4 February 2020

8:30 am

Register, refresh and meet someone new

9:00 am

Chair’s welcome


9:10 am



  • Mary Robinson

    Mary Robinson
    Chair and former President of Ireland - The Elders

9:35 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

Vincent de Rul
Director of energy solutions - EDF

Richard Tarboton
Director of strategic services - Carbon Intelligence

Moderated by
Rhian-Mari Thomas
CEO - Green Finance Institute

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)

Moderated by
Solitaire Townsend
Co-founder - Futerra

12:15 pm
Buffet lunch, mingle and discover innovation

1:15 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

Nathan Gray
Head of sustainability - Reconomy

Oliver Rosevear
Energy and environment manager - Costa Coffee

Julien Tremblin
Head of partnerships - TerraCycle

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:

  • How is the SDG framework being used to enhance business strategies?
  • How can we measure and accelerate progress with the Goals?
  • How can we engage with external stakeholders and suppliers, Goal by Goal?

Gudrun Cartwright
Environment director - Business in the Community

Ben Kellard
Director of business strategy - Cambridge Institute for Sustainable Leadership (CISL)

Márcia Balisciano
Global head of corporate responsibility - RELX

Roger Leese
Partner - Clifford Chance LLP

Robert Stevens
Director of partnerships - Climate Care

Moderated by
Richard Howitt
Former CEO - International Integrated Reporting Council

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:

  • How to develop supply chain engagement strategies to include environmental and social considerations
  • How to integrate sustainability into sourcing processes
  • Future trends: How do we expect supply chain engagement, risk management and innovation to develop in future years?
  • Exploring ways to drive collaboration with your supply chain

Benon Ngobi
Global Procurement Sustainability Lead - Accenture

Louise Smith
Senior manager, environmental supply chain - LEGO Group

Adrian Wain
Senior carbon management expert - UL

Peter McAllister
Executive director - Ethical Trading Initiative

Moderated by
Daniel Turner
Global head of corporate engagement and reporter services - 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


Moderated by
David Picton
Managing director - Hengist Inspired

2:45 pm
Refuel, mingle and discover innovation

3:15 pm

SESSION 4: Case study with Tesco & WWF

3:15 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


3:40 pm

Panel discussion and questions: the embedded soy in the average shopping basket

  • How much soy is in the chicken, bacon, fish and cat food that can be found in the average shopping basket?
  • Which products have a risky footprint, and how can a company calculate that?
  • Ensuring that the embedded soy in supply chains is not related to negative social and environmental impacts

Session speakers to be joined by:


4:00 pm

SESSION 5: ASK US ANYTHING panel: Growth vs. impact – Addressing the elephant in the boardroom

What impact has Brexit has on the advancement of corporate sustainability? How are the growing megatrends of climate change, resource scarcity and population growth influencing the decisions of senior leadership teams? And how are sustainability professionals harnessing the ‘net-zero’ movement to drive engagement and change behaviours?

This Question Time- panel debate – held under Chatham House Rules – will discuss the results of edie’s 2020 Business Leadership Survey with a hand-picked panel of sustainability figureheads.

Gain insight into:

  •  Sustainability investment priorities for 2020-21
  • The changing roles and skills of a sustainability leader
  • Growth vs. impact – Addressing the elephant in the boardroom
  • The most exciting technological innovations for the future

Moderated by
James Evison
Insight editor – edie


5:00 pm

Networking drinks

Hosted by JRP Solutions

6:00 pm

End of Day 1