Mat Lown appointed Vice Chair of BPF sustainability committee


TFT Head of ESG Mat Lown has been named Vice Chair of the BPF Sustainability Committee, an industry group supporting the real estate sector’s journey to net zero. We caught up with Mat to hear more about the role and his view of the state of sustainability in property.

Congratulations on the appointment Mat. How long have you been involved with the BPF Sustainability Committee? How has its work changed while you’ve been part of it?

Thank you! It’s great to have been nominated for the Vice Chair role. Having worked with the committee for several years, and having been part of our industry for over 20 years, I am excited to see how far we’ve come in understanding and acting on a more sustainable built environment.

When I joined the committee I worked on the minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES), which was a valuable piece of legislation but one which deals with a relatively narrow element of sustainable performance. Now, the emphasis is shifting to decarbonisation, our industry must adopt a wider understanding of carbon beyond energy use alone. In fact, our focus is getting wider all the time, and encompassing issues beyond carbon which only a few years ago would have been written off as ‘beyond the scope’ of property.

How will the committee engage with those wider issues?

The BPF has already done a lot to raise visibility and engage its members with building trust in real estate, and our industry’s social value contributions are central to that. The BPF’s Redefining Real Estate showed our industry there’s still a lot to do to contribute more to social value, though understanding has improved since the 2013 Social Value Act.

The Sustainability Committee is a means of establishing best practice in the industry, helping government to produce useful regulation. We saw how MEES helped to bring commercial and sustainable outcomes together. Perhaps we can find a way for national policy to set the parameters for more positive local action.

What sets the BPF sustainability group apart from other industry committees?

This group has a voice, it’s influential and respected in our industry. The BPF is good at providing cohesion between other industry groups such as UKGBC, CIBSE, RIBA and RICS, coordinating our cross-industry efforts on these big issues. I hope I can continue to bring a certain ‘peripheral vision’ to the group, bringing our industry together for a better future.