UKREiiF embarks on expansive social value campaign

UKREiiF sets a new industry benchmark on inclusivity and sustainability with a major social value drive.

Amanda Griffiths and Keith Griffiths of BE Networking - the organisers of UKREiiF | BTR News
Amanda Griffiths and Keith Griffiths of BE Networking - the organisers of UKREiiF.

The UK’s Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum (UKREiiF), a major new conference and exhibition taking place in Leeds, has embarked on an expansive social value campaign aimed at making it one of the most inclusive and sustainable events in the real estate and infrastructure industry.

The three-day event takes place from 17 to 19 May 2022 and is set to welcome over 5,000 delegates, 100 exhibitors and over 250 speakers. The conference is centred around connecting people, places, and businesses in order to accelerate the levelling up agenda and unlock sustainable, inclusive and transformational investment across the UK.

The UKREiiF conference has been structured to provide an unprecedented platform for underrepresented groups – as well as smaller organisations and businesses from diverse geographical locations. It has enabled locations such as Cornwall, Blackpool, Fife and Hull to be represented in a similar manner as London, Glasgow, Manchester and Belfast.

Built Environment Networking, the organisation behind UKREiiF, is also striking numerous partnerships to further enhance the diversity and inclusiveness of the event. One partnership is with skills and diversity initiative Regeneration Brainery where a mentoring system is being created to connect industry leading figures to potential graduates. Other partnerships include STEER which will see students and mentors attend, Freehold who will host an LGBT+ history tour around Leeds, RE:Women who will host an afternoon Zumba networking class, and Women in Property who will run a morning networking event.

The event’s environmental sustainability credentials

UKREiiF has carefully considered the event’s environmental sustainability credentials. By hosting the event in a central city – Leeds – it minimises the distance delegates need to travel and their carbon footprints. UKREiiF is also due to gain its ISO Events Sustainability Accreditation ahead of the event. Organisers are also working with sustainable travel partner LNER, to offer discounts to UKREiiF attendees that travel by train, and Club Peloton to encourage cycling as a route to Leeds whilst also raising money for charity.

To ensure sustainable efforts are maximised, UKREiiF is using software specialist Loop – to measure social value impact across 20 metrics. These metrics include a variety of categories spanning wellbeing, charity, mentoring, training, diversity and sustainability. The information will play a pivotal role in shaping the event, used actively throughout so that improvements and adjustments can be made and impact optimised. UKREiiF is taking an iterative approach with regular reporting, so the team can make improvements to the event’s social impact indefinitely. The first report is due within weeks.

“UKREiiF places social value considerations at its core, so it is important that we use social value measurements to ensure it is being applied effectively and extensively. 

“All forward-thinking organisations are now focused on developing robust environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies. Sometimes, however, the ‘s’ in ESG can play second fiddle to the ‘e’. While UKREiiF can boast very strong environmental credentials, we also want to lead the industry in terms of providing the very best in social impact.”

Keith Griffiths, Founder of Built Environment Networking, UKREiiF’s organiser

UKREiiF’s awards

The UKREiiF awards takes place on the evening of Tuesday 17 May. At the heart of the awards is sustainability – and features categories specifically dedicated to celebrating pioneers in the ESG agenda, including Net Zero Hero of the Year, Social Value & Inclusive Growth Creator of the Year and Net Zero Place of the Year. The free to enter awards are now open and submissions should be submitted by 18 March.

Conference agenda

In addition to showcasing investment opportunities to investors, developers and house builders, UKREiiF’s conference agenda will address key sustainability themes – including the UK’s net zero target, social value and inclusive growth, the future of real estate and building better communities.

“At the heart of the show’s reason for being is improved outcomes for all people. That means promoting social value as well as environmental sustainability in real estate, as well as breaking down barriers and promoting diversity in all its forms in the real estate industry.”

Keith Griffiths, Founder of Built Environment Networking, UKREiiF’s organiser

Some of the keynote speakers taking centre stage include Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, Joanne Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool City Council, Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council and Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

The conference will also hear from other leading lights in local government, including Andrew Kerr OBE, Chief Executive of The City of Edinburgh Council, Suzanne Wylie, Chief Executive of Belfast City Council, Marvin Rees, the Mayor of Bristol, Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire and Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands.

They will be joined by Lord Grimstone, Minister for Investment at the Department for International Trade, Baroness Vere, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Transport, John Flint, Chief Executive at UK Infrastructure Bank and Bridget Rosewell, Commissioner at the National Infrastructure Commission.

The agenda is also replete with influential figures from central government and national agencies, including Nick Harris, Chief Executive of National Highways, Dr Janet Young, Chief Property Officer of the UK Government, as well as Gareth Rhys Williams, Government Chief Commercial Officer in the Cabinet Office and Peter Denton, Chief Executive of Homes England.

On the private sector side, speakers include Anna Devlet, Head of Social Sustainability at British Land, Lynda Shillaw, Chief Executive Officer at the Harworth Group, Katie Kopec, International Director at JLL, Jennie Coleville, Head of ESG and Sustainability at Landsec and Jennie Daly, Group Operations Director at Taylor Wimpey. Heads of leading occupiers include Dr Kath Mackay, Director at Bruntwood Life Sciences and Andy Williams, Vice President, UK Strategy at AstraZeneca.

In terms of the exhibition, there is strong representation from the private sector. Some companies include Englobe, LandTech, First Base, Capital & Centric, JLL, MEPC, Countryside, Faithful & Gould, Atkins, Tarmac, Queensberry, Thirteen Group, Delta Simons, Maber, E.ON and ERE Property.

For more information on UKREiiF, visit