Editor: My generation has grown up listening to leaders talk about the climate crisis. But we are still on track for disastrous levels of global heating far in excess of the limits in the Paris climate agreement.

In the real estate sector, there are inspiring leaders and organisations taking action, but we all must rise to the challenge. This is critical in terms of the UK meeting its net zero targets, as well as attracting the next generation of talent to real estate.

In October, the BPF Futures group came together to discuss climate change, producing a statement of expectations for what action should be taken. What was most poignant was their expectations of their own organisations and the industry.

BPF Futures members expect our industry to commit to net zero before 2050 and pressure others to act fast. They ask for an end to greenwashing, with positive environmental and social impact embedded in company ethos and backed up by measurable sustainability strategies. They expect industry to work together, and they are committed to looking for opportunities to influence the industry to be more sustainable.

Walking the talk is not easy, but it is necessary. The industry must be innovative, forward-looking and decisive. The leaders to net zero will find they have a competitive advantage over the laggards in a highly competitive recruitment market.

In the age of the ‘great resignation’ it would be wise to listen to the voices of young professionals. And be warned, they can spot greenwashing from a mile away.

James Simondson, assistant director of policy at the BPF and leader of the BPF Futures Network