Julie Hirigoyen has today announced her decision to step down in the summer of 2023 as CEO of UKGBC, the leading not-for-profit, membership-led, industry network committed to a sustainable built environment.  

By the time of her departure, she will have successfully led the organisation for over eight years on a path of significant strategic growth and increasing impact. During her tenure, UKGBC has rapidly evolved from a small environmental NGO to a substantial and renowned organisation with a strong and important voice across the UK built environment sector. Maintaining a laser focus on cutting-edge advocacy, research, analysis and guidance, UKGBC continues to help pave the way for the transformation of the UK’s buildings, towns, cities and infrastructure, to enable both people and planet to thrive.  

Recent UKGBC achievements include: 

  • The doubling of the membership base to over 700 members today, circa 25% of whom are now official signatories to the global Race to Zero campaign. 
  • Crafting the UK’s first Net Zero Carbon Buildings Framework Definition which provides vital clarity, consistency and guidance for the industry and policy-makers and lays the foundation for the collaborative development of a pan-industry Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard.  
  • Mapping the transformational pathway for decision-makers across industry and policy to achieve net zero by 2050 – culminating in the Net Zero Whole Life Carbon Roadmap for the UK Built Environment, unveiled at COP26.  
  • Launching UKGBC Scotland and initiating a strategy to effectively support stakeholders in devolved nations and places across the UK.  
  • Broadening UKGBC’s focus to embrace wider impact areas including resilience and nature, circular economy and social value – and increasingly working on the nexus between these inextricably intertwined issues.  

Julie will be in post until mid-2023 and will continue to lead the organisation as the recruitment of a new Chief Executive is accomplished. The long runway for her succession, her unwavering commitment to UKGBC’s mission, backed by a highly regarded Board of Trustees and a recently strengthened Leadership Team, will all ensure the organisation continues with business as usual in the year ahead.  

Julie Hirigoyen, Chief Executive said: “I am immensely proud of UKGBC’s collective achievements and impact over the last 8 years and deeply honoured to have worked with such a passionate team and so many engaged and ambitious stakeholders

Although I will leave behind an organisation I deeply care for, I am excited to see it embark on a critical next chapter under new leadership.  My decision to stand down was a challenging one, but I believe that fresh direction will allow for an infusion of new creative ideas at a pivotal moment in time, ahead of the step-change required to 2030. My focus now is on supporting a smooth transition and getting the organisation ready to welcome in new leadership.” 

Julie continues,

“On a personal level, I will be continuing to work towards our common vision with an even greater focus on truly regenerative and transformational outcomes. I plan to use the learnings and experiences of my time at UKGBC to accelerate and scale up change.” 

Sunand Prasad, Chair of the Board of Trustees added: “Having led the executive team for over half of UKGBC’s existence, Julie can take huge credit for its growth and increasing impact across the sector. Julie has been an outstanding leader; she has steered the organisation adeptly through times of global crisis and been instrumental in uniting our network on action to drive tangible progress in decarbonisation. 

Sunand concludes: ‘Julie leaves UKGBC in a position of strength, but at a pivotal time for the sector. The incoming Chief Executive of UKGBC has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to drive the system level change required to deliver net zero and to ensure we’re on a sure trajectory towards a climate-adapted and nature-friendly built environment. We’re looking for an inspirational and ambitious leader who will steer our team and strengthen our network, seizing new opportunities and expanding UKGBC’s reach and impact yet further. ‘

For more information on the Chief Executive vacancy and application, please see: https://candidates.perrettlaver.com/vacancies/3191/chief_executive_officer/