From little things, big leadership grows.

For our March 2018 Crowd Forum, we were thrilled to bring to our stage, Peder Holk Nielsen, the Chief Executive Officer of Novozymes.

The world-leading biotech company, headquartered in Copenhagen, is wielding the power of the small – enzymes and microbes – to tackle the biggest problems of all – global climate change, ecosystem protection and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Peder has used the SDGs to help shape the company’s long-term targets and purpose of finding biological answers for better lives in a growing world. Among those targets is an ambition to reach six billion people with the company’s biological solutions, deliver ten transformative innovations, catalyse five global partnerships for change, and save 100 million tons of CO2 through use of the company’s products – all by 2020.

Peder shared his experience and knowledge with The Crowd, demonstrating the impact that committed, passionate leadership can have in making business a positive force for good in the world. It is an inspiring story of how the SDGs can help prioritise, energise and focus business, open doors at the highest political levels, attract the right partners and accelerate competitive advantage.

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


  • Peder Holk Nielsen

    Chief Executive Officer, Novozymes
  • Axel Threlfall

    Editor-at-Large, Thomson Reuters

Round Tables

  • Catalysing change with science-based targets
    Taking action on climate change represents one of this century’s most significant business opportunities. Hundreds of companies globally now recognise that the transition to a low-carbon economy is the only way to secure sustainable economic growth and prosperity for all. But in order to catalyse the change that is required, companies need to bring measurable, evidence-based rigour to their carbon reduction initiatives across the enterprise. This roundtable will consider the organisational, cultural and technical considerations required to implement science-based targets.
  • Certainty of leadership in an uncertain age
    Our age of increasing uncertainty is calling out for certainty of leadership. As faith in our political leaders declines, can business step up to fill the void? Is there a compelling business rationale for demonstrating moral, ethical, sustainable and regenerative business leadership? Must leadership only be a top down process, or can it also be bottom-up or middle out? This roundtable will explore the part that business leaders at all levels can play in bringing certainty to an age of uncertainty by inspiring, influencing and motivating change in their sphere of influence.
  • Collaboration & community engagement for a better world
    If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. Want to change the world? Collaboration is key and community is core! A common failure of business occurs when it tries to operate in isolation, neglecting the communities in which they are embedded and forgetting about the power of active collaboration. How can companies build a better world through better collaboration? Are there innovative and compelling ways to better engage communities and bring them along for the journey?
  • Doing good better
    At the heart of sustainable business is the drive to create a better world. For many companies, doing good through philanthropic programmes, grant-making, sponsorship or community investment is part of their social contract. But to have real impact, their initiatives should be strategic, congruent and innovative. Doing good is great, but how can you do good better? This roundtable will consider the critical success factors for achieving and amplifying the sustainable impact of their charitable and philanthropic programmes.
  • Ending the take, make, waste linear paradigm
    Interest in circular economy principles and business models is growing rapidly, with companies beginning to recognise the bottom-line benefits of changing from a linear “take, make, waste” model to a more circular model. This roundtable will consider the challenges, opportunities and bottom-line benefits of the circular economy.
  • Energising transformation
    With the accelerating pace of change in renewable energy, we now stand at the threshold of a brave new world. It is a world where the promise of abundant, cheap, low-carbon energy is tantalisingly close. The transformative potential for business is tremendous, but competitive advantage will go to those who move fast, adapting their processes, strategies and operations for this new energy paradigm. This roundtable will consider the key changes companies need to make in order to take advantage of this great energy transformation.
  • Reshaping the renewable, regenerative business future
    We are living in an increasingly digital world, where technological innovation is radically reshaping the future of business in myriad ways from renewable energy generation, management and storage, to supply chain automation and new product and service models. In this roundtable we invite participants to put on their soothsayers hats, and consider what the future holds. How can business wield reshape their operations to be more renewable and regenerative in the new digital age? How do we get from where we are, to where we want to be?
  • Strategic partnerships for sustainable business impact
    When it comes to sustainable business impact, there is much that business can achieve alone, but there is so much more that can be achieved in partnership with others. Whether it is through influencing suppliers throughout the value chain, through working with government, politicians and public servants, or by aligning with NGOs, social enterprise or business coalitions – strategic partnerships can be a force multiplier for impact. But how can companies take a strategic approach to sustainable impact partnership building? What are the risks, benefits and critical success factors for working in collaboration with others?
  • TABLE FULL Towards 2030 – embedding the SDGs in business strategy
    The Sustainable Development Goals play a critical role in focusing business, civil society and governments on a set of common goals to address key global challenges. But how can companies embed the SDGs in business strategy, and use them to focus the organisation on a common goal? This roundtable will consider the key steps companies can take in embedding the SDGs at the core of their business strategy, including: value-chain mapping, alignment with SDG targets, undertaking gap assessments, goal setting and communication.
  • None


  • 16:00
    Doors open
  • 16:30
    Welcome from Luke Clarkson - MD, The Crowd
  • 16:35
    Keynote speech by Peder Holk Nielsen - CEO, Novozymes
  • 16:55
    Peder Holk Nielsen in discussion with Axel Threlfall, Reuters.
  • 17:45
    Roundtable discussions (moderated discussions in groups of 10-12)
  • 18:30
    Networking and drinks
  • 19:30

Venue Details

The Great Hall, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), One Moorgate Place, London EC2R 6EA

Who's Attending

CEO 3f bio
Consultant Relations Executive Aberdeen Asset Management
Analyst Aberdeen Asset Management
Senior Consultant Acre
Environmental Sustainability Manager Adnams
Head of Finance and Sustainability Adnams
Global Sustainability Director Decorative Paints Akzo Nobel
CEO Anthesis
Director Anthesis
Chief Sustainability Officer & Executive Director Anthesis
Group Corporate Responsibility Manager Aviva
CSR Manager Bank of England
Programme Manager, Sustainable Business Bioregional
London Correspondent Børsen
Environmental Manager Bouygues
Senior Corporate Client Manager CAF
Corporate Client Executive CAF
Sustainability Reporting Manager Capgemini
Global Head of Corporate Sustainability Capgemini
Sustainability Consultant Capgemini
Corporate Advisor Charities Aid Foundation
Business Manager Cool Earth
Environment Manager Crossrail
Managing Director CSR Connect
Head of Sustainable Sourcing Diageo
Senior Manager Earthwatch Institute
CEO everycs
Corporate Affairs Manager GlaxoSmithKline
Director, CR and Corporate Reporting GlaxoSmithKline
senior exec Grant Thornton UK LLP
Senior Manager Grant Thornton UK LLP
Sustainability Manager Grosvenor
Head of Public Affairs Heineken
Head of Citizenship Herbert Smith LLP
Senior Sustainability Manager Hilton Worldwide
Senior Environmental Advisor Hochtief UK Construction
Sustainability Executive ICAEW
OHSE Director Imperial Brands
Assistant Project Manager International Maritime Organization
Head of Supply Chain Sustainability Programmes Intertek
Head of Social Impact JCDecaux
Operations Sustainability Manager King’s College London
Client Solutions Consultant Lane4
Planner Lightsource Renewable Energy
Senior Account Manager Lightsource Renewable Energy
Senior Development Manager LightsourceBP
Global CR Manager Linklaters
Managing Director LSP Leadership
Assistant Sustainability Manager Multiplex Construction Europe
Founder Neighbourly
Customer Success Manager Neighbourly
Corporate Press Manager Novozymes
Jr. Business Development Manager Polecat
Senior Advisor Prime Advocates
Head of CR Prudential UK & Europe
Director Responsible 100
Head of Corporate Partnerships RSPB
Account Director ESG & Sustainability S&P Trucost
ESG Analyst Schroders
Director Sustainability Taylor Wimpey
Group Sustainability Manager Telford Homes PLC
Head of European Communications Tesco
Corporate Actions Engagement Manager The Climate Group
Head of Sustainability The Royal Parks
Corporate Partnerships Manager The Woodland Trust
Sustainability Specialist Thomson Reuters
Legacy Manager Tideway
Network Director and Co-chair UKSSD
Executive Director UN Global Compact Network UK
Global Communications Director, Home Car Unilever
Head of Sustainability University Of Greenwich
Junior Consultant Verco
Managing Director Verco
Senior Sustainability Advisor VINCI Facilities
Executive Chairman and Co-Founder Volans
Corporate Insight Manager WaterAid
Editor We Mean Business
Project Coordinator You Are Oxygen
Head of Corporate Partnerships ZSL