As 2016 draws to a close one key clairvoyant lesson in hindsight emerges – expect the unexpected! 2017 is already shaping up to be a watershed year. Who knows what it will hold? As the mists of premonition clear soothsayers may well, er, say that business will face increasing scrutiny in how it treats society, pushing risks such as modern slavery and income inequality up the board agenda. Alternatively, the falling runes and swirling tea leaves may suggest that economic uncertainty will put a sharp focus on discretionary spend – it might be sustainability’s “Houdini” moment.

In these complex times, fortune favours those who can foretell the future. We asked Mystic Ed (Ed Gillespie) to dust off his crystal balls and shine some light into the darkness of 2017. He was helped by six people at the epicentre of change, and asked them why their issue will shape the agenda and what will happen if business gets it wrong. We heard from;

  • Aidan McQuade, of Anti-Slavery International on “Modern Day Slavery”
  • Jessi Baker, CEO of Provenance on “Open Data”
  • Joe Franses, Director of Coca-Cola European Partners on “The Global Goals”
  • Catherine Howarth, CEO, Share Action on “Investor Engagement”
  • Mike Barry of M&S on “Going Local”
  • Caroline Hill of Land Securities on “Science Based Targets”

We used an online poll to rank the ideas before a broader discussion involving everyone, followed by roundtables on different themes such as; circular economy, addressing the skill gap, re-defining materiality, reporting to investors, and technology breakthrough.

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Event for: Directors/ Heads of: Sustainability | CSR | Environment | Innovation


  • Aidan McQuade

    Director, Anti-Slavery International
  • Caroline Hill

    Head of Sustainability, Land Securities
  • Catherine Howarth

    Chief Executive, Share Action
  • Ed Gillespie

    Co-Founder, Futerra Sustainability Communications
  • Jessi Baker

    Founder, Provenance
  • Joe Franses

    Director of CSR & Sustainability, Coca-Cola European Partners
  • Mike Barry

    Director of Sustainable Business, M&S

Round Tables

  • Addressing The Skill Gap
    Inequality has many faces. Lack of access to education or skill development is one of the critical areas, and business is yet to make a concerted effort on this. What’s the role of business in addressing the skill gap? Are governments simply subsidising businesses in today’s economy? Do you think the government’s apprenticeship levy plans could be effective?
  • Are We Tech Savvy Enough?
    With technologies such as Blockchain, AI and the IoT starting to upend whole industries, we live in revolutionary times. Which are the technologies sustainability folks need to grasp, and to what degree do we - as a community - get it? This our best chance of rapid change, or is it right to be a little distrustful of technology?
  • Circular Economy
    Being a relatively well understood concept already, what holds business back from fully committing to introducing a circular mindset? What is needed to mobilise businesses and governments to enable a circular economy? Does circular economy take into account the social aspects as well or is it a pure environmental concept?
  • Materiality
    Working out what data matters to which stakeholders is becoming a complex art form, with companies like Unilever adopting materiality matrices. This allows companies to focus on what matters, and communicate accordingly. Is this the right approach, or are there better ways? Should the SDG’s get a look in?
  • Modern Slavery
    The combination of the Modern Slavery Act and increased media focus on antisocial corporate behaviour, modern slavery is likely to grow as an issue in 2017. Is this a soft target for an era where society is turning against big corporations? How well understood is this by boards of companies? What could change the game for tackling modern slavery in 2017?
  • Reporting To Investors
    With investors increasingly wanting to understand material environmental risks and opportunities to support their decision making and the EU directive on non-financial reporting for big business about to come into force. The table will discuss if sustainability reporting is missing the mark and not providing the “material“ information that investors are increasingly asking for?
  • Science Based Targets
    With 168 major companies have committed to science-based climate targets, momentum is clearly building. Is this now the best way of companies to align with the success of the Paris Agreement, and how should one present this to a CFO? Should companies be aligning with 1.5 or 2 degrees, and to what extent should it include supply chains?
  • The Global Goals


  • 18:00
    Arrivals and Networking
  • 18:30
    Welcome from Jim Woods, CEO, The Crowd
  • 18:35
    Speaker presentations
  • 19:30
    Roundtable discussions (moderated in groups of 10-12)
  • 20:15

Venue Details

Berenberg, 60 Threadneedle Street, London, EC2R 8HP

Who's Attending

Public and Regulatory Affairs Specialist ABInbev
Technical Manager ABTA/Travelife
Supplier sustainability Accenture
Consultant Acre
Marketing Manager Acre
Environmental Sustainability Manager Adnams
Partner AeroSustain
Director Agulhas: Applied Knowledge
Manager, CR and Internal Comms Amazon UK
Head of Sustainability Anglian Water
Sustainability Manager Anglian Water
Director External Affairs & Communications Anheuser-Busch InBev
Director Anti-Slavery International
Partnerships & Philanthropy Manager Anti-Slavery International
Senior Manager – Sustainability and Ethical Trade Arcadia Group Limited
director Arup
Fundraising Officer Ashden
Public Policy Manager Aviva
Head of Sustainability & Facilities Axis Europe PLC
People/Change Consultant Axium Consulting
Community Builder B Lab UK
Sustainability Comms Lead B&Q
VP Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Head of Community Engagement Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Energy and Environmental Manager Bank of England
Environment Manager Barclays
AVP Barclays
Environmental Manager Barclays
Head of innovation Barclays
Director Barclays
Director Barclays
Sustainability Advisor BBC
Green Finance Initiative BEIS
Group Sustainability Manager Berkeley Group
Membership Support Officer Better Cotton Initiative
Big Society Capital
On Purpose Associate – Business Impact Challenge Big Society Capital
Head of Communications and Policy Bioregional
Commerical Development Manager Bioregional Development Group
Audiologist Boots
Senior CSR Officer Bouygues
Head of Sustainability, R&D and Innovation Bouygues UK
Global SR Manager British Standards Institute (BSI)
Sustainability Director Brookfield Multiplex Green
Sustainability Advisor Bupa
Comms Manager Bupa
Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Analyt Capgemini
Strategy manager CBx
Director – RI CCLA
Senior Manager, Science Based Targets CDP
Director Chad Advisory
CEO Chinadialogue Trust
CEO Chinadialogue Trust
Head of Origination ClearlySo
Institutional investor relations ClearlySo
Director, Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Coca-Cola European Partners
Analyst Context
Partnership Manager Cool Earth
CR Prog Manager Costa Coffee
director architecture, design & sustainability Countryside Properties
Commercial Manager – Partnerships Current, powered by GE
Senior Business Development Manager Current, powered by GE
Business Development Current, powered by GE
Partnerships Leader Current, powered by GE
GM – Northern Europe Current, powered by GE
Corporate Responsibility Coordinator Debenhams Plc
Integration Director Talent Deloitte
Global Community Manager Dentsu Aegis Network
Global Environment Manager Dentsu Aegis Network
Founder Do Nation
Risk Manager DONG Energy
CSR Project Manager Dyson
Chief Fun Officer eco action games
Chief Fun Officer eco action games
Consultant EEVS
Strategy & Business Development Manager EnergyDeck
Contributing Editor Ethical Performance
HOD Staging Fisher Productions
Chief Executive Forster
Sn Investment Analyst / MBA Candidate FTSE Group
Co-Founder Futerra Sustainability Communications
Senior EHS Expert Properties GE International
Manager GivingForce
Charity Engagement Executive GivingForce
CEO GivingForce Limited
CR Engagement Manager GlaxoSmithKline
Partner Global Action Plan
Senior Partner Global Action Plan
Head of Youth and Schools Global Action Plan
Senior Executive – Vibrant Economy Grant Thornton LLP
Internal Sustainability Executive Grant Thornton UK LLP
Associate Vibrant Economy Grant Thornton UK LLP
Associate Director of Public Policy Grant Thornton UK LLP
Corporate responsibility manager GSK
Sustainability manager Heathrow Airport Ltd
Sustainability Programme Lead Heathrow Airport Ltd
Sustainability Communications Manager Heathrow Airports Limited
Corporate Affairs Manager Heineken UK
CR Coordinator EMEA Hilton
Energy Data Analyst Hilton
Energy & Engineering support Hilton
Energy and Environment Intern Hilton Worldwide
Energy and Environment Manager Hilton Worldwide
Project Lead Hubbub
Managing Director Hubbub
Sustainability Officer Innocent Drinks
Biodiversity and Conservation Intern Institute of European Environmental Policy
Communications Manager Institute of European Environmental Policy
Business Development Integrated Environmental Solutions
Exec Chair Interclimate Network
Commercial Manager International Synergies
Partner Jericho Chambers
Head of UK Communications JLL
Director Kin&Co
Sustainability Manager King’s College London
Community Manager Land Securities
Head of Sustainability Land Securities
Environment Manager Land Securities
Assistant Energy Manager Land Securities
Innovation League of Intrapreneurs
Digital Partnerships Lloyds Banking Group
Associate Director Lloyds Banking Group
Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship London Business School
Sustainability Manager Mace Group
Senior consultant MADE-BY
Director of Sustainable Business Marks & Spencer
Sustainability Project Manager Marks & Spencer
PA to the Director of Plan A Marks & Spencer
Plan A Project Manager Marks & Spencer
Transparency Project Manager Marks and Spencer
Plan A Project Manager Marks and Spencer
Sustainability Project Manager Marks and Spencer
Global Sustainable Sourcing Insight Manager Mars
Project Manager Michael Page International Ltd
Government Affairs Director Microsoft
Marketing Director Mrs
Sustainability Graduate Multiplex Construction Europe
Head of Environment and Sustainability National Express Group
Client Relationship Manager Natural Capital Partners
Managing Director – Europe Natural Capital Partners
Head of Client Engagement Neighbourly
Founder Neighbourly
CEO Neighbourly
MSc Climate Change, Management, and Finance Note Taker
Creative Responsibility Manager Penguin Group UK
Creative Responsibility Coordinator Penguin Random House UK
Controller, Ethical Trade & Sustainability Primark
MD Project Everyone
Founder Provenance
Environment Advisor Prudential plc
Sustainable Behaviours Executive PWC
Markets Transformation Manager Rainforest Alliance
Global Environment Manager RELX Group
Corporate Responsibility Project Manager RELX Group
Corporate Responsibility RELX Group
Director Responsible 100
ethical practices policy lead Responsible Solutions Ltd
Principal Rho Consult Ltd
Marketing Communication Executive Ricoh Europe Plc
CEO – Chair RockCorps
Head of Sustainability Rolls-Royce plc
Corporate Responsibility & Community Investment Manager Royal Mail
Director RSK Group plc
Head of Corporate Partnerships RSPB
Head of Communications, S4RB S4RB
ESG Analyst Schroders
Chief Executive ShareAction
Head of Marketing Shell
HSSE Due DIligence Manager Shell
Editor, sustainability report Shell
External Relations Adviser Shell
DEVOPS Simpleweb
Sustainability Technical Director Skanska
Responsible business manager Sky
Associate Social Finance
Project Analyst Solar Trade Association Ltd., The
Corporate Partnerships Manager SPRING
CEO Stevia Life Sweeteners
Corporate Partnerships Street Child
CR Executive Tesco
Snr Manager International Campaigns & Corporate Responsibility The Body Shop
Chairman The Crowd
Strategic Advisor – the Curve The Crowd
CEO The Crowd
Head of Content The Crowd
Marketing Manager The Crown Estate
Strategic Advisor The Curve
Head of Corporate Services Trucost
Account Director Trucost
Senior Environmental Research Analyst, Supply Chain Lead Trucost
Sustainability Project Lead TUI Group
Sustainable Business Manager TUI Travel
Founder Tuttle Consulting
Executive Director UN Global Compact Network UK
Corporate Partnerships Executive UNICEF UK
Information & Analytics Sustainable Business Specialist Unilever
Marketing Comms Specialist UPS
Sustainability & CSR Manager Vacherin
Technical Director Verco
Head of Policy, Strategy and Compliance Verco
Managing Director Verco
Director of sustainability Viridor Waste Management Ltd
Sustainability Expert Walgreens Boots Alliance
CSR Manager Walgreens Boots Alliance
Head International Development Policy WWF
Sustainability Lead EMEA Wyndham Hotel Group Europe Limited
Senior Advisor Xynteo
Global Supply Chain Product Leader Zurich Commercial