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Day 1

4 February 2020

8:30 am

Register, refresh and meet someone new

9:00 am



  • Mary Robinson

    Mary Robinson
    Chair and former President of Ireland - The Elders

9:30 am



  • Jim Skea

    Jim Skea
    Co-chair working group III - IPCC

10:00 am

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.

Gain insight into:

  • How businesses are leading the charge towards 1.5ºC
  • How global megatrends are redefining business purpose
  • How the geo-political and regulatory context is changing – and what this means for you


11:00 am

Refuel, mingle and discover innovation

11:30 am

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?

Gain insight into:

  • How ambitious, long-term business strategies can inform shorter-term Government policy
  • Science-based targets and Scope 3 emissions: how businesses can regain control
  • Real-life net-zero successes and fails: key learnings for sustainability leaders
  • How business can give back to the planet through regeneration and restoration

Benet Northcote
Partner and director, corporate responsibility - John Lewis Partnership

Ian Heasman
Director of sustainability - Taylor Wimpey

Joao Pola
CEO - Signify

Rhian Mari Thomas
CEO - Green Finance Institute

Vincent de Rul
Director of energy solutions - EDF Energy

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.

Gain insight into:

  • The economics of climate change: the other side of the coin
  • What do investors now expect from businesses, and how can businesses align their disclosures with investor needs?
  • The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and carbon pricing –opportunities to bridge the sustainability-investor gap

Anita McBain
Head of responsible investment & ESG - M&G Investments

Mirza Baig
Global head of governance - Aviva Investors

Mardi McBrien
Managing director - Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB)

12:30 pm
Buffet lunch, mingle and discover innovation

1:30 pm
Session 3: Collaboration and Co-creation Workshops – interactive discussions that allow you to:

  • Solve your biggest challenges
  • Ask, and answer, critical questions
  • Learn from peers and meet new people
  • Collaboratively produce practical outputs

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 1 themes include:

  • Becoming a net-zero-waste business
  • Transitioning to closed-loop supply chains
  • Collaboration for the circular economy: uniting businesses, waste management companies and local authorities

Laura Gutowski
rector of strategy and sustainability - Pret A Manger

Nathan Gray
Head of sustainability - Reconomy

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 2 themes include:

  • Real-life examples of the SDG framework being used to enhance business strategies
  • Measuring and accelerating progress with the Goals
  • Engaging with external stakeholders and suppliers, Goal by Goal

Sashidhar Vempala
Head of communications and sustainability - Pernod Ricard India

WORKSHOP 3: Supply chain management: Driving transparency, trust and taking action
In 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 3 themes include:

  • Practical advice on how to develop supply chain engagement strategy to include environmental and social considerations
  • Top tips on how to integrate sustainability into sourcing processes
  • Lessons learnt from successes and challenges
  • Future trends: How do we expect supply chain engagement, risk management and innovation developing in future years?

Ben Ngobi
Global Procurement Sustainability Lead - Accenture

Andrew McMullen
Environmental Impact Director - LEGO Group

Moderated by
Sonya Bhonsle
Global head of supply chain program - CDP

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. This workshop will equip you with the knowledge and skills to build collaborative, symbiotic partnerships that can take your sustainability strategy to the next level.

Workshop 4 themes include:

  • Real-life case studies and lessons learnt from today’s greatest partnerships
  • Practical advice on how to collaborate with suppliers, NGOs and competitors
  • The enablers of collaboration: identifying platforms, frameworks and groups that already exist, or starting a collaborative movement from scratch

Carmel McQuaid
Head of sustainable business - Marks & Spencer

Michael Alexander
Global head of water, environment, and agriculture sustainability - Diageo

Ruth Romer
Private sector advisor - WaterAid

3:00 pm
Refuel, mingle and discover innovation

3:30 pm

Session 4: Case study with Tesco & WWF:

3:30 pm

Reducing the environmental impact of the average shopping basket by 50%

With almost 80% of consumers demanding that supermarkets do more to offer sustainably sourced food, it’s clear that the demand for action has never been greater. In response, Tesco and WWF are developing a metric that allows the retailer to monitor performance and builds a clear picture of the full range of environmental issues associated with the average shopping basket. This session will explore how the methodology can be used to collect data in its entirety on products and to measure progress towards achieving ambitious sustainability goals.

Gain insight into:

  • How to collect data on environmental impacts: across suppliers and supply chains
  • The learnings so far: what were the main challenges and how were they overcome
  • How to make data useful for businesses to track and monitor performance
  • Practical examples of how Tesco and the partnership is already reducing the environmental impact of products


4:00 pm

Session 5: 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’.

Gain insight into:

  • How sustainability professionals can convince the c-suite and investors to fully address this challenge
  • How business models can be adapted and transformed to reduce pressure on natural resources and make sustainability profitable
  • Utilising the SDGs to drive tangible, sustainable change


5:00 pm

Networking drinks

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