and Matt Viall at the British Council for Offices’ ESG Conference yesterday. It is an incredibly important topic and it was great to see such a large and diverse audience there in support of this critical issue.
The keynote speeches from The RT Hon John Gummer The Lord Deben and Pete Gladwell were thought provoking and it was great to see representation from small businesses, social enterprises and BCO NextGen on the panels too.
Key takeaways for Alfie and Matt were:
– Climate change / distortion is here, it is certain and it will become more and more important. Society demands we address it and therefore makes business sense to plan for it.
– Social impact investment where lives and environments are made better deliver long term returns because society needs it.
– Start with people and place, the community, and consider through the lens of climate change and the answer is more likely to be the right one.
– The requirements on the “Office” are now becoming more blended. Ecosystems and social infrastructure are critical so there will be Live, Work and Play requirements on what were simply offices. Focussed asset classes will need to be reconsidered.
– Social Value takes time, relentless effort, genuine willingness to engage and changes to investment norms to work.
– The BCO has an incredibly tole to play given its voice and its membership. The BCO Guide to Spec could become a pivotal document if developed appropriately
All in all, a great day and we are looking forward to the next one!