Speakers List - BusinessGreen Leaders Summit 2018

Keynote Speakers

Claire Perry MP

Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Claire Perry worked at the Bank of America, McKinsey and Credit Suisse, and founded her own financial advice business before moving to the public sector as a Political Advisor to George Osborne.

She was elected as MP for the Devizes Constituency in 2010 and again in 2015 and 2017. Since entering Parliament she has served on the Justice Select Committee, represented Britain at the Council of Europe, worked as a Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Defence and been appointed by Prime Minister, David Cameron, to be his Special Advisor on child internet safety. She served as a Government Whip from 2013 - 2014, and as Rail Minister from 2014 - 2016.

On 12 June 2017 Claire was appointed Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Since her arrival, she has led the delivery of the Government's inaugural Clean Growth Strategy, established the Green Finance Taskforce, and launched the Powering Past Coal Alliance, a global initiative to drive the transition to cleaner energy. Claire attends Cabinet and was made a member of the Queen's Privy Council in March 2018.

Claire holds a degree in Geography from Brasenose College, Oxford and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Her Departmental responsibilities include:

  • Industrial Strategy
  • Carbon budgets
  • International climate change, including International Climate Fund
  • Climate science and innovation
  • Green finance
  • Energy efficiency and heat, including fuel poverty
  • Low carbon generation
  • Energy retail markets
  • Smart meters and smart systems
  • Oil and gas, including shale gas
  • Security of supply
  • Electricity and gas wholesale markets and networks
  • International energy
  • Energy security, including resilience and emergency planning

Professor Corinne Le Quéré


Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research

Professor Corinne Le Quéré FRS is Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and Professor of Climate Change Science and Policy at the University of East Anglia. She conducts research on the interactions between climate change and the carbon cycle. She instigated and leads the annual update of the global carbon budget as part of the Global Carbon Project, an international effort to coordinate the timely delivery of policy-relevant carbon research and assist the international policy process to address climate change. Prof Le Quéré was author of multiple assessments reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. She is a member of the UK Committee on Climate Change since 2016.

James Thornton



James Thornton is the founding CEO of ClientEarth. The New Statesman has named him as one of 10 people who could change the world. The Lawyer has picked him as one of the top 100 lawyers in the UK. In 2016, he was named as one of the 1,000 most influential people in London and also won Leader of the Year at the Business Green Awards. The Financial Times awarded him its Special Achievement accolade at the FT 2016 Innovative Lawyers Awards.

He is an environmental lawyer and social entrepreneur. A member of the bars of New York, California and the Supreme Court of the United States, and a solicitor of England and Wales, he moved from Wall Street law practice to found the Citizens' Enforcement Project at NRDC in New York, where he brought some 80 federal lawsuits against corporations to enforce the Clean Water Act after the Reagan Administration had stopped enforcing the law. He won these cases and embarrassed the government to start enforcing the law again.

James founded ClientEarth - Europe's first public interest environmental law organisation - in 2007. Now operating globally, it uses advocacy, litigation and research to address the greatest challenges of our time - including biodiversity loss, climate change, and toxic chemicals. Its work is always built on solid law and science. In 2017, James co-authored a book with his husband Martin Goodman, telling the fascinating story of ClientEarth since it was founded. The book won the judges category in the Business Book of the Year Award in 2018.

Previously James lived in Los Angeles where he founded the Los Angeles Office of NRDC, which does internationally important environmental work with the support of the Hollywood community. He was Editor in Chief of the New York University Law Review, where he later served as Adjunct Associate Professor of Environmental Law. He has also been an executive in several other sectors of the non-profit world.

He graduated from Yale, Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude, with departmental honours in philosophy. He is the author of an environmental legal thriller, Immediate Harm, and volume of poetry on science and environment, The Feynman Challenge. He is a Conservation Fellow of the Zoological Society of London; and a fellow of the Ashoka Foundation.


Pam Batty

Vice President of Corporate Responsibility


Pam Batty is the Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at Burberry, a global luxury brand with a distinctive British identity. Pam joined Burberry in 2012 and has 20 years of experience in corporate responsibility. This includes serving on the board of the Ethical Trading Initiative for 6 years, a leading alliance of companies, trade unions and NGOs that promotes respect for workers' rights around the globe.

Whilst at Burberry, Pam has built a global team of sustainability specialists focused on Burberry's own operations and supply chain, ensuring responsible and sustainable business management. Last year, Burberry launched a new five-year responsibility strategy for both its corporate and philanthropic activities. The new strategy is designed to drive positive change and build a more sustainable future with goals for 2022 that sit across Burberry's entire footprint.

Burberry is also a principle partner of the Living Wage Foundation, and Pam sits on the Foundation's Advisory Council.

Richard Black


Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU)

Richard Black is Director of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), an independent non-profit think-tank based in London. Richard studied natural sciences at Cambridge University and then joined BBC World Service in 1985 as a studio manager. He subsequently worked there as Producer, Presenter on a wide range of programming including current affairs, science, health and sport, and as Science Correspondent. He also ran an independent radio production company specialising in health and medicine. As BBC Environment Correspondent for 10 years, his reporting assignments included many UN summits including five UNFCCC meetings and Rio+20. He reported from the field on issues such as carbon capture and storage, nuclear power, amphibian conservation, whaling, forestry, aquaculture and earthquake prediction. From 2012, prior to setting up ECIU in 2014, Richard was Director of Communications for the Global Ocean Commission.

Craig Bennett


Friends of the Earth

Craig Bennett is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Friends of the Earth and Honorary Professor of Sustainability and Innovation at University of Manchester Alliance Manchester Business School.

He has been described as "one of the country's top environmental campaigners", by The Guardian as "very model of a modern eco-general" and was recently listed as one of the UK's top "social media CEOs".

Craig started as CEO of Friends of the Earth in 2015, following five years directing their policy and campaigns. Under Craig's leadership, Friends of the Earth has led the fight against fracking, the reversal of bee population decline, and campaigned for clean air. As chief executive he is shaping Friends of the Earth up as an organisation fit to fight the environmental challenges of the new century, with a focus on grass-roots campaigning.

Prior to this, Craig was Deputy Director at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, and Director of the Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change (from 2007 to 2010), where he built the group into one of the most influential and progressive business voices in the international climate debate.

He maintains his links with the University of Cambridge, as Policy Fellow at the Centre for Science and Policy, a Senior Associate at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. He has fifteen years' experience of designing and contributing to executive education programmes at numerous universities and business schools, including the Judge Business School, London Business School, and Duke CE. He was recently appointed Honorary Professor in Sustainability and Innovation at Alliance Manchester Business School.

Craig is Chair of the Environment and Climate Change customer challenge panel for the Anglian Water region (established as part of the OFWAT price review process) and was formerly a member of the Net Positive Board Advisory Panel for Kingfisher plc. From 2013-2015, he was Chair of the Board of Stakeholder Forum.

He has a BSc (Hons) in Human and Physical Geography and an MSc in Biodiversity Conservation and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).

He is a regularly appears in the broadcast media, and has had many articles printed in national newspapers such as The Guardian, The Independent and The Daily Telegraph. He is a regular columnist for the BusinessGreen.

Tim Crosland



Tim Crosland is a barrister, with a Masters in International Human Rights & Environmental Law. For more than a decade Tim worked for the Government Legal Service and chaired a Commonwealth-based initiative to support Commonwealth countries in the development of their legal frameworks. After encountering at first hand the impacts of climate change in Nigeria, Tim took a sabbatical in 2015 to research the law, policy and science of climate change. He attended COP21 as a volunteer for the Legal Response Initiative, and following the Paris Agreement established the charity Plan B. The aim of Plan B is to help bridge the gap between actions and the Paris Agreement goal through strategic legal action. Plan B is currently bringing a legal a claim against the Government for failing to align its 2050 carbon target to science and international law.

Julie Hirigoyen


UK Green Building Council

As Chief Executive of UKGBC Julie is focused on delivering lasting change within the industry by engaging with UKGBC members, regulators, and wider stakeholders in an effective and collaborative way.

Julie was previously UK Head of Sustainability and an International Director at JLL, having come into JLL as a result of an acquisition. JLL acquired Upstream, a leading sustainability consultancy which Julie was co-founder and Joint MD of, in 2007. Having led the Upstream team through the integration into JLL, Julie oversaw further development of cutting-edge sustainability services to property investors and occupiers across the UK and EMEA.

Julie sits on the Green Construction Board, the Igloo Sustainable Investment Advisory Committee and the Carbon Trust Advisory Panel. Julie is a London Sustainable Development Commissioner, and previously chaired the British Property Federation's Sustainability Committee for two years.

Caroline Laurie

Head of Sustainability


A CIMA qualified accountant, Caroline joined Kingfisher 10 years ago as a buyer, before being promoted to Category Manager. In 2009 she joined a two-year change management programme as a Project Manager to transform stock replenishment within B&Q in the UK. Following the programme's successful roll-out in 2012, she joined the company's new energy saving proposition as a Business Development Manager - designed to help customers reduce energy use and costs through new products and solutions. From here it was a natural step for Caroline into her current role as Head of Sustainability at Kingfisher, where she drives forward the company's restorative net positive vision to ensure the group has a positive impact on society, the environment, and the economy.

Jen Stebbing

VP of External Affairs & Strategy


Jen Stebbing is VP of External Affairs & Strategy at Ecosphere+, a climate solutions company that helps businesses create and implement nature-based solutions to enable them to succeed in a world aligned with global climate and development goals.

Jen has over 15 years of experience in the media and communications industries, most recently helping to scale a communications advisory and to build a portfolio of clients with sustainable and responsible business models. Prior to that, she worked at the London Evening Standard and Independent newspaper group as Head of Video and held senior television editorial roles at London Live and Sky News.

In addition to her agency-side communications experience, Jen worked in-house for the Queen at Buckingham Palace for five years, in the press office at Westminster Abbey, and as an independent consultant.

Jen is passionate about trying to make the world a fairer place and the people in it happier. She has lived and worked in six countries on four continents and enjoys travelling for both work and pleasure.

Jen is also a Trustee of Tariro UK, a charity that funds young people in need in Zimbabwe to learn, to develop and to grow. She is on the advisory board of Auticon, an IT consulting business that exclusively employs adults on the autism spectrum as consultants.

Eliot Whittington

Director of Policy

Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

Eliot's work has a strong focus on climate change, but he also helps drive action on the circular economy, plastics and issues around the social and justice implications of economic change. He represents the Corporate Leaders Group on the board of the We Mean Business Coalition and has been responsible for CISL work that has included collaborations with the World Bank, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the UNFCCC, a number of European governments and a wide range of senior business stakeholders

He has nearly 20 years' experience in working to unlock systemic change, including providing policy analysis around climate action for Save the Children and Christian Aid, leading Christian Aid's UK lobbying work with parliamentarians and political parties, and working on mobilising grassroots campaigning in locations from Addis Ababa to Birmingham.


James Murray



James Murray is Editor-in-Chief of BusinessGreen, having launched the site in October 2007. He is responsible for BusinessGreen's leading news, opinion and analysis, and also contributes to the brand's expanding events' programme.

James is one of the UK's leading commentators on the low carbon economy. He writes occasionally for The Guardian newspaper and has also reported for BBC Radio on a number of green technology stories. James reports daily on a wide range of green business issues, with a particular focus on low carbon policy, economics and technology.

In March 2011, James was voted number eight in the Press Gazette's list of the top 50 environmental journalists in the UK. Prior to launching BusinessGreen, James spent five years as a technology journalist working on a variety of IT titles.