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David Partridge: The property industry’s force for good

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In honour of Earth Day, Andrew Deverell-Smith – Global CEO & Founder of deverellsmith and Hintel was joined in the devcast… studio by the industry legend David Partridge – Chairman at Related ARGENT, the net zero carbon building standard initiative and a trustee at LandAid.

David is THE industry expert who’s on a mission to make the property industry more sustainable and is a highly respected force for good. Throughout this episode, we will be delving into the early years of his life and how this influenced his career and how ESG is shaking up the property world.

“That’s what it is about, giving people the opportunity to flourish and places the opportunity to flourish”

Influences from around the world

Born in Sri Lanka, David’s father managed tea estates and David followed him around the world throughout the early years of his life. He lived in South India for ten years, then moved to Uganda for 3-4 years and finally to Canada. Throughout those years travelling, from the age of 8 David was flying back to the UK to go to boarding school.

David shared that looking back, having these influences from around the world has shaped who he is today, his perspective on life and the way he does business. Visiting and living in all of these diverse countries, gave him the chance to experience the extreme differences between countries such as the climate and poverty.

All in all, it taught him resilience, opened him up to influences from everywhere and gave him the ability to look at the world from a unique viewpoint.

Leading people and maintaining values

David became the joint Managing Director of ARGENT in 2006 and the sole Managing Partner in 2012. Almost half of that time has been spent in some sort of leadership position.

Aside from the plethora of iconic projects that he has worked on within his career, David shares the part that he is most proud of is the business and its people. To be able to say that the values that he sees within the organisation today that are driving people to create great places are the ones that the business was built upon 30 years ago is something that he is extremely proud of.

David shares that he has always wanted the business to be admired AND respected. He reveals he has instilled and maintained those values within the business by firstly articulating them to the key stakeholders within the business as well as hiring people into the business that share the same values and will flourish under them.

Net Zero Carbon Building Standard Initiative

This is something that David has always been extremely interested in, and a topic that Argent has been implementing in all their projects – to be as climate change friendly as possible.

David became the Chair of the trustees of the UK Green Building Council in 2017 and to this day is a trustee. After having a discussion about what things are of critical importance within the property industry, David shares there was a unanimous agreement that the industry needed a single definition of what net zero carbon was for the entire market.

They have now brought together a whole group of property professionals, including RIBA, RICS and the Carbon Trust to bring the initiative forward by the entire real estate industry. The initiative has been formulated by professionals with the intention of getting it adopted by everyone from the people that own the buildings, the people that build the buildings and the people that lend money to those people.

David shares that if the industry has a single metric of what net zero really means, then we can all account for it, and that’s the key. As soon as the industry can find a price for carbon and measure it, everyone will start to adapt their real estate to ensure they end in a net zero position.

Listen to the full espisode now to learn how you could become a world-class developer...