SHE Changes Climate:  Event Highlight

October 13, 2022
Written by: by Howard Kennedy
This event, hosted by CREW UK and Gensler, opened with a showing of the new inspiring documentary by SHE Changes Climate; an NGO which aims to increase female representation at all levels of climate decision making. The movie highlights the immediacy of the climate crisis, the absence of women at the table when it comes to global climate decision making, and what a difference it would make if we redressed this. 

One shocking statistic highlighted by the video was that “we are as little as 3 years away from the tipping point at which the Amazon Rainforest becomes a Savannah”, as the rainforest becomes so dilapidated that it cannot keep enough rain in circulation. It can seem overwhelming when one comes to terms with how global and all-encompassing the climate crisis is, and it is easy to feel powerless and despondent.

However, the panel discussion with Georgia Elliott-Smith from Element 4, Naomi Sakamoto and Astrid Hugo from Gensler, moderated by Rebecca Davison of Howard Kennedy was illuminating, inspiring and constructive. It brought these issues a little closer to home, much of the discussion centring around real estate, and how this sector is ripe for change, and with our experience within this sector, we are in fact perfectly placed to incite this change. Construction and real estate are responsible for 40% of carbon emissions, and Britain has one of the worst building stocks in Europe when it comes to efficiency. The two main points I took away from the discussion were: 

  1. Remember your influence. You have a voice that the people who surround you will listen to, whether at home, at work, or elsewhere – do not underestimate this!
  2. The sector you work in is where you can constructively focus your efforts. We are all experts in our own sectors, and that is where we can incite change, by owning our place in the solution.
Alix Pery, Howard Kennedy LLP

Astrid Hugo, Gensler:
“Be bold and challenge the status quo; be the voice for a better future. We need everyone on board to unlearn our destructive habits. We need change to come from everyone and every organisation. If you see something isn’t right, see it say it sort it.”
Rebecca Davison, Howard Kennedy:
“For climate change to work we need to work within the boundaries of Justice Equality Diversity and Inclusion………136 years to gender parity – that’s terrifying.”
Gill Eaton, Third Revolution Projects:
“The film touched on such an important point; that is, how critical it is for women to be an equal part of the decision-making process. I would widen this out and encourage more younger people into decision-making roles as they are often much more switched on to the urgency and more bought in to the need to pivot extensively and swiftly to address the climate challenges we face.”