Speakers List - BusinessGreen Leaders Summit 2018

Keynote Speakers

Professor Corinne Le Quéré


University of East Anglia

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.

Claire Perry MP

Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth


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


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.


Abigail Arden

Sustainability Intern


Abi is a sustainability intern at Hubbub who is passionate about how creative and playful communication can positively change audience behaviour and challenge perceptions. Whilst in her final year at Manchester University studying Geography, Abi supported Hubbub and Oldham Council with the #LoveWhereYouLive campaign which transformed fly-tipped and neglected alleyways into spaces where the community could come together to build new bonds, grow food and run workshops. Now part of the Hubbub team, Abi is supporting projects such as #NEFFKitchenLove which encourages family members to cook together and a battery recycling experiment called #BringBackHeavyMetal.

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.

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.

Sonya Bhonsle

Global Head of Supply Chain


Sonya Bhonsle is the Global Head of CDP's Supply Chain program, which enables major multinationals and governments to achieve sustainable supply chains, influencing over US$3.3 trillion in annual procurement spend. Sonya has over 14 years of sustainable supply chain experience, both in the public and private sector. Over the last few years she has specialised experience on Scope 3, setting and meeting scope 3 targets (including science-based targets), as well as setting and meeting water security and deforestation related supply chain goals.

Madeleine Cuff

Deputy Editor


Madeleine Cuff is the Deputy Editor at BusinessGreen, responsible for contributing daily news and features and analysis pieces to the site. She has a particular interest in sustainability in the food and fashion industries, alongside an enduring curiosity for new clean tech innovations.

Prior to joining BusinessGreen in June 2015, Madeleine spent three years as an assistant editor at innovation consultancy Stylus, where she covered future-facing shifts in the science, technology and health sectors. She has a Masters in journalism from City University London and a first class honours degree in English Literature from Durham University.

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.

Gabrielle Ginér

Head of Environmental Sustainability


Gabrielle Ginér has worked on BT's responsible and sustainable business programmes since 2009, specialising in environmental sustainability. Her work has spanned BT's carbon targets, including BT's recent 1.5 degrees Celsius science-based carbon reduction target, BT's net positive carbon abatement target to help customers save three times the end-to-end carbon impact of BT's business, ICT's carbon abatement potential including the acclaimed GeSI SMARTer2030 report and BT supply chain engagement such as the award winning BT Better Future Supplier Forum and BT's newly introduced sustainability contract clause.

Gabrielle is committed to helping organisations take action to tackle climate change and represents BT in external fora such as WBCSD, We Mean Business and the UNFCCC Momentum for Change Advisory Panel. She is a regular speaker and writer about BT's climate action journey, and has been participating in the UN's Talanoa dialogue representing the voice of business.

Prior to joining BT's sustainability team, Gabrielle held roles in regulatory and public affairs and programme management. She has an MSc in Telecommunications Business (University College London), an MA in International Economics and Relations (SAIS Johns Hopkins University) and a BA in International Relations/Asian Studies. She is also an alumnus of the University of Cambridge Sustainability Leadership Programme and is currently on the WBCSD Leadership Programme.

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.

John Holland-Kaye



During his time as CEO, Heathrow has consistently improved service levels for passengers, while reducing costs, and it is now rated one of the best airports in the world. John has championed a third runway at Heathrow, building cross party and national support. In 2017 he launched Heathrow 2.0, a plan for the airport to become a centre of excellence in sustainable aviation. He has a keen interest in promoting diversity and social mobility, and is chair of the Business in the Community Employment and Skills Leadership Team and a member of the London First Skills Commission. John is also a Non-Executive Director at Thames Tideway.

Before becoming CEO in July 2014, he was Development Director, responsible for delivering the £2.5bn Terminal 2 on time and on budget, and Commercial Director, responsible for growing revenues and improving passenger service.

Prior to joining Heathrow, John worked in housebuilding in the UK and US, with Taylor Wimpey, and in brewing and leisure retail in the UK with Bass plc. His early experience was as a strategy consultant advising leisure and FMCG companies in the UK, US, Australia and the Philippines.

John is married with two daughters.

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.

Henry Le Fleming

Assistant Director, Sustainability and Climate Change


Henry has 18 years of business and environmental consulting experience. Henry has worked on projects to address sustainability impacts in the areas of waste, packaging and recycling. He was an author for the PwC study "Sustainable Packaging: Myth of Reality?"

He now leads on the Circular Economy for PwC in the UK and works with the global leadership team to develop projects, methods and capabilities for the firm. Henry developed and implemented a Circular Economy opportunity identification framework for a leading UK manufacturer. He has also written and presented on the application of natural capital accounting to develop circular economy strategies.

Henry has worked with leading beverage manufacturers and retailers to develop strategies, plans and reporting tools to help companies develop more circular use of plastics.

Elle McAll

Creative Partner


Elle McAll is a Creative Partner at Hubbub and has a track-record of designing and delivering innovative, award-winning sustainability initiatives. This includes seasonal food waste campaigns such as ‘Pumpkin Rescue' and initiatives to reduce textiles waste such as ‘Gift a Bundle'. She has also led on a range of waste and recycling initiatives including the award-winning Neat Streets litter prevention campaign and ‘Leeds By Example', working with 23 major brands and retailers in the UK's biggest collaborative push to trial new ways to improve recycling on the go. Elle also developed the Community Fridge Network which supports 70 organisations to redistribute surplus food.

Jorge Pikunic

Managing Director

Centrica Business Solutions

Jorge heads up Centrica's international Distributed Energy & Power business, established to deliver distributed energy solutions for large energy users as part of a more flexible energy landscape.

He joined Centrica in 2010, first heading up the Group's strategy team before taking over as Managing Director of British Gas' Smart Metering business, where he lead the roll-out of smart meters to over one million residential customers.

Born in Venezuela, Jorge is an engineer and holds a MSc and PhD in Chemical Engineering. He was also a Research Fellow at the University of Oxford before joining McKinsey & Company where he advised a number of institutions in energy and other sectors. He has also worked for Procter & Gamble and PDVSA (Venezuelan national oil company), and was a Board Director of Smart Energy GB.

Bill Rees

Head of Commercial

Centrica Business Solutions

Bill heads up the commercial team for Centrica's Distributed Energy & Power business, combining distributed energy technologies with a variety of commercial options to help businesses and other large energy users to improve performance and cost management, strengthen resilience, and create opportunities for growth.

Prior to joining Centrica Business Solutions, Bill worked in the commercial teams for Centrica's supply arm, British Gas Business, and Centrica's M&A department.

He has a Masters in Economics from the University of Cambridge.

Jim Rushen

Group Head of Environment


Jim Rushen is Group Head of Environment at Centrica plc. Jim has over 20 years' experience in developing and implementing environmental strategy and policy within the international corporate sector.

For over a decade, Jim has overseen all environmental matters throughout the Centrica group, setting and driving forward the sustainability agenda across a diverse range of activities within the energy sector.

Currently Jim is helping Centrica transform from a traditional energy utility to a 21st century energy and service company well positioned to play a positive role in the transition to a lower carbon future.

Prior to joining Centrica, Jim worked in a similar capacity at a number of businesses including Engie and across the energy, waste and water sectors.

Sam Taylor

Executive Editor

BBC News Channel

Sam is the editor-in-chief of Britain's most watched TV news channel and the News at One on BBC One. The BBC News Channel reaches 8 million viewers a week - covering the full range of breaking and developing news as well as showing unique programmes and documentaries. It is working to increase its coverage of environmental news and issues - in line with the expectations of younger audiences. Sam has worked in a number of senior TV, digital and multiplatform roles at the BBC, and led the design of its multimedia newsroom at New Broadcasting House.

Angela Terry

Founder & CEO

The Climate Alliance

Angela Terry founded the Climate Alliance to work with industry to accelerate the transition to net zero carbon emissions. This not-for-profit social enterprise promotes clean technology to consumers through the UK's only cross-industry marketing platform: One Home.

One Home is the first ‘one-stop-shop' website giving people practical, cost-effective solutions to adapt to global warming and positive solutions to help them go green.

Angela has twenty years' experience developing hydro, solar and wind projects. Angela raised over £15 million from public share and bond offers having pioneered community-owned renewables in the UK. She has contributed to Government energy policy as head of wood fuel for the Forestry Commission and worked on energy efficiency for the Carbon Trust whilst at BRE.

Angela is an environmental scientist with degrees from Leeds University and Imperial College. She is a member of the Energy Institute and she enjoys working with the media to increase awareness of climate change.

Jessica Verhagen

VP Business Development & Strategy


At Ecosphere+, Jessica is responsible for driving demand for climate solutions, such as offering retailers point of sale solutions to account for their carbon impact and working with airlines under CORSIA. She has been at the intersection of environment and finance for over a dozen years, working in the British Columbia government designing North America's first carbon tax and the Western Climate Initiative's cap and trade system. She then worked with the founding team to launch Evok Innovations, a private sector $100 million fund that invests in early stage clean technologies to reduce greenhouse gases, followed by rolling up her sleeves in one of the world's top 100 cleantech companies to raise capital and develop the go to market strategy.

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.

Matthew Wright

UK Managing Director


Matthew leads the UK business, which is home to the company's largest portfolio of offshore wind farms as well as bioenergy and storage projects, and business energy sales. Since joining in May 2017, Matthew has overseen the rebranding of the company in the UK, Ørsted's first venture into commercial battery storage and the opening of two major offshore wind projects, including the world's biggest offshore wind farm, Walney Extension.

Matthew is responsible for Ørsted's reputation in the UK and growing the company across all of Ørsted's business units.

Prior to joining Ørsted, Matthew spent 10 years in the UK water sector, first as Managing Director at United Utilities and subsequently as CEO of Southern Water, a position he held for six years.

Previously, Matthew spent 20 years in the electricity industry and held a number of senior strategic and operational roles with ScottishPower in the UK, and PacifiCorp in the USA.

In total, Matthew has over 30 years' experience in the utilities sector.

Luke Wynne

Head of Youth and Schools

Global Action Plan

Luke leads Global Action Plan's youth engagement initiatives and has worked closely with key partners such as HSBC, BskyB and Thames Water on Global Action Plan's flagship schools and youth programmes. He is optimistic that if the creativity, enthusiasm and passion of the students that GAP works with is anything to go by, the future is in pretty good hands. Luke is also the Network Coordinator of Global Action Plan International, a network of charities and social enterprises spanning over 20 countries and all specialising in the field sustainable behaviour change.

In previous roles, Luke developed climate change risk and sustainability strategies for organisations in a range of sectors, and before that he taught Science and Physical Education in both the UK and Australia. He has a Master's in Environmental Management from Deakin University, Melbourne and double degree in Education and Human Movement.


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.