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Session 1: Emergency Response: Re-writing our business climate action plan

The global climate emergency has finally become a mainstream issue, and sustainability – both environmental and social – has never been more prevalent on the corporate agenda. As the pressures of the climate crisis continue to mount and global megatrends continue to take their toll on business and the supply chain, it’s critical that a co-ordinated, collective response takes shape.

This session sets the scene for the Sustainability Leaders Forum 2020 by outlining the opportunities for businesses to pull together to reverse climate change and promote sustainable development.

Choose your own adventure, pick the session of your choice:

Session 2a: The road to, and beyond, net-zero: From the what to the how

Net-zero remains the ambition of the moment among businesses across the public and private sector – but how are these radical carbon reduction plans being translated into tangible action? And how can organisations begin to move beyond net-zero to achieve the ‘holy-grail’ of decoupling growth from emissions and advancing a regenerative economy?

Session 2b: Outside of the sustainability bubble: Investor and economist perspectives

Climate change and resource scarcity continue to pose significant economic risks; momentum for climate-related financial disclosure is growing, and the investor community is increasingly recognising that transparency holds the key to efficient, stable and resilient markets. This session will bring together leading investors and financial market experts to provide businesses with a range of fresh insights and practical advice on how to disclose, measure and respond to climate risks.

Session 3: Collaboration and Co-creation Workshops – choose your own adventure, pick a topic of your choice:

  • Workshop 1: The circular economy world café: How to transform your business model, for good‘Waste’ is ultimately a design flaw which represents a lost resource. It is time for business to make ‘circularity’ a reality and implement closed-loop strategies that are led from the top. So, what’s stopping us? This workshop will involve a ‘world café-style session which allows participants to choose which area of the circular economy transition they would like to focus on accelerating.
  • Workshop 2: 10 years to achieve the SDGs: How to turn ambitions into actions Most organisations will agree with the overarching aims of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but translating the potentially transformative ambitions of the SDG agenda into tangible actions is no easy task. This workshop-style session will take you beyond the what to showcase exactly how you can integrate the Goals into your strategy to deliver meaningful actions on the ground.
  • Workshop 3: Supply chain management: Driving transparency, trust and taking actionIn this “family feel” session, sustainability professionals from leading companies offer practical advice on how to change supplier engagement strategies to drive environmental and social action in supply chains and their lessons learnt of how to work with procurement. The panellists will share lessons on successes and challenges and discuss their vision for evolving sustainable supply chain management.
  • Workshop 4: Collaborating for success: How to build partnerships that work The power of partnerships is continually discussed at events like this, but actually making those partnerships happen and effectively collaborating with others – even rivals – on sustainability is often a lot easier said than done. The challenges can be put down to a lack of transparency, competition, poor governance or a general lack of engagement which can hold organisations back.

Session 4: ASK US ANYTHING: Growth vs. impact – Addressing the elephant in the boardroom

Despite many organisations rolling out evermore ambitious sustainability and CSR programmes, the fact remains that most business growth is ultimately based on consumption-driven models which can have disastrous consequences on our planet’s natural systems and finite resources. So, the crucial question remains: can organisations, and indeed entire industries, effectively decouple business growth from environmental impacts?

In this candid discussion – held under Chatham House Rules – a panel of senior business leaders and circular economy experts will address this so-called ‘elephant in the boardroom’.


Session 1: The regenerative alternative: Accelerating the circular economy

In the 20th Century, global raw material use rose at twice the rate of population growth. The circular economy represents a transformational, disruptive and regenerative alternative that must be turned to across all major industries in order to tackle resource scarcity and mitigate climate risks.

Kicking off the second day of the Forum, this session explores how businesses are redefining purpose, scaling up alternative materials and engaging all levels of the value chain to deliver closed-loop, regenerative business models.

Choose your own adventure, pick the session of your choice:

Session 2a: Sustainable cultures: Engaging, inspiring and empowering your colleagues

Creating a company culture that is truly motivated and geared towards environmental and social sustainability is much easier said than done – especially for those organisations with thousands of employees across multiple sites. It’s time for sustainability leaders to move the dial and take their engagement and behaviour change campaigns to the next level. So, in this session, we’ll be going beyond the sustainability echo-chamber to hear from behavioural scientists and engagement experts about everything from emotive storytelling to nudge-theory techniques.

Session 2b: Human rights, equality, diversity and inclusion: identifying and managing business impacts on people

This session will bring together a selection of social sustainability experts and business leaders on how to proactively manage impacts on employees, workers in the value chain, customers and local communities.

Session 3: Collaboration and Co-creation Workshops – choose your own adventure, pick a topic of your choice:

  • Workshop 1: Unlocking innovation: How to transform business processes on the path to sustainability leadership

    Crafting solutions and solving tomorrow’s problems often requires people to be brave and challenge the status quo. But all too often, businesses are bound by their current processes which stifle innovation. This workshop-style session provides you with character skills and techniques to transform your business from a slow-moving, habitual business into a fast-moving, dynamic, innovative leader on sustainability.

  • Workshop 2: Consumer engagement: Turning negatives into positives and influencing choices

    While consumer demand for more sustainable business continues to grow, the ‘ethical consumer’ remains the exception rather than the rule, and it can be extremely difficult for companies to track and influence the motivations of individuals.

    This session brings together businesses that are harnessing the momentum of the growing climate action and anti-single-use plastics movements to influence and educate consumers to make more sustainable and ethical choices.

  • Workshop 3: The art of great communication: How to engage stakeholders, build partnerships and deliver tangible results

    Corporate sustainability progress is often stifled by internal challenges that arise due to incorrect judgement, fear, anger, false narrative, or a general lack of time. The keys to building internal commitment and creating a shared sense of responsibility around sustainability issues are good interaction and communication that opens the mind.

    In this interactive workshop, business leaders will share what key interpersonal skills have proven vital to catalysing their organisation’s sustainability journey and provide practical advice on how you can utilise these skills to drive change in your own organisation.

  • Workshop 4: Tackling single-use plastics: The co-creation workshop

    The most hotly debated sustainability topic of the moment remains plastic pollution. Whilst leading companies are launching fantastic new redesigned products to remove single-use plastics from shelves, accelerating large-scale progress towards an ocean-friendly society will only be achieved through effective collaboration between a range of stakeholders.

    In this co-creation workshop, participants will collaborate to identify some of the best and most innovative solutions and identify clear, tangible actions that can be taken collectively to help solve the plastics problem.

Session 4: ASK US ANYTHING: What must the business of 2030 look like and how can we get there?

As businesses embark on a monumental decade of change, we must be prepared to redefine our roles – at both an organisational and individual level – to set ourselves up for sustainability success.

In this candid conversation – held under Chatham House Rules – we round off the Sustainability Leaders Forum 2020 by convening a panel of current and future business leaders to share their personal insights and inspirational visions for the sustainability profession.

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