ESG in Real Estate Summit: 16-17 June, 2021

About the event

The ESG in Real Estate Summit explored the convergence of big global challenges, capital markets, real estate and technology. It looks at how owners, financiers, architects and builders can collaborate to create a better built world founded on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principles.

It is impossible to imagine the construction and real estate sector without thinking about sustainability, and it is high on the corporate agenda throughout the world.

We all know that the sector faces major challenges such as urbanisation, climate change, health & well-being, resource scarcity, inequality & diversity, and affordability.

The construction and property sector has a major impact on quality of life and the only way to create a sustainable future is by investing and innovating in it.

During the ESG in Real Estate Summit, we looked for answers on how to create a future-proof construction and real estate sector that contributes to solving the biggest challenges facing society.


In-person and Virtual Attendance

Primus Hotel
339 Pitt St, Sydney NSW 2000


Conference: 8am-5.30pm, Thursday 17th June 2021

Pre-conference masterclass: 9am-2:30pm, Wednesday 16th June 2021


Our Speakers


Chief Operating Officer Global Real Estate, Zurich Insurance Company – Switzerland  


Chair of the Advisory Board
RICS – Germany


Managing Director
Siemens Real Estate – Germany


Advisory Council President
RICS – France


The Sustainable Digitalisation Project


Founder & Quartermaster
Proptech for Good – The Netherlands


Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Energy Management, Avalon Bay Communities – USA


Partner & Co-Lead, Climate Tech Investing
Fifth Wall – USA


Chief Executive Officer
Green Buildings Council Australia


Chief Executive Officer
Crown Group


Executive Managing Director, Property Management, CBRE


Director of Sustainability
Global Sustainability Exchange – Philippines


General Manager, Sustainability & Technical Services, ISPT


Chief Investment Officer


Group Head of Sustainability & Transformation


Head of Sustainability & Platform Operations, Real Estate, AMP Capital


National Sustainability Manager


Head of Capital & Product Development
Charter Hall


Managing Director


Sustainability Director
City of Sydney


Head of Asia Pacific


Director, City & Strategy Place


Technical Director, Built Environment


Chief Executive Officer
Panthera Group




Senior Architect & Sustainability Manager
Koichi Takada Architects


National Lead – Social Advisory


Sustainability Strategy Leader


Head of Responsible Property Investment
M&G Real Estate


The ESG in Real Estate summit has been designed for:

  • Building owners
  • Investors/Fund Managers
  • Developers
  • Construction companies/contractors
  • Architects & Designers
  • Government
  • Sustainability firms
  • Material providers
  • Tech companies
  • Consultants


get involved!

2022 Summit will start in








Summit Program

Here’s a snapshot of the 2021 ESG in Real Estate Summit agenda.

  • Morning sessionsJune 17, 2021
  • 08:30 - 08:50

    Main Conference Registration

  • 09:00 - 09:05

    Opening Remarks

    By Leon Kantor Co-Founder & COO, FuturePlace
  • 09:05 - 09:35

    Chairperson’s Opening Address: What’s driving the need for Australian Real Estate companies to embrace responsible investment practices?

    By Ruben Lanbroek Head of Asia Pacific, GRESB

    GRESB is the global ESG benchmark for Real Assets and in this session, we hear from their Head of APAC, Ruben Langbroek about the need for Australian real asset owners and managers to further embrace sustainable, responsible investments that generate positive outcomes. This session will look at existing and future drivers of responsible investment and ESG integration strategies that aim to accelerate the transition to resilient and sustainable real assets.

    • What are the current and future drivers for responsible investments in real estate?
    • What are the key outcomes investors and managers are seeking?
    • What are the leading practices for implementing effective ESG integration strategies?
  • 09:35 - 10:05

    International Keynote Address: Real Estate's moment of reckoning

    By Greg Smithies Partner & Co-Lead, Climate Tech Investing, Fifth Wall - USA

    In this session, we hear from the world’s first and largest venture capital firm focused on advising corporates on investing in Built World technology. Partner of the firm and head of their Climate Technology team, Greg will share his views on the disruption created within global real estate by using technology to decarbonise our environment.

    • Examining why real estate is the largest contributor to the global climate crisis
    • Understanding why this culpability is driving big changes in how building designers, builders, owners, and investors operate
    • Assessing if the real estate industry is not ready or capable of seriously addressing the problem today
    • Why investment in technology – call it “climate tech for the built world” – will be fundamental in charting a sustainable course forward
  • 10:00 - 10:30

    International Fireside Chat: Setting, implementing and realising ambitious CSR & ESG targets within your organisation and across your RE Portfolio

    In this session, we hear from Mark Delisi who is Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Energy Management for the US$25B Avalon Bay Communities (ABC), one of the largest property owners in the ‘Built to Rent’ market. Mark will discuss how the firm sets its goals, reports back to shareholders and implements environmental, social and inclusion goals across the company’s framework and their real estate investment portfolio. Specifically, Mark will answer questions such as:

    • Examining how climate change is impacting real estate portfolios and importantly, how real estate portfolios can positively impact climate change? Implementing implement CSR and ESG in the corporate strategy to address climate action?
    • Examining how scientific methods can be used to set goals and reduce energy and water and to better assess the bottom-line impact
    • What role does procurement, social impact, diversity & inclusion play across the CSR strategy to realise sustainability targets in construction and maintenance?
    • How to communicate with investors and other community stakeholders to achieve better environmental, social and financial returns?

    Keynote Speaker: Mark Delisi, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Energy Management, Avalon Bay Communities (US$25B US Multi Family Housing REIT)

    Interviewed by: Davina Rooney, Chief Executive Officer, Green Buildings Council Australia

    Guest include:
    Mark Delisi Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Energy Management, Avalon Bay Communities
    Matt Hellman Sustainability Strategy Leader, Microsoft
  • 10:30 - 11:00

    Morning Coffee & Networking Break

  • 11:15 - 12:00

    Opening Panel Discussion: The ESG era: How the transition from “Green” to ESG is transforming the real estate industry

    The popularity of ESG has grown significantly. ESG stimulates sustainable investment and ensures that objectives are measured and benchmarked. In this session we examine:

    • Examining how real estate companies can respond and develop a roadmap to move the industry towards net zero carbon emissions and greater sustainability in building construction and maintenance?
    • Creating guiding sustainability principles for the real estate sector to create healthier, resilient, future-proof places?
    • Working with National, State and Local Governments to shape policy and enable industry implementation to drive down water & energy consumption, landfill, waste and building emissions reduction
    • Assessing the role data, IOT and the cloud play in making the ESG transformation towards greater sustainability in water and energy
    • Looking at how technology and sustainable materials are contributing to the long-term solution and the need for more resilient real estate
    • The social value of the built environment; what does diversity and inclusion mean in real estate and how can this be more effectively measured?
    Panellists include:
    Chris Nunn Head of Sustainability & Platform Operations, Real Estate - AMP Capital
    Chris Derksema Sustainability Director, City of Sydney
    Sandra Qian Senior Manager - Policy and Government Relations, Green Building Council of Australia
    Jeffrey Robinson Global Head of Sustainability, Aurecon
    Guenter Hauber-Davidson Managing Director, WaterGroup
    Moderated by:
    Matthias Gelber Director Of Sustainability, Global Sustainability Exchange
  • 12:00 - 12:30

    Keynote Address: Futureproofing your building strategy to achieve TFCD goals and sustainability targets well into the future

    By Simon Wild Group Head of Sustainability & Transformation, Lendlease

    The Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TFCD) was set up to make recommendations across four key areas: governance strategy risk management metrics and targets. Member organisations should disclose: governance around climate-related risks and opportunities as well as how the organisation identifies assesses and manages its climate-related risks. In this session, we hear how Lendlease has developed TFCD scenario planning to achieve its ESG strategy for years to come.

    • Establishing an effective ESG strategy on a building-by-building basis
    • Examining how the strategy may evolve on a 3, 5 and 10-year basis
    • Setting and signing off on ambitious climate targets that align for the regulatory framework in the future and what this means for TFCD planning?
    • Establishing relationships with key supply chain partners to enable your building design, construction and maintenance well into the future
  • 12:30 - 13:00

    Applying ESG and sustainability principles to design and construction

    By Joe Karten National Sustainability Manager, Built

    In this session, National Sustainability Manager of Built Joe Karten talks about his journey across the world to discover what makes a building truly sustainable?
    Over the last decade in Australia, Joe has worked for Built and brought sustainability into sharp focus for the company and one of its strategic drivers. The Built Green Standard was introduced to the company last year and guides procurement of GreenPower, recycling efforts, and use of healthy and sustainable materials across Built’s operations. We hear how Built has used a strong track record in exceeding client ESD performance outcomes to evolve the culture towards strong sustainability action across the board.

  • 13:00 - 14:00

    Networking lunch

  • Afternoon sessionsJune 17, 2021
  • 14:00 - 14:30

    Fireside Chat: Examining how ESG is embedded into the principals of how the Crown Group designs and builds

    Crown are one of Australia’ leading luxury developers, and their list of stellar buildings have been recognised by numerous industry awards for their attention to style, form and sustainability. Iconic Crown builds include Infinity Green Square, Mastery and Waterfall in Waterloo amongst many others.

    Keynote Speaker: Iwan Sunito, Chairman and Group CEO, Crown Group Holdings

    Interviewed by: Michael Stott, Director, City Strategy & Place, Urbis


    Guest include:
    Iwan Sunito Chairman and Group CEO, Crown Group Holdings
  • 14:30 - 15:15

    Investors Panel Discussion: How is the convergence of Capital Markets and Real Estate reshaping the way REITs and Investors assess returns

    In 2020 ESG focused equity investments outperformed traditional asset classes ie those without an ESG lens. In Q1 over US$12billion went into funds with a strong ESG practice and by October that year Morningstar reported that in the US alone, ESG focused equity funds attracted almost US$31bilion. This shift is occurring now in the real estate with investors helping to drive the much-needed change for property owners to focus on reducing emissions, water consumption and to build and maintain their buildings more sustainably. In this session with leading Australian property fund managers, we explore:

    • How institutional and HNW investors are changing the rules for real estate companies in relation to climate. From a fund managers perspective, what do they need to do/change in order to commit to this change?
    • As climate risk factors into investment decision making, what opportunities do sustainable/resilient real estate create for investors and fund managers?
    • What are the investment strategies and current views in relation to ESG?
    • Providing effective shareholder communication and meeting unified reporting obligations
    • Balancing social and environmental benefits with investors’ expectations of return?
    • How do you talk to property owners about becoming climate technology investors?
    Panellists include:
    Ross Du Vernet Chief Investment Officer, Dexus
    Adrian Harrington Head of Capital & Product Development, Charter Hall
    Alicia Maynard General Manager, Sustainability & Technical Services, ISPT
    Chakyl Camal Chief Executive Officer, Panthera Group
    Moderated by:
    Amanda Steele Executive Managing Director, Property Management, CBRE
  • 15:15 - 15:45

    Examining what digitalisation means for social sustainability in real estate: upside and downside possibilities for inclusion, accessibility and equity

    By Simon Carter Founding Chair, Sustainable Digitalisation Project

    Digital technologies are providing opportunities for greater social inclusion, accessibility for all segments of our community and greater equity and fairness. There are also excluding and discriminating, reducing accessibility and increasing inequality. This dichotomy needs to be carefully and responsibly navigated for a healthy and prosperous society.

    • Reviewing examples of the upside and downside possibility with digitalisation
    • Considering what this might mean for social sustainability in real estate into the future
    • Applying the Sustainable Digitalisation Principles to help enjoy upside social benefits and avoid harms


  • 15:45 - 16:15

    Afternoon Coffee & Networking Break

  • 16:15 - 16:45

    Society 5.0 – How sustainable development targets and property technology are coming together to auger in a new and better age

    By Menno Lammers Founder & Quartermaster, PropTech for Good

    In this session, we will hear from Menno Lammers – founder of PropTech for Good – how the UN Sustainable development Goals will guide the future of the sector and our society. Menno will answer questions such as:

    • Examining what is Society 5.0 and what role do real estate and technology play?
    • Understanding what is necessary to make a change and how ESG will help?
    • Which practical examples give direction to Society 5.0?
    • Why does the industry need bold missions?
  • 16:45 - 17:30

    International Locknote Panel: Examining the European approach to ESG and sustainability in real estate

    In this session, we look to the leaders of Europe to see how they are incorporating ESG to drive the industry forward. How have European capital markets impacted the industry and what can Australian companies learn from them? In particular, we explore:

    • What is the European approach and how is the European Commission shaping the Green Deal?
    • What impact has Covid-19 had on the value chains and how does it influence the implementation of the Green Deal?
    • How does the sector sustain the biggest challenge – existing real estate – is it possible to be more ambitious than the 2050 targets?
    • How to balance the ESG needs of investors and tenants?
    • What is the impact of Green Bonds on the real estate sector?
    • How do you change the mindset change to make leaps reducing the total building footprint of the total lifecycle?
    Panellists include:
    Gabriele Volz Chief Executive Officer, CommerzReal AG - Germany
    Roger Baumann Chief Operating Officer, Zurich Insurance Company - Switzerland
    Tanja Severin Managing Director, Siemens Real Estate - Germany
    Frank Hovorka Advisory Council President, RICS France
    Nina Reid Head of Responsible Property Investment, M&G Real Estate
    Moderated by:
    Susanne Eickermann-Riepe Chair of the Advisory Board, RICS Germany
  • 17:30 - 17:30

    Closing Remarks

  • 17:30 - 17:30

    End of Conference

  • Pre-Event MasterclassJune 16, 2021
  • 08:30 - 14:00

    Pre-Conference Masterclass: Creating and enhancing the wellbeing of your tenants by applying an ESG lens to your building

    Pre-Conference Microsprint:
    Cities are the foundries for solutions to complex urban challenges! You are invited to submit a wicked ESG challenge for the group to work on collectively in a Microsprint format. As a group, we will select two ideas to work on during each of the masterclass roundtables. This is a unique opportunity to harness the collaborative horsepower of industry colleagues and competitors towards a greater common good.

    8:30        Registration

    9.00        Opening Remarks by Microsprint Facilitator:
    Michael Stott, Director, City Strategy & Place Urbis

    Creating and enhancing the wellbeing of your tenants by applying an ESG lens

    1. Understanding Green Talent
    Led by:
    Kate Meyrick, Director, Urbis

    2. Exploring Green Building and Materials
    Led by:
    Nermine Zahran, Senior Architect & Sustainability Manager, Koichi Takada Architect

    11.00     Morning Coffee

    3. Engaging with Green Finance
    Led by:
    Simon Wild, Group Head of Sustainability & Transformation, Lendlease

    4. Embedding ESG in Corporate Social Responsibility
    Led by:
    Vanessa Pilla, National Lead – Social Advisory, RPS 

    1.30        Networking Lunch

    2:30       End of Masterclass

    Why should you attend?
    To gain valuable insights from the groups international experience and case studies. Knowledge gained will be immediately applicable to your current challenges. This will be an opportunity for us all to openly share and explore solutions to current challenges, and limitations facing the industry. Sharing our knowledge among those interested in advancing modern methods of ESG design and construction to improve sustainability, wellbeing and efficiency in our industry that benefits us all. New cross-disciplinary relationships with like-minded talent will be a beneficial by-product of attending this workshop.

    About your facilitators

    Michael Stott, Director, City Strategy & Place, Urbis
    Empowering people, places and economies to thrive. Michael is an accomplished urban designer, placemaker and strategic planner who has spent the last 20+ years’ working around the world on city shaping projects that create liveable places for people. His professional experience includes working for several globally recognised, leading consultancies and government entities, who are at the forefront of changing how cities are designed and planned.

    Kate Meyrick, Director Future State, Urbis
    Kate Meyrick is a bold strategic thinker with a passion for cities. She is a lawyer with a master’s degree in urban design and estate management. British-born, Kate has more than twenty-five years in the property industry and has worked throughout Europe and Australia as well as Asia and the USA as an urbanist and place maker. Since 2001 Kate has worked alongside Government, industry and community partners to create a shared vision for some of Australia’s most ambitious major urban infrastructure and regeneration projects nation-wide.

    Simon Wild, Group Head of Sustainability & Transformation, Lendlease
    Executive with over 20 years’ experience in sustainability, strategic resilience, financial climate risk and scenario planning. Complex problem solver, strategic thinker, influencer and communicator. CEO, Managing Director, Board Director and Mentor. Simon has had varying roles for 7 years within Lendlease and prior to that he was CEO of Cundall Australia where he led the business growth across Australia and APAC for over 13 years.

    Vanessa Pilla, National Lead – Social Advisory, RPS
    Vanessa has over 20 years’ experience working across public and private sectors in Australia, Malaysia and UK, advising on sustainable urban development and inclusive economies. She is motivated to understand different stakeholder needs and build a shared vision that requires meaningful partnerships with government, business and the community. She is constantly looking for constructive solutions to influence long lasting change that will lead to improved social and economic outcomes.

    Nermine Zahran, Senior Architect & Sustainability Manager, Koichi Takada Architects
    Nermine is a Sydney based Architect focused on Sustainability Management. She believes it is vital to continuously learn – and to educate others in the industry and in the general public – about ways to minimise the impact of the built environment on the planet. Beyond this, her aim is to positively influence materials selection, construction methods, and ongoing energy-efficient operations strategies. Nermine also seeks to ensure that the buildings and spaces we create are human-centred and improve human health and well-being.


The ESG in Real Estate Summit is a Hybrid event. This format combines the traditional face-to-face conference with virtual elements, allowing both in-person and virtual attendees to access the same content and networking opportunities simultaneously.

High quality curated content

With two days of expert sessions and industry leading speakers, delve into expertly curated content that you won’t find anywhere else.

Live and on-demand

Wherever you are at the time of the event, you’ll be in control. You’ll have the ability to consume all the content being delivered at your leisure through either a live stream of the physical event or on-demand.

Time efficient

If you are based outside of Sydney and for whatever reason can’t make it to the event in-person, you can save on travel time and accommodation costs while still networking with global industry professionals.

Business matchmaking live

Take part in intelligently curated meetings with like-minded individuals that share similar interests and challenges from all over the world through our AI powered matchmaking delivered via our virtual platform.

Accessible from all your devices

Get insights and network at your fingertips – all content sessions and networking activities will be accessible from your laptop, tablets or mobile devices.

Engage, interact and influence

Make the most of your experience by being a truly active participant. Whether at the event or attending virtually, you’ll have the ability to ask questions, participate in polls, and share your experience with other attendees via break-out sessions.

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