Driving Net Zero: 3Ci’s Impact at UKREiiF 2024

By Steve Turner, Director, 3Ci

UKREiiF, now in its third year, has firmly established itself as the premier UK event for real estate investment. It’s a far cry from Cannes, of course, but arguably it’s more real with a greater focus on place. The barges in and around the Royal Armouries aren’t quite the billionaire yachts of the Mediterranean, but they’re more colourful and reflect an industrial history from which we are still learning lessons.

The Need for a New Green Industrial Revolution

One of those lessons is about a new green industrial revolution. Unlike its 19th-century counterpart, the effects and impacts need to be better managed in a way that creates jobs and business growth, builds more sustainable and resilient communities, and drives investment in infrastructure and technology. This modern revolution prioritises environmental sustainability alongside economic progress, ensuring that the growth we achieve today does not compromise the well-being of future generations.

3Ci’s Role at UKREiiF

It’s refreshing, therefore, that Net Zero and the environment continue to be central to the UKREiiF agenda. Taking advantage of this, 3Ci (Cities Commission for Climate Investment) contributed to a range of panels and showcased its activities within the CPC pavilion on Wednesday afternoon.

Highlighting Key Panels and Discussions

One of the standout moments was a stellar panel chaired by Catherine McGuinness CBE, which delved into the recommendations from her Net Zero Investment Task Force. The findings from this task force, released in the House of Lords back in February, emphasise the critical role of cities in driving the net zero agenda. The panel featured prominent city leaders such as Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, and Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow. Both, huge advocates of 3Ci, were clear that the biggest impediment to their cities securing the transition focused on the skills needed to bring investable propositions forward for private sector investment.

Engaging Investors with Dragon’s Den Style Events

Following this insightful panel, 3Ci hosted two “Dragon’s Den” style events where cities presented their Net Zero Neighbourhoods projects to a panel of investors. Cities like Leeds, Sheffield, Glasgow, and Hounslow showcased their innovative plans, aiming to create sustainable and resilient urban areas. The investors, or “dragons,” responded enthusiastically, expressing interest in further discussions at the upcoming London Climate Action Week. This event, scheduled for the end of June, will see 3Ci collaborating with NatWest on a city investment event, fostering deeper connections and potential investments. Enabling place-Based Net Zero Event

Winning the Sustainability Award

From a ‘walk the talk’ perspective, I was happy to see that the CPC pavilion was given a Sustainability Champion Award at UKREiiF! Our pavilion was celebrated for its innovative practices, which include designing reusable exhibition stands to minimise waste, using digital tools to replace traditional paper-based materials, employing local materials and suppliers to reduce carbon footprints, and implementing energy-efficient technologies and renewable energy sources. This accolade is a testament to our dedication to sustainable practices and innovation, setting a new standard for sustainability at large-scale events.

As I headed home on the train, mulling over the whirlwind of the past three days, the conversations from various panels and pavilions stuck with me. The overwhelming positivity resonates deeply, but with a resolute focus on action and moving forward. It’s clear that the collective effort of the entire team has been monumental, and I am immensely proud to be part of such a dedicated group. Together, we are not just part of an event; we are driving meaningful change and shaping the future we envision.


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