Bloomsbury, Greater London
£60,000 - £70,000 per year
Permanent, Full-time
Job description

This is an exciting time for UKGBC which is growing fast in profile, size, and impact. This brand new role offers a great opportunity for an enthusiastic individual to join our dynamic team. 

The built environment industry is accelerating its action on decarbonisation and the new Head of Climate Action will work closely with UKGBC members and other key organisations to plan and deliver activities that enable the delivery and operation of net-zero carbon built assets. They will work closely with the Director of Business Transformation to create impactful strategies, identify resourcing needs, and secure the required funding. The role has responsibility for identifying the strategy and leading delivery of UKGBC's work with industry and businesses on the topic of net zero carbon buildings and infrastructure assets. It will use the UKGBC's existing work, profile, and network as a springboard from which to identify and deliver new workstreams that enable faster decarbonisation of the built environment. This includes maximising the impact of the highly influential Advancing Net Zero programme and the Whole Life Carbon Roadmap for the UK Built Environment.

This role is responsible for leading a talented and driven team of early and mid-career profesionals focussed on net-zero buildings and infrastructure. It will oversee and lead the delivery of a range of projects that will include activities such as desktop research, data analysis, roundtables, workshops, interviews, industy events, and report writing. It will act as a spokesperson for UKGBC by taking part in industry events and speaking to and writing content for media and other key stakeholders. Importantly, it will bring significant experience of the development process and financing, and knowledge of construction and low carbon solutions.

The role requires effective collaboration with colleagues across the whole UKGBC team to ensure maximum efficiency, industry impact, and value for UKGBC members. The Policy and Places, and Learning and Leadership teams will be especially important for co-creation of activities. This role, and some of those reporting into it, will also undertake account management duties for Gold Leaf members, and engage more broadly with other businesses in the membership community.

Organisation Overview

UKGBC is an industry-led network with a mission to radically improve the sustainability of the built environment.  It is a charity with over 500 member organisations spanning the entire value chain, we represent the voice of the industry’s current and future leaders who are striving for transformational change.

We collaborate to advocate, enable and inspire accelerated leadership and action, primarily by business and government, on climate change, resource use, nature & biodiversity, health & wellbeing and socio-economic impact

We also engage our members in advocating a progressive message to government, informing and influencing policy at national and local levels.

Our vision is a built environment that enables people and planet to thrive by:

  • Mitigating and adapting to climate change
  • Eliminating waste and maximising resource efficiency
  • Embracing and restoring nature and promoting biodiversity
  • Optimizing the health and wellbeing of people
  • Creating long-term value for society and improving quality of life

Job Description

Job title: Head of Climate Action

Department: Business Transformation  

Line Manager: Director of Business Transformation

Location: Anywhere in UK, but with requirement to spend agreed amount of time weekly in UKGBC office in London. (Currently fully remote working due to Covid-19). 

Purpose of job

Scope of job (dimensions)

To identify the strategy and lead delivery of UKGBC's work with industry and businesses on net zero carbon buildings and infrastructure assets. This includes maximising the impact of the Advancing Net Zero programme and the Whole Life Carbon Roadmap for the UK Built Environment.

People  (eg. headcount)

Reporting to role: 3 staff, plus consultants, interns, secondees as required

Same job title holders: None

Financial (eg. budget)

£300,000-£500,000 p.a. depending on projects, grants etc


Contract management for occasional P/T suppliers

Key Account Management responsibility for handful of Gold Leaf members

Principal Accountabilities (e.g. key responsibilities, programmes and projects)

Develop and lead workstreams that enable greater action on climate change mitigation (c70%)

  • Lead the vision and strategy for how UKGBC can best enable its business members to design, construct, and operate low and zero whole life carbon buildings and infrastructure. The focus is on new build residential, new and existing non-residential buildings, and new and existing economic infrastructure (work to decarbonise existing residential buildings is led by the Policy and Places team). This will involve working with colleagues, especially the Director of Business Transformation, and consulting with members, industry organisations, and other stakeholders.
  • Lead the design and execution of projects in line with the strategy. This includes creating additional tools, support and guidance that businesses need to make further progress towards decarbonising buildings and infrastructure. This currently includes the Advancing Net Zero programme and Whole Life Carbon Roadmap project.
  • Plan, deliver, and guide colleagues on collaborative research activities as part of the projects, such as roundtables, workshops, interviews, and surveys.
  • Provide oversight of all industry-facing outputs from the projects, such as reports, videos, and events – with accountability for quality control and impact generation.
  • Act as a key spokesperson to members, industry, and press in regards to climate action and UKGBC's related projects and outputs.
  • Ensure all projects and outputs are based on strong commercial and technical understanding of property, construction, and climate change mitigation.
  • Manage the project finances to ensure they run to budget. This includes providing accurate annual and monthly financial budgets and forecasts.
  • Work with the Director of Business Transformation to secure support and funding for projects. This will include from government and public sector bodies, charitable foundations, other industry organisations, and UKGBC members.
  • Plan for, measure, and evaluate tangible industry outcomes from each project and activity. This includes ensuring a robust process for KPI and impact tracking and reporting.
  • Work with colleagues across UKGBC who run innovation, policy, and learning activities that are focussed on climate change mitigation, to ensure integration between workstreams.

Partnerships & profile (c. 10%)

  • Build relationships with strategically important industry organisations (e.g. other green NGOs, industry bodies, think tanks) and potential funding organisations.
  • Represent UKGBC as a spokesperson at conferences and events to raise our profile amongst target audiences, and to promote our key messages to media and other outlets.

Member engagement (c.10%)

  • Account manage a number of Gold Leaf members to ensure strong engagement with UKGBC across their organisations.
  • Engage with members and other stakeholders face to face, and via phone and email regarding their overall engagement with UKGBC and to inform them of specific activities they could benefit from
  • Identify, liaise with, and secure new members. Focussing on organisations with whom you have an existing relationship or their focus is on climate mitigation.

UKGBC team activities, line management, and personal development (c.10%)

  • Prepare and participate in UKGBC team meetings, workshops and other events
  • Day to day line management, motivation and empowerment of team and individuals focusing on climate mitigation (plus consultants / secondees where necessary), and act as champion for organisational culture and values.
  • Build strong relationships across the whole UKGBC team, maximising integrated ways of working and high-performing efficient culture, and act as a role model for wider UKGBC team members in terms of leadership, empowerment and support.
  • Take a pro-active approach to your on-going learning and development. Work with the Director of Business Transformation and the People Manager to identify and act on development opportunities.

Decision making authority (eg strategy – impact on business; customers/stakeholders; people – leadership and teamwork; process – operational effectiveness and controls)

Without reference:

  • Resource allocation within directly managed team
  • Line management of direct reports, objective setting and appraisals
  • Day to day managerial decisions on the delivery of projects and activities
  • Expenditure (in line with annual budget) up to a maximum of £10k per transaction.
  • Speak at and attend industry events
  • Ongoing member relations, recruitment and retention

With reference:

  • Cross-departmental resource allocation
  • Development and launch of new projects or membership initiatives
  • Outsourcing decisions, and third party appointments
  • Recruitment
  • Fundraising
  • Annual budget setting and ongoing financial reporting including monthly forecasts
  • Major investments or unbudgeted costs

Key competencies


  • Honesty, integrity and the highest standards of probity
  • Passion for UKGBC’s mission and a personal drive to succeed
  • Excellent written, verbal and presentation skills
  • Strong facilitation skills, and ability to chair and run effective meetings and workshops to arrive at consensus outcomes
  • Ability to communicate complex ideas in simple ways
  • Strategy setting and horizon scanning
  • Excellent planning, organisational and project management skills, ability to juggle multiple priorities with limited resources to tight deadlines
  • Aptitude in decision-making and problem-solving
  • Strong line management experience and leadership qualities in terms of motivating and inspiring team members to perform at their best
  • Ability to develop and maintain strong stakeholder relationships
  • Strong commercial awareness, including experience of generating income and developing new business, and developing and managing budgets


  • Creativity and innovative mindset
  • Strong existing network of relevant contacts in property and construction businesses

Knowledge, experience and qualifications (minimum requirements for the job)


  • At least 10 years’ experience in the property or construction industry
  • Commercial experience in the property and construction industry, with a focus on the development and construction process, including cost and finance elements
  • Experience working at a developer, owner, contractor, or applicable consultancy
  • Technical understanding of whole life, embodied, and operational carbon of built assets
  • Experience of implementing strategies to reduce at least one of operational or embodied carbon
  • Experience translating global and UK drivers into practical building-scale delivery, and knowledge of the interrelations between corporate and building sustainability commitments.
  • Experience of various research methodologies including qualitative, quantitative and digtial
  • Experience of recruiting, managing and motivating a high-performing team
  • Strong academic record


  • Property, construction, or sustainability related professional qualifications such as from RICS, RIBA, ICE
  • Deep technical knowledge of embodied and whole life carbon calculations and reduction
  • Knowledge of current technological innovations to address climate change
  • Experiencee of using design thinking and innovation processes
  • Experience of collaborative industry projects/initiatives
  • Experience of bid writing / fundraising and grant reporting
  • Experienced media spokesperson
  • Charitable / NGO sector experience including Theory of Change and impact reporting

Terms & Conditions

Place of Work: Anywhere in UK, but with requirement to spend agreed amount of time each week in UKGBC office in London. (Currently fully remote working due to Covid-19).  

Hours of work: 37.5 hours; normally 9am – 5.30pm
Holidays: 28 days per annum pro rata, plus 3 days Xmas closure, plus public holidays
Salary & benefits: £60,000 to £70,000 salary (dependent on experience), enhanced pension contribution, BUPA Cashback Scheme
Length of contract: Permanent
Start date: ASAP

Apply now by sending a copy of your CV and a covering email explaining in no more than 250 words why you would excel in this role and the earliest date you could start. Applications will be assessed from Monday 7th June until the suitable candidate has been appointed, so we encourage interested candidates to apply as early as possible.

UKGBC is committed to providing equality opportunities to all existing and prospective employees. We aim to be inclusive to everyone regardless of ethnicity, religious beliefs, gender, marital status, age, disability, sexual orientation or political beliefs'.

Refreshed on: 09 June 2021
Closed date: 24 June 2021
Tags: Campaigning, Senior Management