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Paul King steps down from UK-GBC helm

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Long-standing UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) chief executive Paul King has announced is leaving the organisation at the start of 2015

King, who has headed up the sustainability organisation since its launch seven years ago, is to become managing director for sustainability at Lend Lease, where he will replace the company’s current head of sustainability Pascal Mittermaier.

While at the UK-GBC, King led the campaign for a zero carbon target for non-domestic buildings, and supported the recognition of young talent with the establishment of the Rising Stars Awards.

King said: ‘It is a huge privilege to lead such a dedicated UK-GBC team. Over the last seven years the organisation has grown from 30 founder member companies to over 400 today, spanning the entire construction and property value chain, as sustainability has moved from the fringes to the mainstream.

‘From the very beginning our members’ enthusiasm and commitment to our campaign for a sustainable built environment has been an inspiration, a real demonstration of what can be achieved when industry shows leadership. We’ve witnessed a sea change in industry attitudes and practice, sometimes helped, sometimes hindered by Government.’

He added: ‘Sustainability is about meeting the needs and aspirations of people in the future within environmental limits, and Lend Lease’s strategic focus on creating and regenerating the best places in cities around the world means ensuring those places will be genuinely sustainable for generations to come.’

UK-GBC Chairman Andrew Gould added: ‘Paul has put UK GBC into a mainstream position in the campaign for a sustainable built environment. UK-GBC has established a place at the cutting edge of the debate on sustainability and has earned respect as a strong, independent, thoughtful and reliable voice.’

Andy von Bradsky of PRP Architects, commented: ‘Paul has been a tremendous leader and advocate for sustainability in the built environment and has been a great asset for the cause in his dealings with policy makers and industry leaders. As founder members PRP has welcomed the leadership and support he has given our profession in championing causes we support. He launched an annual ‘Rising Star’ award at Ecobuild to recognize young champions of sustainability and involved us in key research projects. He will be sorely missed but I am pleased that he is staying in the industry to fight in another corner.’

Jerry Tate, founder of Jerry Tate Architects, which is a UK-GBC member, said: ‘Paul has been an intelligent advocate of sustainable construction during his time at the UKGBC and it is really important to have an authoritative voice like that in the debate about issues like energy standards in the UK. In many ways the organisation’s lobbying role is an important as the education and discussion platform they provide.’

Ben Derbyshire, managing partner of HTA, added: ‘Paul King has presided over a period where the UK-GBC has grown from a small pressure group into to a highly respected organisation in the UK property industry. It has worked hard with industry and government over the last five years, in sometimes difficult circumstances, to maintain politicians interest in this vital area, the sustainability of our built environment. Paul has always been an articulate voice and a capable negotiator, he has been tough when necessary critical of ministers when he felt it was justified. He will be a hard act to follow. It is only a matter of regret that government has so lamentably failed to respond with a consistent policy framework especially one which favours the retrofitting of existing residential stock and the payback for renewable energy. His successor therefore faces a Herculean task.’

While Sadie Morgan of dRMM, said the move showed Lend Lease’s commitment to sustainability. She said: ‘Paul King’s credentials speak for themselves. This is a proactive and welcome appointment by Lend Lease, and shows their continued commitment and focus on the sustainability agenda.’ 

Before joining the UK-GBC, King was previously the director of campaigns at the WWF-UK.

The organisation has said it will begin the hunt for King’s successor shortly.

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