Speakers List - BusinessGreen Leaders Briefing - Towards Net Zero Buildings & Infrastructure


Arsha Branson

Head of Innovation Services

Sustainable Ventures

Arsha Branson is Head of Innovation Services at Sustainable Ventures, which works with investors, entrepreneurial managers and corporate partners to originate, build and grow businesses in the low carbon and sustainability sectors. Sustainable Ventures is now leveraging this experience to encourage open innovation within its extensive start-up ecosystem, focusing specifically on the built environment sector.

Having partnered with the UK Green Building Council to undertake a deep investigation of the barriers/challenges to open innovation within the built environment (project due to conclude December 2019), we hope to identify the ways in which these barriers/challenges may be overcome and facilitate a sustainable and effective approach to open innovation.

Arsha has over 8yrs' experience in the sustainability/cleantech sector, with a focus on the commercialisation of sustainable technologies and solutions. Prior to joining Sustainable Ventures she worked in the waste and resources sector, with experience working on projects in Thailand, India and Australia.

Gary Clark


RIBA Sustainable Futures Group

Gary is an architect with a passion for creating architecture and places that deliver a truly sustainable future.

Gary taught and researched sustainable architecture at Cambridge, Robert Gordon's and Edinburgh Universities. His research interests included advanced natural ventilation, adaptive comfort and Post Occupancy Evaluation.

Previously a Project Director and sustainability lead at Hopkins Architects and Bennetts Associates, Gary joined Wilkinson Eyre Architects in 2014 as Associate Director and Head of Sustainability. He has delivered projects across several sectors, most notably the new R&D laboratory building for Sir James Dyson, and a mixed-use development within the historic Gasholders at Kings Cross for Argent.

He is the current Chair of the Royal Institute for British Architects (RIBA) Sustainable Futures Group, ex-Chairman of the Usable Buildings Trust and is Visiting Professor for Sustainable Architecture at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.

Madeleine Cuff

Deputy Editor


Madeleine Cuff is the Deputy Editor at BusinessGreen, responsible for contributing daily news and features and analysis pieces to the site. She has a particular interest in sustainability in the food and fashion industries, alongside an enduring curiosity for new clean tech innovations.

Prior to joining BusinessGreen in June 2015, Madeleine spent three years as an assistant editor at innovation consultancy Stylus, where she covered future-facing shifts in the science, technology and health sectors. She has a Masters in journalism from City University London and a first class honours degree in English Literature from Durham University.

Munish Datta

Head of Membership and Insights

UK Green Building Council

Sustainability leader with a track record of creating strategy and delivering operational outcomes, resulting in substantial commercial, environmental, social and reputational benefits. Passionate about the crucial role every sector of society - government, business, civic - must play to create a truly sustainable world.

At UKGBC, Munish is responsible for maximising the value derived from membership of UKGBC for its members and the provision of rich UKGBC curated sustainability insight demonstrating the business case, innovation and practical best practice solutions.

He is a Senior Associate, Faculty & tutor at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership empowering business leaders & organisations to tackle critical global challenges. Until late 2018, led teams to design and deliver Marks & Spencer's multi award winning, globally renowned sustainability strategy (Plan A) for its £4bn, 1000+ buildings property portfolio. Member of the UK government BEIS ‘Green Construction Board', the advisory board at the University of Oxford Masters in Sustainable Urban Development & trustee of Rama Foundation, a charity building capacities and skills of disadvantaged communities. Twitter: @MunishDatta Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/munishdatta/

Jenny Hill

Team Leader: Buildings, Industry

Committee on Climate Change

Jenny manages the Committee's mitigation work programme on buildings, industry and bioenergy. Recent outputs include the Net Zero advice, 2019 Housing report, 2018 Biomass Review and the 2018 review of the Government's Clean Growth Strategy, which quantified the gap in ambition for meeting the legislated carbon budgets. This follows on from four years as analytical lead on heat decarbonisation, including the 2016 next steps for UK heat policy and Fifth Carbon Budget advice.

Jenny is a consultant by background, advising the European Commission and UK national and local governments on environmental policy (climate and air quality) and regeneration. She holds an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College (distinction), and a first-class honours degree from Cambridge University.

Kate Neale

Environment and Energy Manager

Hammerson Plc

Kate is Energy and Environment Manager at Hammerson, where she is responsible for operational environmental performance across the UK and Ireland shopping centre portfolios. Working with colleagues across the business, Kate sets asset specific targets in line with Hammerson's Positive Places sustainability strategy and ensures delivery of efficiency and investment projects - with the aim of meeting Hammerson's 2030 Net Positive targets. Prior to working with Hammerson, Kate was at Marks & Spencer working with the Plan A and Energy Teams to roll out behavioural change across UK stores.

Mike Pitts

Deputy Challenge Director for Transforming Construction

Innovate UK

Mike is the Deputy Challenge Director for Transforming Construction -the government's Industrial Strategy programme linked to the sector deal and managed by Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation. He acted as interim Challenge Director in securing the programme as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. Mike was previously Head of Urban Systems at Innovate UK, covering the priority areas of Urban Living and Smart Infrastructure. He joined Innovate UK in 2012 to lead on embedding sustainability across Innovate UK's strategy. He has also led Clean and Cool entrepreneur Missions in 2013 to Brazil and 2015 to San Francisco and ran the Resource Efficiency programme during 2013/14.

Bruce Precious

Technical Advisory Board Member


Bruce Precious, Affil.Member CIBSE, M.AIRAH is well know within the Australian Commercial Property sector for over 20 years of leadership in sustainability. As Principal Consultant, Six Capitals Consulting he works with property companies on sustainability strategy, particularly zero emission plans and circular economy materials strategies.

Before starting Six Capital Consulting Bruce was National Sustainability Manager for GPT, one of Australia's largest property trusts and often benchmarked as a global leader in sustainability by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark, GRESB. The focus on sustainability has seen GPT's energy/sqm drop by 39%, GHG emissions/sqm down by 57% and waste to recycling increase to 40%.

Bruce is a past Chair of the Property Council of Australia Sustainability Roundtable fostering the development of a Social Sustainability Committee and the development of the National Carbon Offset Standard for Buildings, Australia's first definition of zero emission buildings. During his time as the inaugural Chair of the City of Sydney's Better Building Partnership new standards for green leasing and waste management were developed, with the latter now transforming how Australia's NABERS benchmark program identifies and measures waste materials streams.

Earlier in his career he was Acting Executive Director of the NSW Government's Sustainable Energy Development Authority responsible for energy and emissions saving programs spanning the economy. SEDA's focus on market transformation is best exemplified by the impact the NABERS Energy program has had on the design, delivery and operation of energy efficient buildings in Australia.

Most recently, Bruce has joined the technical advisory Board for Envizi, a global data analytics software vendor helping organisations optimise their energy, sustainability and asset performance. In this capacity, Bruce will help evolve Envizi's product offering for the commercial real estate market.

Tom Randall

Head of Building Optimisation


Tom Randall is a CIBSE Fellow with over 15 years' experience in low energy building design and operation. Speaking and writing frequently on the subjects of building performance and building optimisation Tom is also an advisor to UK GBC and CIBSE.

Beginning his career in engineering consultancies Tom then ran his own consultancy, where much of his work related to the 'performance gap' between the theory and reality of building performance. Tom then joined a technology company that identifies causes of poor performance from Building Management System data. This included R&D with London South Bank University investigating the potential application of Artificial Intelligence techniques.

Tom now works at Verco as Head of Building Optimisation Services where he leads their work helping clients achieve sustained improvements in building performance through both technical and cultural change that embeds a performance centred approach within the Facilities Management team.

Sarah Ratcliffe


Better Buildings Partnership

Sarah 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.

Davide Stronati

Global Sustainability Leader

Mott MacDonald

Davide has been the Global Sustainability Leader of Mott MacDonald since November 2012. Before, he was seconded for five years in the @one Alliance Anglian Water (UK) instrumental in leading their carbon strategy considered at the cutting edge of low carbon infrastructure asset management.

He is the Chair of the Sustainability Leadership Team at the Institution of Civil Engineers (UK); member of the Planning Committee on Global Sustainability, American Society of Civil Engineers (US); the Standard Committee of SuRe, Standards for Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure at the Global Infrastructure Basel (CH); the UN Global Compact network UK Advisory Group.

He holds a Degree in Environmental Engineering, summa cum laude from the University of Trieste (Italy); an MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development from the Cambridge - MIT Institute (UK-US); he attended the High Potentials Leadership Programme at Harvard Business School in Boston (US).

Laetitia de Villepin

Thought Leadership Manager

Energy Transitions Commission

Laetitia de Villepin is Thought Leadership manager for the Energy Transitions Commission (ETC), a coalition bringing together industries, investors and environmental NGOs. She is also a Project Manager at SystemIQ, and co-authored the Mission Possible report in this role. Prior to joining SystemIQ, Laetitia worked in strategy consulting at McKinsey & Company, and in the third sector (with think-tanks and NGOs). Laetitia is an alumna of SciencesPo Paris and ENS Paris and holds degrees in Political Sciences and Economics.

Andrew Warren


British Energy Efficiency Federation

Andrew Warren is a former special advisor to the House of Commons Select Committee on the Environment. He was also a special advisor on energy efficiency to three successive European energy commissioners. He chaired the European Commission committee that prepared the details of the Energy Performance of Buildings directive. A former columnist for the Daily Telegraph, he was voted IBC energy journalist of the year; he now writes a monthly column for the Business Green website. The founder director of the Association for the Conservation of Energy, he now chairs the British Energy Efficiency Federation.

Chris Williams

Managing Director

Prolectric Ltd

Chris Williams is an experienced environmental business leader, who in the past five years has led the rapid growth of Prolectric, the UK's first and only specialist single-source supplier for renewable light and power in the construction, infrastructure and rail renewal sectors.

Chris' pioneering approach to introducing new, sustainable products is based on a belief that they must first clearly demonstrate robust cost and efficiency benefits. This approach has ensured rapid acceptance of the renewable technologies he has championed.

Prolectric temporary solar lighting and solar generators are already making a significant contribution to carbon reduction and air quality targets in UK sectors including highways and rail. The company was behind Network Rail and Colas Rail's joint initiative to achieve a near-diesel free "Site of the Future" using off-grid solar technologies to exclusively power solar lighting and welfare at a major rail renewal project in South Wales.


James Murray

Editor in Chief


James Murray is Editor-in-Chief of BusinessGreen, having launched the site in October 2007. He is responsible for BusinessGreen's leading news, opinion and analysis, and also contributes to the brand's expanding events' programme.

James is one of the UK's leading commentators on the low carbon economy. He writes occasionally for The Guardian newspaper and has also reported for BBC Radio on a number of green technology stories. James reports daily on a wide range of green business issues, with a particular focus on low carbon policy, economics and technology.

In March 2011, James was voted number eight in the Press Gazette's list of the top 50 environmental journalists in the UK. Prior to launching BusinessGreen, James spent five years as a technology journalist working on a variety of IT titles.