Report 2018

Shaping the future

Environmental Stewardship

Protecting our resources, reducing our impacts

Culture and Wellbeing

Maintaining and enhancing our status of employer of choice

Governance and Ethics

Business operations with a conscience

Sustainability in Services

Leading the market towards a sustainable

built environment

Community and Charity

Working together to create opportunities

Sustainability is firmly ingrained in business practice and is a guiding principle in the real estate industry. It informs everything we do and strongly reinforces our business purpose. The business case for sustainability is clear, and powerful; not only does it create value, but also improves the performance of buildings and people’s lives.

Our embedded sustainability advice focusses on helping clients create better outcomes for people as well as protecting or enhancing our natural world and resources. A key aim of the sustainability team is to offer our clients integrated sustainability advice throughout all of AY’s relevant services. The services we provide as part of this are created to improve our clients’ sustainability performance:

• ESG or Responsible Property Investment (RPI) strategy and reporting

• Operational building sustainability, energy and carbon saving reduction

• Health and wellbeing for occupiers, developers and landlords

• Regulatory compliance and risk management (MEES, ESOS and Heat Networks)

In 2018 the Sustainability team acted for a mix of private and public real estate clients, including REIT’s, private equity investors, fund managers, lenders, local authorities and blue chip businesses. The integration of smart technology is an emerging trend which allows us to further embed our advice alongside our traditional services.

Focus on operational sustainability

Very rarely do buildings perform operationally as planned in the design and built stage. We want to bridge this gap between intended and actual use. Lee Cleeton, who joined us last year, is a specialist engineer in this area and is helping our clients achieve exactly this outcome. Lee has key project experience in low energy building design and operation within the commercial, industrial, residential, healthcare and education sectors.

Steering the Cities Programme

We have joined the Steering Committee of the UK GBC Cities Programme. The programme aims to improve Cities by; driving change through improved standards, encouraging delivery through public and private partnerships and shaping national and regional policy.

Health and Wellbeing Accreditation

GVA want to be industry leading health and wellbeing advisors. To achieve this, one of our employees became accredited to the WELL Standard, becoming a WELL AP. Five of our employees became Fitwell ambassadors.

Our goals

Integrate social and environmental best practice into our services

Collaborate with industry groups on sustainability initiatives

Our objectives

Ensure all staff undertake training on sustainability

Work with our teams to integrate sustainability ‘good and best practice’ into client services

Where appropriate deliver bespoke sustainability services to our clients

Deliver free training sessions to students and the wider sector

Continue supporting the work of the UK Green Building Council

Continue being an active member of the BBP Managing Agents Partnership

Publish research reports and thought leadership articles

Alignment to UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities

Make Cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

GVA action:
Our work with clients and industry enables us to help transition the property sector to a sustainable model and add value for our clients along the way.



“GVA has elevated its UK GBC membership status to Gold Level, the highest form of membership. Gold level benefits help us to achieve our on-going ambition to lead the built environment, with more training and guidance to help GVA lead.


GVA continue to be great advocates of the UK GBC vision for a sustainable built environment. Their continuing support of our Cities programme is hugely beneficial, as is the input from numerous staff who have given their time this year to be part of our work on social value and energy efficiency.”


Julie Hirigoyen, CEO of the UK Green Building Council