People News

Our People: Robert Winch.


Supporting ESG integration.

I’ve spent much of my life admiring the natural world…

…but at university I was shown its true importance.

While studying Biology I began to understand the primarily one-sided relationship we have with nature and how important it is to try and find an equilibrium. My Masters in Sustainable Development and placement at the Surrey Wildlife Trust reinforced my belief that healthy ecosystems lay the foundations of a prospering society and economy.

My interest in reimagining urban landscapes…

…has been the driving force for my career.

Before joining Hoare Lea, I worked for UKGBC project managing the creation of industry tools, resources and events to accelerate the built environment’s adoption of nature-based solutions.

I’ve been working at Hoare Lea…

…since late 2020 and I’m part of the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) team.

I’m driven by the belief that effective ESG management can be a powerful toolkit to minimise risks, boost business performance and increase asset and corporate resilience.

My team and I…

…integrate ESG into businesses. We develop corporate or portfolio-wide strategies for long-term value creation. We do this by identifying the risks and opportunities, aligning with corporate priorities, and responding to stakeholder expectations and investor requirements.

In doing this, we support the innovative and ambitious approach to shift the built environment towards more sustainable practices.

I also still work closely with UKGBC and I sit on its Resilience and Nature-based Solution programme Steering Group that advances tools and guidance that will better enable industry to adopt nature-based solutions.

ESG is more commonly known as sustainability…

…but we’re about to see a seismic shift in capital reallocation in favour of ESG, focusing on the 3 key pillars instead of the traditional 1.

This is because ESG contribution extends beyond the confines of mere risk avoidance. It can lead to improved financial returns through greater operational efficiency, better stock price performance and enhanced reputational and asset value.

In the future…

…I hope that ESG continues to grow in popularity, outcompeting non-ESG investments.

One day, all assets will be required to provide real time automated measures of their performance, putting investors in a position where they can instantaneously adapt their investment portfolios. This will create a market which can rapidly respond to emerging ESG issues and continuously drive developers and asset owners to evolve their approach.

It’s important to remember that…

…ESG is not about altering the purpose of a business away from financial value creation but rather ensuring the longevity of it in perpetuity.

Ultimately, it’s about existing within our planet’s safe operating space.