Vice President of Corporate Responsibility
Burberry

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1. What was your first ever job?

Saturday job at age 15, helping out behind the counter at Boots the Chemist.

2. Why did you get into the sustainability industry?

The industry started to evolve and grow around me, rather than me getting into it.

At the beginning of my career, sustainability didn't yet exist as an industry. I started off in Sourcing and Buying and my involvement in the sustainability agenda grew over time as the awareness of environmental and social issues, risks and opportunities grew amongst companies, governments and NGOs.

3. What does your current role entail?

As VP of Corporate Responsibility at Burberry, I head up a team of 30 based across the UK, Italy and Hong Kong, focused on:

 

  • Developing our sustainability strategy for the short, medium and long term
  • Ensuring the sustainability agenda is embedded into our core business strategy, driving long-term value for all of our key stakeholders including shareholders, employees, customers and the communities in which we operate
  • Supporting our teams in delivering our sustainability goals and driving positive change across our global operations, supply chain and wider communities

 

4. What have been the most significant challenges for the sustainability industry in recent years?

When I started getting involved in the sustainability industry, the focus was on making the business case for sustainability and influencing key decision-makers.

Today, I would love to see a shift and have the sustainability industry recognised as a key business opportunity and source of competitive advantage, rather than a short-term risk management exercise.

I'd like to see sustainability strategies implemented that don't just ‘do less bad', but instead address social, environmental and economic factors and root causes to drive long-term system change.

Creating effective partnerships across industries, supply chains, governments and other stakeholder groups is required to solve the big global challenges we face.

5. What can our delegates expect from your presentation/panel?

An honest insight into sustainability challenges and opportunities in our supply chain, the ambitious goals we have set ourselves for 2022 at Burberry, and how we are working with our supply chain partners and other key stakeholders to drive positive change.