13 Oct 2023

Today we held a very popular webinar on 'Completing the SFDR Process', with lots of people tuning-in.

Our speakers included:

  • Moderator: Jonathan Hale of Knight Frank
  • Lisa Sherriffs of Columbia Threadneedle Investments
  • Georgie Nelson of abrdn

Lisa gave an introduction to SFDR and a timeline and Georgie then talked about the sustainable investing spectrum, application of Articles 6, 8 and 9, challenges of applying SFDR and she talked about a new AREF Guidance Advice Paper (see link to Paper here) which will be out next week on applying SFDR to real estate funds. Then followed a very interesting panel discussion which included lots of good questions from the audience.

With special thanks to all our speakers.

Watch the video:


Download the slides here:


Speaker biographies:

Jonathan Hale

Jonathan Hale

ESG and Sustainability Director, Knight Frank

Jonathan has extensive experience in the field of sustainability. Before he started at Knight Frank he led the ESG and Sustainability advisory services team within the BNP Paribas Real Estate UK division of Property Management.  This involved guiding clients (from C-suite to asset level) on ESG risks & opportunities, coordination of corporate reporting such as GRESB, UNPRI and EPRA sBPR, supporting clients understand how to make progress on Net Zero and in aligning with TCFD requirements. 

Jonathan also oversaw the centralised service line delivery of ESG related projects geared at driving sustainability performance across the client base.  These projects covered portfolio and asset level technical assessments such as sourcing property utilities efficiency opportunities (energy, water, waste & health & wellbeing) as well as due diligence assessments to understand the steps towards guiding landlords on steps to reaching Net Zero on both a portfolio and individual asset basis.  The BNPPRE sustainability team function also supported client requests for assessments to review the most appropriate approach to incorporating themes, certification and reviews associated with health & wellbeing, social value, biodiversity net gain, green travel plans and sustainability building certification.


Lisa Sherriffs

Lisa Sherriffs

Head of Legal (Real Estate, EMEA), Columbia Threadneedle Investments

Senior Lawyer with over 20 years’ international experience in asset management and financial markets at top tier private practice (Norton Rose Fulbright LLP) and in house for leading investment managers (most recently with Columbia Threadneedle Investments) as well as with AREF, the Real Estate Funds’ industry standards body, promoting best practice in corporate governance and transparency. Possesses detailed knowledge of all aspects of the law as it applies to RE funds, international regulation, debt and equity transactions with particular expertise in board advisory and shaping strategic solutions

Georgie Nelson

Georgie Nelson

Head of ESG, Real Estate, abrdn

Georgie Nelson is Head of ESG for Real Estate at abrdn. She is responsible for heading up ESG strategy and integration for abrdn’s real estate investments business with a specialist focus on climate and biodiversity. She also sits in the Natural Capital team to support the company’s wider natural capital offering and is involved in some of the live pilots of the TNFD framework with numerous internal and external stakeholders.

Georgie sits on numerous expert industry working groups both in the UK and globally including co-chair of the European Investments Working Group for the Better Buildings Partnership and is a member of the technical standards board at Wilder Carbon. Prior to abrdn, Georgie worked at Carbon Intelligence supporting and delivering on sustainability solutions for investors and corporates.

Download Report:

AREF Guidance Advice 'Application of SFDR Process for Real Estate Funds', October 2023.


If you have any questions relating to the webinar, or would like to ask a question to our ESG & Impact Investing Committee, please email: info@aref.org.uk.