17 Apr 2023 | Environment and Sustainability

Earth Day 2023: Creating a greener BPF

We all know that buildings and the built environment have a critical role to play when it comes to tackling climate change. With buildings responsible for around 25% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the UK, and with a carbon footprint second only to that of the transport sector, the property sector has a major contribution to make if we are to deliver a net zero economy by 2050.

And this includes every part of the property sector; not just investors and property owners, but the whole supply chain including real estate lawyers, engineers, consultants and all property professionals.

It also includes us at the BPF.

And that’s why we’re taking action to ensure that we play our part.

Measuring and cutting our carbon emissions

The BPF is committed to being net zero carbon by 2050 at the very latest.

And to help us achieve this, we are working with Planet Mark, a sustainability consultancy and UN race to zero partner, to baseline our emissions and to develop a credible net zero plan. Planet Mark will also certify our work and provide independent assurance of our progress towards net zero.


“Developing our own sustainability plan, and committing to be net zero carbon by 2050 at the very latest, gives us real credibility with both members and policy-makers. It shows that we’re walking the talk when it comes to advocating for a net zero built environment.”

Theo Plowman, Assistant Director (Real Estate)


Becoming a more sustainable business

But our ambition goes beyond just being a net zero business. We want to be a truly sustainable business.

And that’s why we set up our BPF Green Team, made up of people from all different parts of the business: from policy, events, external affairs, operations and finance.

The role of the Green Team is to identify new ways of working that can help us become more sustainable and to engage and involve colleagues right across the organisation. We’re also working with our colleagues in the SPF, our sister organisation in Scotland, to ensure that we’re supporting and learning from one another.

And the Green Team is already delivering!

We’re putting in a place a range of new policies covering all aspects of the business that will help us not just cut emissions but also encourage recycling and minimise waste.


“We now repurpose and recycle as much of our office furniture and equipment as possible. In fact, we recently refurbished a whole new breakout space using mostly second-hand furniture. Not only does this support our sustainability ambitions but makes good financial sense.”

Sarah Spencer, Head of Operations and People


“At the BPF, we want to make all of our events as sustainable as possible, by going paper and plastic free and by offering more plant-based and local menus. The feedback has been really positive. And the plant-based food has been a real talking point!”

Michelle Killington, Senior Events and Engagement Officer


In it for the long haul

But we know there is no silver bullet.

Becoming a net zero and sustainable business will take time and involve some hard choices.

It will also require behaviour change from all of us, which means we need to engage and enthuse and educate everyone in the business.

We don't have all the answers but we’re keen to learn from our members who we know are facing many of the same challenges. And through our BPF Net Zero Pledge initiative we’ve already started to build a sharing supportive community.

So happy Earth Day 2023.

And let’s all get started on that journey to net zero!


Share this blog linkedIn icon twitter icon email icon