The drive towards ‘Net Zero’ is now an urgent call to action for business, national governments and international institutions. Since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) sobering conclusion that we must reach net-zero emissions by 2050 to prevent further climate breakdown and deliver genuinely sustainable development, the transition to zero-emission society in the UK has become a major public cause. Achieving carbon neutrality by reducing carbon emissions and sequestering carbon from the atmosphere is now seen as a credible ambition, backed by science and technical developments as well as economic and policy drivers. But it will nevertheless require radical, universal change across all sectors and industries.

What does purposeful and practical leadership from business look like in the context of a new carbon neutral economic paradigm? Changes to energy management practices, operations, supply chains, reporting and financial procedures, and the ways in which companies drive demand in low-carbon solutions from customers are all key considerations. Individual business also have opportunities to collaborate within and across sectors, to align with and promote the factors that are essential for broader systemic change, through international cooperation, policy development and public behaviour change, so that everyone plays their part in a Zero Carbon future.

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Event for: Directors/Heads of: Sustainability | Energy | Environment | Property | Supply chains | Carbon


  • Lord Deben

    Chairman, Committee on Climate Change
  • Joe Anderson

    Mayor of Liverpool
  • Samantha Smith

    Director, Just Transition Centre
  • Gabrielle Ginér

    Head of Environmental Sustainability, BT
  • Dave Worthington

    Managing Director, Verco
  • Matt Gorman

    Sustainability and Environment Director, Heathrow Airport
  • Abigail Dean

    Head of Sustainability, Nuveen Real Estate
  • Emily Hickson

    Senior Manager, The B Team

Round Tables

  • Collective action for zero-carbon cities
    Responding to the reluctance of some countries to implement nationwide net-zero strategies, cities around the world are taking the lead in tackling the causes of climate change. With two-thirds of the world’s population expected to live in urban areas by 2050, cities hold the potential to be catalysts for lower emissions, less pollution, and renewable energy innovation. But local government cannot work alone, and collaboration with partners from the private sector and regional and national institutions is essential. What sorts of city-level initiatives provide best practice examples, from low-carbon homes and commercial buildings, to new forms of power generation, transport and agriculture? How can local government leverage more traditional tools such as regulation and planning policy, alongside de-risking new innovations, enabling investment, and empowering residents and local communities to take action for safer, greener and cleaner cities?
  • Net-zero transport
    Producing 23% of all energy-related greenhouse gas emissions, transport is a major contributor to climate change. From the automotive network, to heavy-duty aviation and shipping industries, achieving net-zero carbon transportation provides a diverse set of challenges. The transport industry is highly connected to other sectors and parts of the economy, which adds a layer of complexity to the transition as well as marking an important opportunity for the private sector can take a lead in developing credible net zero transport strategies. What sorts of emerging models and technologies can businesses leverage to decarbonise their transport fleets and logistics operations? With more and more companies pledging to increase their use of electric vehicles, how can businesses get ahead of market developments? What other developments, such as green aviation fuels, and low carbon maritime innovations, should be considered in the journey to Net Zero?
  • New business models for the zero-carbon economy
    The recent Climate Change Committee report emphasised the need for a new economic paradigm for carbon neutral growth. But on a practical level, reaching the goal of net-zero emissions before 2050 will require creativity and innovation on both the supply and demand side. Setting carbon targets across supply chains is an essential part of corporate leadership in the transition to a net-zero carbon future, but it is only the first step. What sorts of strategies allow businesses to truly empower their suppliers to develop ambitious carbon targets and help them establish effective procedures to achieve and measure them? And on the other side of the coin, how can companies stimulate demand from customers, clients and stakeholders for low-carbon, resource efficient solutions that are seen as credible, commercial and impactful?
  • De-carbonising the construction industry
    Accounting on average for over half of total emissions emitted from our urban regions, buildings are the single largest contributor to the carbon footprint of cities; an issue that the C40’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Declaration looks to address. The design and construction of new buildings are an exciting opportunity, but the biggest challenge isn’t the development of new properties, it is the redevelopment of older sites. In what ways can architects, construction companies and city planners work with the new regulations and policies, and address other issues such as embodied carbon?
  • Net Zero food and farming
    An estimated 6 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases are emitted from farms around the world. The carbon footprint of agriculture is a complex picture, with the mechanised processes of production using vast quantities of energy, while land use is deeply intertwined with the carbon cycle. What role do companies play in supporting individual farmers and agribusinesses in their supply chains to maximise the carbon capturing capacity of their land? How else can business drive the changes across both the supply and demand sides of agriculture, to reduce inefficiencies such as food waste, develop circular bio-economies, change consumer behaviours and dietary patterns, and ensure we can feed the world’s population in 2050 without further environmental degradation?
  • Embracing the renewables revolution
    The UK’s generation of renewable energy has tripled in the past five years, whilst our fossil fuels capacity has fallen by one-third. Key renewable technologies have proved to be cost competitive, and commercial innovation has stepped up to the plate. Many companies are already taking bold and ambitious action to drive the clean energy revolution, with a rapid escalation in the number of businesses switching to renewable power. What are the strategic business drivers of renewable energy transition? How can businesses harness the productivity benefits of clean energy? What measures can be put in place to ensure energy productivity is integrated with renewables targets as a crucial part of corporate energy management strategy?
  • Communicating the energy transition
    The Climate Change Emergency declarations made by the British, Scottish and Welsh governments, as well as by a number of cities, reflect the extent of public concern about carbon emissions. Meanwhile the Extinction Rebellion protest is the most recent reminder that the urgency of the carbon transition is received in different ways by different groups of citizens. How can public support for sustainability be effectively channelled towards practical progress? What are the appropriate messages and messengers that can unify people from different backgrounds, and across the political spectrum, behind the Net Zero agenda? Looking beyond just facts and figures, how can we effectively engage the public with a topic that often relies heavily on scientific and technical insights, and communicate what it means for their everyday lives and behaviours over the next 30 years?
  • The policy framework for long-term ambition and short-term action
    The recent report from the Committee on Climate Change emphasised the need for strategic policymaking and strong leadership from central government to drive forward the transition to Net Zero. With other developed countries having set tougher emissions targets and embedded new legislation, how can the UK show international leadership and support the global effort on these issues? What sort of policy framework would help combine long-term goals with the more urgent considerations around practical action, and allow bottom-up agency and flexible responses from cities and communities within the UK? What measures can help balance the economic costs and rewards of the carbon transition, to ensure that the impact on different geographic regions, industries and demographics is carefully handled and we all benefit from a ‘just transition’?
  • Setting, measuring and reporting on Net Zero targets
    The practices of measuring and reporting will play an integral part in our journey to a net-zero future, from the initial mapping of emissions, to setting appropriate targets and monitoring progress. Many organisations, to various degrees, commit, report and set targets on energy use and CO2 emission reduction but can struggle to translate this to on-the-ground results. What is the appropriate data that can be captured to improve business performance? How is the business case for a zero carbon transition accurately valued, linked with core financial motive and communicated to executives? What are the risks and how can they be managed? Is ambition integrated and aligned with other processes and performance targets? And how can reporting on progress be used effectively to demonstrate and communicate sustainability leadership?
  • The role of financial markets in the decarbonisation agenda
    The Net Zero agenda requires strategic collaboration between the business and finance sectors to ensure that environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues underpin the flow of capital required for decarbonisation. A number of new accounting, reporting and financial disclosure standards have emerged in recent years which underscore the changing ways in which investors view the environmental footprints of companies and how these may pose investment risks or benefits. What measures can businesses implement to demonstrate the link between financial success and sustainability performance? What is needed to unlock further capital investment for decarbonisation. And how do we make sure that this is a ‘just transition’ by carefully targeting financial resources to support the adaptation of regions, communities and workers?
  • None


  • 16:30
  • 17:00
    Opening lightning talks from Lord Deben (Chairman, Committee on Climate Change), Joe Anderson (Mayor of Liverpool) and Samantha Smith (Director, Just Transition Centre)
  • 18:10
    Roundtable discussions
  • 18:45
    Networking break
  • 19:15
    The Crowd LATES panel discussion and podcast recording with Matt Gorman (Sustainability and Environment Director, Heathrow Airport), Emily Hickson (Senior Manager, the B-Team), Gabrielle Giner (Head of Environmental Sustainability, BT), Dave Worthington (Managing Director, Verco) and Abigail Deen (Head of Sustainability, Nuveen Real Estate)
  • 20:30

Venue Details

Royal Institute of British Architects
66 Portland Place

Who's Attending

Head of ESG, Real Estate Aberdeen Standard Investments
Environmental Sustainability Manager Adnams plc
Managing Director Alara
Managing Director Alexander & Associates
Associate Director – Infrastructure Carbon Lead Arup
Head of Corporate Sustainability & Responsibility Bank of England
News Director BBC
Sustainability Consultant BDP
Head of Product Innovation Beazley
Campaigns Director Big Clean Switch
Head of Sustainability Birkbeck, University of London
Director BP
CTO BP Chargemaster
Partner Brunswick
Head of Environmental Sustainability BT
Head of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Bupa
Responsibility Project Manager Burberry
Corporate Advisor CAF
ASE’s Sustainability Lead Capgemini
COO Carbon Free Group
UK Cities Manager CDP
Corporate Client Executive Charities Aid Foundation
Head of Sustainability Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers
Director Clarence Bridge Capital
Sustainability Manager Colas Rail Ltd.
Associate Director of Sustainability Colliers International
Head of Sustainable Food COOK
Technical Director Cubico Sustainable Investments
Manager Deloitte Sustainable Finance
Strategy Development Director Dentsu Aegis Network
Sustainable Agriculture Manager Diageo
Sustainability Director DNV GL
Senior Development Manager Earthwatch
Responsible Business & SHEQ Director ENGIE (UK & Ireland)
Global Manager, Sustainability & ERM Foundation ERM
Head of Commercial Development: Waste and Environment Essex County Council
Senior Consultant Forster Communications
Sustainability Investment Advisor Gordian Advice
Director of Workplace and Innovation Great Portland Estates
Energy & Environment Manager Hammerson
Sustainability and Environment Director Heathrow Airport
Technologist, IT Efficiency & Sustainability Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Energy and Environment Analyst Hilton
Director HSBC
Policy & Engagement Lead IEMA
Business Manager Integrated Environmental Solutions
Chair Interclimate Network
Regional Sustainability Manager (UKIME & Nordics) Interface
Environmental Resiliance Advisor Interserve
BL Sustainability Champion Intertek
Senior Manager, Social Purpose ITV
Founder & Sustainbility Investment Consultant Jaanu Consulting
Business Development Director Johnson Matthey
Director Just Transition Centre
Environmental Sustainabilty Leader, Infrastructure Laing O’Rourke
Managing Director Sustainability & Social Impact Lendlease
Sustainability Manager London Borough of Ealing
Managing Director Low Carbon Alliance
Executive Director Manufacture 2030
Head of Sustainability Nando’s UK
Principal Environment and Social Value Mager Network Rail
Head of Sustainability, Real Estate Nuveen
Sustainability Project Manager O2 (Telefonica)
Risk Manager Orsted
Lead Product Design Innovation & Sustainability PepsiCo Design Innovation
Chair PIANC Working Group 178
Chair Positive News
Sustainable Finance Lead RBS
Sustainability Associate Rolls-Royce
Director – Head of Energy Consultancy Savills
Group SHE Director Severfield plc
Supply Chain BD Manager Shell
Consultant Simply Sustainable
Director engineering and energy Spie
Founder Tarapatha
Senior Manager The B Team
Head of Climate Week The Climate Group
Responsible Sourcing Manager The Lego Group
Head of Risk & Compliance The Royal Household
Sustainability manager Tullow Oil
Associate UK100
Network Director UKSSD
Fellow University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership
Head of Sustainability University of Greenwich
Head of Policy, Strategy and Compliance Verco
Head of Strategy and Research Verco
Managing Director Verco
Head of Operations Virgin
Sustainability Specialist Virgin Atlantic
Purpose Director Virgin Management
Senior Project Lead – Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships Virgin Unite
Head of Sustainable Business Vodafone Group Plc
Sustainable Business manager Vodafone UK
Inquiry Lead Volans
Senior Editor We Mean Business Coalition
Partner – Head of Research WHEB Asset Management
Sustainable Development Manager Willmott Dixon
Head of Innovation Woodland Trust
Climate Change Specialist WWF