14 September 2023 Press Release Built Environment

Built by Nature announces Paul King as CEO

Embargoed 0001 CET, Thursday 14 September 2023, Amsterdam.

Built by Nature, Europe’s network and grant-making fund dedicated to accelerating timber and bio-based materials in the built environment, today announces the appointment of its new CEO: Paul King. Joining from Lendlease Europe, where he was Managing Director, Sustainability and Social Impact, Paul was previously founding CEO of the UK Green Building Council, and worked as Director of Campaigns for WWF-UK. He brings decades of advocacy and industry experience to Built by Nature, and will join on 18 September, ahead of the organisation’s second anniversary in October, replacing Amanda Sturgeon who is stepping down from the role.

Since its launch in 2021, Built by Nature has grown in scale and impact into a network of 74 pioneering European ‘frontrunner’ organisations from the fields of real estate development, design, asset management, investment, insurance, academia and cities, working to advance the mission of a built environment in unison with nature. In its first two years, it has granted close to EUR 3.34 million to projects addressing key barriers to mass timber construction across seven countries in Europe and the UK, including the launch of Perception of Timber:

Accelerating Change at MIND, a significant study into perceived barriers to mass adoption in Italy; the Mass Timber Insurance Playbook, co-funded by Zurich and Marsh; and the New Model Building, a design methodology for using timber in UK residential projects. With national networks already established in Spain, the Netherlands and the UK to tackle their country-specific challenges, Built by Nature’s next phase will see it continue to grow, with its grant funding strategies exploring barriers to the use of other bio-based materials, and sharing the insights and innovation generated by these projects widely across the built environment sector.

As Europe’s cities embrace the urgent need to decarbonise and tackle the almost 40% of carbon emissions that come from the built environment, Built by Nature’s work addresses identified barriers
preventing the increase in mass timber use – including insurability; supply sustainability; regulation and policy; and financing.

Paul’s commitment to reimagining our built environment as regenerative, healthy, and a significant carbon sink, has been formed over decades of working in multi-national  business, NGOs and membership organisations. He brings to Built by Nature a deep understanding of the role of pan European collaboration and a drive to accelerate investment\ into the sector’s transition.

“I’m excited to be joining Built by Nature at this critical moment. We urgently need to reduce carbon emissions from our built environment, especially the embodied carbon in materials, and simultaneously address the crisis of biodiversity loss. Built by Nature was established to drive the increased use of sustainably sourced timber and other bio-based materials as a key part of the solution, for the future health of both our cities and our natural ecosystems. I look forward to building on the strong foundations that have already been laid, and working with our many partners to help create cities and places that are truly fit for the future,” says Paul King, CEO, Built by Nature. 

During his eight years at Lendlease Europe, one of Built by Nature’s frontrunner organisations, Paul was responsible for driving its leadership on social impact and sustainability, including its ‘Mission Zero’ commitments on climate action. “Lendlease is committed to Net Zero Carbon by 2025 and Absolute Zero Carbon, Scope 1,2 and 3, by 2040. To achieve that we will have to radically change the way we design and build, using innovative materials including mass timber. We are proud to have been an active partner of Built By Nature since its inception and look forward to working with Paul in his new capacity as CEO.

He has been a passionate leader of sustainability at Lendlease and leaves a great legacy of environmental action and positive social impact. We wish him every success in his next chapter at Built By Nature," says Andrea Ruckstuhl, Chief Executive Officer, Lendlease Europe.

“Built by Nature plays a pivotal role in accelerating the timber and bio-based building transformation. Positioned uniquely within its network of industry and climate leaders, and with its multi-million euro grant making fund, the organisation is primed to catalyse the creativity,
innovation, and commitment needed to unlock opportunities that drive the timber and biobased building solutions towards rapid decarbonisation. Paul’s deep understanding of the challenges of
building with more timber is a tremendous asset, and I eagerly anticipate collaborating closely with him to deliver on our ambitious mission,” says Donald Brenninkmeijer, Chair, Built by Nature. 

“Over the past 18 months, Built by Nature has thrived under Amanda Sturgeon’s leadership. Her vast experience and expertise in regenerative and biophilic design strategy and architecture have been instrumental in strategically positioning Built by Nature for success. Amanda remains an integral part of our team until 10 October to support Paul’s appointment,” he adds.  


For more information, or an interview, please contact
Tom Poldre, Built by Nature, t.poldre@builtbn.org 
Rosie Cade, rosie@elizabethcomms.co.uk, +44 (0)7838 368194

About Built by Nature

Built by Nature is a network and grant-making fund accelerating the timber building transformation, connecting key actors across the built environment and forest communities to spark city-scale projects and amplify stories of ground-breaking timber and biobased projects and solutions. Through collaboration with its major partners and frontrunners, Built by Nature aims to change perceptions around timber construction and reshape the built environment system. The Built by Nature Fund awards grants to the teams and solutions that can increase the uptake of sustainable timber and improve its climate impact, overcoming some of the most challenging barriers. For more information visit builtbn.org. 

Built by Nature benefits from the strategic direction and support from its partners EIT Climate-KIC, Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance, C40 Cities, Bauhaus der Erde, and the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Material Innovation.