Roundtable Discussion – Wednesday 28th April 2021

Roundtable Discussion

SPACES will be launching the theme of Net Zero Carbon and the Climate Emergency on Wednesday 28th April at 2:00pm with a Roundtable Discussion on

  • How do we decide what to “green” and what to “offset” and is there an acceptable ratio?
  • What is our ethical responsibility to green assets we no longer need?

For more information and to book a place at this free event, please see below or here.

Hosted by Alex Gee at NPS, we are very pleased to welcome to our panel

  • Marina Robertson, Senior Director, NPS Group
  • Patrick Begg, Outdoors and Natural Resources Director, National Trust
  • Dr Shaun Fitzgerald, Director, Centre for Climate Repair at Cambridge University
  • Sheryl French, Programme Director for Climate Change and Energy Investment, Cambridgeshire County Council

If you are not a member and would like to attend if possible please register for membership first (SPACES membership is free for those in the public sector) on our website before you book your ticket here. NB Only SPACES members are sent links to any video recordings.


By registering you will receive your own personal invite and link to the event.

To find out more about SPACES membership please see our website.

Thank you to our sponsors, AtkinsFaithful+GouldIESNPS and Willmott Dixon.

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Highlight on our Panel

Marina Robertson, Senior Director, NPS Group

Marina is a public sector leader with over 20 years’ experience at a senior level in local government and consultancy, assisting local authorities derive enhanced value out of their services amidst a constantly changing world.

Before joining the Norse Group, Marina led public sector services in areas such as regeneration, asset transformation, capital delivery, and housing for several London local authorities and Essex County Council. 

Marina joined the Group in 2016 as an Operations Director for NPS London and in 2019 took up the Senior Director role within NPS which, along with NPS London, also has an overview of NPS Norwich, NPS Peterborough and the Group’s Strategic Consultancy Team.

Marina is a passionate advocate of diversity in leadership, affordability in housing and of social and environmental sustainability.  

In her spare time Marina is studying for an MBA, supports West Ham United, has set up a mentoring scheme for females in Waltham Forest and is Vice Chair of Waltham Forest Housing Association.  

Patrick Begg, Outdoors and Natural Resources Director, National Trust

Patrick is the National Trust’s Outdoors and Natural Resources Director and leads the Trust’s thinking on the wider countryside.  This includes how we manage some of the nation’s most naturally and culturally rich landscapes; the experiences and inspiration the outdoors can provide; and how farming can change to meet the challenges of a post-Brexit world.  He is also national lead on climate change, including energy use and generation, wider adaptation strategies and pressures on natural resource use. 

Previously in the National Trust he led on rural enterprise issues and has fulfilled senior operational roles including Regional Director and Area Manager.  He has also headed up the organisation’s Policy and Planning function and continues to play a leading role in national policy advocacy work around farming, climate change, soils and water.

With an original background in archaeology, he brings a broad range of conservation passions and experience which span nature, culture and economics.  He takes his conservation passions home with him and blends a love of the outdoors with enthusiasm for as many sports as possible.

Dr Shaun Fitzgerald, Director, Centre for Climate Repair at Cambridge University

Shaun undertook his degree studies at Cambridge University before joining the faculty at Stanford University where he led the Geothermal Research Programme. In 1997 Shaun moved back to the UK to spend 5 years with Bain & Company strategy consulting, before returning to Cambridge University to undertake research into natural ventilation of buildings. This research and associated consulting work led to Shaun founding Breathing Buildings in 2006. 

As CEO he oversaw the growth of the company, led the multiple financing rounds with venture capital firms, and assisted government in the review of regulations for school buildings in order to ensure provision of well-ventilated and low energy teaching environments.

Following the successful sale of the company to Volution, he left in 2018 in order to take up the position as Director of The Royal Institution. Shaun then took up the position as Director of the Centre for Climate Repair at Cambridge University in 2020.

Shaun is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a Member of the SAGE Environmental Modelling Group and one of the authors of the CIBSE Emerging from Lockdown series.

Sheryl French, Programme Director for Climate Change and Energy Investment, Cambridgeshire County Council

Sheryl leads the Council’s work on climate change and clean energy investments. Currently with a £100 million plus investment programme including retrofitting schools and council buildings, community energy projects, large renewables and smart grids.

Sheryl recently led an EU Project called “Mobilising Local Energy Investment” project which set up a Local Authority Investment Fund for energy projects investing £15.2 million into energy performance contracts across 30 projects including schools, offices and a 12MW solar park. The aim is to increase renewable energy investment and infrastructure in Cambridgeshire to build greater energy resilience for its communities and for the County Council to show leadership through investing in its assets.

Sheryl has many years’ experience working in public sector innovation and sustainability roles. She previously worked with Cambridgeshire County Council on projects ranging from neighbourhood regeneration, green infrastructure planning, flood risk management through to transforming services affected by budget cuts. She has also worked for the non-profit organisation “Cambridgeshire Horizons”, where she delivered projects on quality of life and climate change mitigation.

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Don’t forget our virtual conference!

Between Monday 7th June and Friday 18th June, we are holding a Virtual Conference with experts from client side, design, construction, academia & the public sector will be discussing Zero Carbon, the Climate Emergency and why we must act now!

Free for SPACES* members, Sponsors and undergraduate students (who register with their university email address) and for Non members £150+VAT per person for a two week pass. For more information on SPACES membership see our website.

*SPACES membership is FREE for Public Sector Employees.

For more information and to book your ticket, please see here.
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