Climate Change and the Workplace: Towards Net Zero Carbon
Wednesday 26 February 2020, 09:30 – 17:00 + Drinks Social
Herman Miller National Design Centre, London

New energy use standards and legislation are on their way to achieve net zero green house gas emissions. Changes in the way workplaces are managed and designed will be required as a result.

Clients, employees and stakeholders will require advice, and it’s more than likely that workplace tenders and bids will soon expect clear reference to energy reduction. 

This one day seminar is not another talk-shop. We will address what workplace designers, managers and consultants need to know about and do in readiness for these changes.

We’re putting together this one day conference as a special addition to our usual event schedule.

With thanks to our sponsors

Speakers and Sessions Include

The Case for Active Travel – Panel *NEW
Neil Webster, Cyclo Consulting, Megan Sharkey, University of Westminster, Ben Knowles, PedalMe, chaired by Andrew Brown, Just Ride the Bike

Cycling or walking to work has many health and environmental benefits, but how can an organisation encourage employees to make the change and what systems and facilities need to be in place for success? Panel members will each give a short presentation before opening the discussion on how to take Active Travel forward.

Andrew Brown, has been a PR and journalist specialising in the built environment and workplace for over 20-years. His work is now focussing more and more on active travel, looking at educating local government as well as the service providers in FM and construction and their clients to promote safer walking and cycling to improve wellbeing, healthier living and therefore reduce the impact on our environment.

Neil Webster: An active traveller for work and pleasure Neil is an authority on the disruptive effect of cycling in the real estate market. He was the author of the 2017 BCO report “The Market Cycles” and has recently reviewed the cycling facilities across a UK occupier’s 700 building portfolio. He was previously a trustee of London Cycling Campaign.

Megan Megan is a city change maker for urban transitions, sustainability and transport. She has worked for businesses, communities, and governments in the UK, Australia, USA and UAE. Currently, she is the Urban Studies Research Scholar at the University of Westminster researching government barriers to cycling infrastructure development.

Ben Knowles founded Pedal Me in 2017. He trained originally as a chemist but moved in to transport due to an interest in Public Health. His work with children and families – many from deprived backgrounds – gave him an insight into how powerful walking and cycling are as tools for allowing people from all walks of life to allow freedom of movement.

Net Zero Workplaces: The new norm
Karl Desai, UK Green Building Council

Corporate occupiers are driving up demand for net zero workplaces which will require deep cuts in operational energy use and reductions in embodied carbon from construction. This session will examine UKGBC’s net zero carbon buildings framework and supporting ‘Paris Proof’ energy targets for offices. The session will provide insights on what workplace designers and managers will need to do in order to respond to the climate emergency and to deliver net zero.

Karl Desai manages the UKGBC’s Advancing Net Zero programme which is leading the UK’s transition to a net zero carbon built environment.

Karl led in the development of UKGBC’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings: A Framework Definition which has catalysed industry wide action in tackling buildings’ whole life carbon. He also co-authored UKGBC’s Guide to Scope 3 Reporting in Commercial Real Estate which helps property and construction companies on their journey towards net zero.

Karl believes net zero emissions can only be achieved through coordinated action in the built environment sector and has emphasised this in his career by working for three Green Building Councils. Originally from Australia and with a background in architecture, Karl has a holistic understanding of buildings to help lead in the transition to net zero.

Reducing Operational Energy: How will changes in building design impact the workplace?
Alan Fogarty, Cundall

The goal of Zero Carbon 2050 requires that the energy used by buildings in operation must be reduced to the minimum and where possible any demand be met through renewable energy.

But how will this be achieved and what are the implications for the design and management of the workplace?  This session addresses how the workplace can be designed to facilitate reduced energy use, specifically relating to the fundamental requirements of comfortable temperature, high air quality, lighting and the need to power office equipment.

Alan Fogarty is a Partner in Cundall and heads up their specialist environmental building physics group. He is a chartered Building Services Engineer who has specialised in passive building design and low carbon systems. 

He is chair of the UK’s MHCLG 2020 Part L Non Domestic working group, looking at proposals for revising Building Regulations in order to meet challenging carbon reduction standards. 

Alan also led the implementation of the WELL Building Standard for Cundall’s London office fit out, the first certified WELL project in Europe and offers health and wellbeing consultancy to clients on multiple projects.

He is leading on the implementation of the new Design for Performance on a number of projects which optimises energy performance in use against design targets, using a digital twin.

Design to Adapt: Future offices within a circular economy
David Cheshire, AECOM

With the global demand for resources surging, raw materials becoming harder to extract and the threats of climate change, increasing the construction industry needs to transform. As part of this, offices and workplace designs need to shift from the traditional ‘linear economy’ model, where materials and settings are generated, used and thrown away, to the ‘circular economy’ model. This model promotes a more sustainable, ‘regenerative’ approach, prioritising the retention and refurbishment of buildings over demolition, and designing for the separation and reuse of materials at the end of a building’s life. The talk and subsequent discussion will explore how designers, procurement teams and occupiers of workplaces should respond.

David Cheshire specialises in sustainability in the built environment and is Director – Sustainability at AECOM. David has more than 20 years’ experience acting as a sustainability champion on construction projects, and is a Chartered Environmentalist and BREEAM Accredited Professional. He has written best-practice industry guidance, including CIBSE’s Sustainability Guide. David is the author of Building Revolutions, a book for the RIBA on applying circular economy thinking to the built environment. The hierarchy proposed in David’s book is referenced in the latest London Plan consultation.

Cost-effective reuse and refurbishment for sustainable workplace change
Ann Beavis, Crown Workspace (Premier Sustain)

Moving and changing the workplace represents a strategic opportunity for organisations to take positive action towards ambitious carbon reduction targets. 

How we use and produce everyday products needs to be addressed to achieve an estimated 45% of the reductions needed. Our existing resources represent a great opportunity to make savings, deliver social value and learn important lessons to feed into future product and service design. 

Ann will talk about very practical ways organisations can achieve greater sustainability through changing their approach to sourcing products and services and will provide examples of outstanding practice with remarkable results.

Specialising in sustainable development, Ann played a key role in setting up sustainable services division, Premier Sustain (now part of Crown Workspace), developing environmentally, socially and economically responsible workplace solutions for clients for the effective management and clearance of office furniture and IT equipment. She is a member of the IWFM Sustainability Special Interest Group committee and led the association’s recent work on social value. She also co-authored the IWFM Good Practice Guide on Recycling, Waste and Resource Management and sits on the BITC Circular Economy Task Force that helps drive circular economy practices across the UK and delivers sustainable guidance on environmentally, socially and economically sustainable workplace solutions for the effective management, storage, resale, refurbishment and recycling of office furniture and equipment. She co-authored the BIFM Good Practice Guide on Recycling and Waste Management, works with the BITC on The Circular Office Initiative and is a member of the BIFM, CIWM and CIM.

The Climate Change Commitment
Sarah Ratcliffe, Better Buildings Partnership

Tackling the growing risks of climate change is one of our greatest global challenges. The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlighted that we are facing a global climate crisis and must limit global warming to 1.5 degrees to reduce the risks associated with long lasting or irreversible changes to the earths’ atmosphere and ecosystems. To achieve this, global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide would need to reach net zero by 2050.

In recognition of this challenge and the transformation that is required across the real estate sector, BBP have worked collaboratively with their members to develop a Climate Change Commitment: to date, 22 member signatories, including familiar names like Lendlease, British Land, Great Portland Estates, and Landsec, have signed the commitment.

Sarah will outline the implications of the Commitment and discuss why industry collaboration is critical to delivering net zero carbon buildings.

Sarah Ratcliffe is CEO of the BBP. Sarah has over 15 years experience advising many of the UK’s leading property investors and developers on sustainability issues. As a founding Director of Upstream (acquired by JLL in 2007), she was instrumental in establishing some of the earliest sector sustainability benchmarks including the Property Environment Group, NextGeneration and The Third Dimension. As a European Director at JLL Sarah was responsible for leading the firm’s sustainability consultancy in UK and Europe and sat on the Global Sustainability Board. In addition to various independent consultancy projects, Sarah is now a visiting lecturer on Sustainable Real Estate at Cass Business School and a Board Director of the Sustainable Development Foundation.

Further sessions will include:

  • Overview of current schemes – WELL, LEED, BREEAM etc
  • Refurbishment vs New Build
  • Fit-Out: Embodied and Whole Life Carbon requirements
  • Waste and Recycling
  • Energy targets and the office environment

Drinks Social

As with all our events, everyone is welcomed to an informal Drinks Social immediately after the conference close. Here, the discussion continues, and you can catch up with old friends and make new connections.


We’re delighted to return to the inspiring space at the Herman Miller National Design Centre for this event. Delegates will have the opportunity to look around the centre before and after the conference and during the conference breaks.


Attendance in person:
Early Bird Rate
1-delegate: £225 + VAT
2-delegate package: £395 + VAT

Virtual attendance:
Receive videos of each conference session. Videos will be released to you approximately 2 weeks after the conference date.
Virtual early bird rate: £125 + VAT