Programme List - BusinessGreen Leaders Summit 2019


08:30 – 09.00

Registration and breakfast

09.00 – 09.05

Welcome and opening remarks
James Murray, Editor-in-Chief, BusinessGreen

09.05 – 09.10

Headline sponsor address
Jim Rushen, Group Head of Environment, Centrica

09.10 – 09.35

Keynote: Preparing for COP26 and a critical year for the green economy

In one of her first public speeches since taking up the role as President of the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow, Claire Perry O'Neill will discuss how businesses can play a key role in supporting the critically important summit and demonstrating how the UK's net zero transition can help deliver a cleaner, healthier, and more prosperous economy. Reflecting on her time as Energy and Clean Growth Minister Perry O'Neill will also offer insight into the challenges and opportunities businesses and investors can expect to face as they move into a crucial decade for global climate action.

Claire Perry O'Neill, President, COP26

09.35 – 10.00

Science keynote: The history of climate change

If the past year has been one of the most successful in the green economy's history, it has also been one of the most terrifying. Scientific warnings on the scale of the climate threat have ratcheted up still further, global emissions have kept climbing, one of the year's best sellers bears the daunting title, The Uninhabitable Earth. The coming decade of disruption will be characterised as much by escalating climate impacts, as technological and economic transformation. Our annual science keynote will this year provide an unblinking look at the epic history of climate change, from climate change science's first steps in the 18th and 19th centuries, through initial concerns in the 1950s, up to today when, with ever-more urgent calls from the world's scientists and new voices like the Youth Climate Strikers and Extinction Rebellion, we might be finally starting to face up to the catastrophic consequences ahead.

Dr Alice Bell, Writer, Climate Change Campaigner, and co-Director, 10:10 Climate Action

10.00   – 10.20

Building a Net Zero Britain

Liberal Democrat Leader Jo Swinson has committed the Party to pulling forward the UK's net zero emission target to 2045 and has recently unveiled a sweeping package of policies designed to accelerate the pace of decarbonisation across the economy. In her first major speech on the climate crisis and the green economy since being elected as leader of the Party, Swinson will make the case for bolder climate action from both the political and the business world in order to unlock the opportunities the net zero transition presents. She will also explore how the continuing cross-party consensus on the need to build a net zero economy could open the door for an ambitious new wave of climate policies that all businesses and investors will have to respond to.

Jo Swinson, Leader, Liberal Democrats

10.20 – 11.00

Business keynote panel discussion: The view from the top

How are top business leaders weighing the risks and opportunities that will emerge as the net zero transition gathers pace? What excites them about the coming decade? What keeps them awake at night? This panel will bring together leading C-suite execs at some of the UK's most influential companies to discuss how and why they are preparing for the future.

Helen Clarkson, Chief Executive Officer, The Climate Group
Leon Kamhi, Head of Responsibility, Hermes Investment Management
Ashley Phillips, Managing Director, Customer Solutions UK, Ørsted 
Moderator: James Murray, Editor-in-Chief, BusinessGreen

11.00 – 11.25

Networking break


Stream 1: Innovative Energies

Stream Chair: James Murray

Stream 2: The Circular Revolution

Stream Chair: Trewin Restorick
Room 1-3

11.25 – 11.45

Presentation: The Quest For Net Zero Energy

The energy sector has delivered some of the most effective clean tech disruption at the same time as facing some of the most complex decarbonisation challenges. The revolution in renewables and smart grids has transformed the market, but now the heavy lifting of delivering a zero carbon grid and decarbonised heat technologies awaits. One of the UK's leading energy industry thinkers will provide their take on how the emergence of a net zero energy system will impact all businesses.

Jeremy Leggett, Founder, Solarcentury
Presentation: The Circular Opportunity

Earlier this year the Circular Economy group published a report that calculated 62 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions (excluding those from land use and forestry) are released during the extraction, processing, and manufacturing of goods. The development of a more circular economy is of critical importance, but how can businesses be convinced of the need for such fundamental and disruptive change to their operating models?

Maria Coronado Robles, Sustainability Senior Consultant, Euromonoitor

11.50 – 12.10

Case study: What's it really like to pursue 100 per cent renewables

A growing number of businesses have pledged to source 100 per cent renewables, but how can firms maximise the benefits that flow from renewables, overcome the technical challenges, and harness clean energy to trigger wider environmental and commercial gains. Sophie Walker from JLL will talk about the company's journey to 100% renewables and how this effort is part of the company's broader UK strategy to reach net zero by 2030.

Sophie Walker, Head of Sustainability, JLL
Case study: The Refillable Insurgency

With consumers and policymakers demanding an end to wasteful packaging a growing number of firms are experimenting with refillable and reusable models. We hear from one of the cutting-edge trials that promise to revolutionise the retail and consumer goods sectors.

Stephen Clarke, Head of Communications, TerraCycle and Loop Europe

12.15 – 12.55

Panel discussion: Navigating the smart energy opportunity

The energy system is transforming at an unprecedented rate. Renewables, EVs, smart grids, storage, AI, building management systems, and myriad other technologies promise to slash emissions and open up new revenue opportunities for all businesses. But how can energy users maximise the opportunities offered by this technology revolution and how can they engage with the energy industry to help accelerate the roll out of clean technologies?

Susanne Baker, Head of Programme, Environment and Compliance, TechUK
John Hartley, Global Head of Consultative Solutions, Centrica Business Solutions
Richard Howard, Research Director, Aurora Energy Research
Anne-Claire Leydier, DSO Transition Manager, Northern Powergrid
Moderator: Michael Holder, Senior Reporter, BusinessGreen
Panel discussion: From Lines To Circles

Shifting from a linear to a circular resource model is a hugely disruptive undertaking for any business, so how have some of the pioneers in the circular economy embraced the challenge? How can key stakeholders and partners be brought on board? What are the pitfalls to avoid? How will customers respond to new offerings? These are just some of the questions our panellists will attempt to address.

Natalia Agathou, Business Advice Manager, London Waste and Recycling Board
Dustin Benton, Policy Director, Green Alliance
Patrick Mahon, Chief Strategic Advisor, WRAP
Sæbjørnsen, Country Sustainability Manager UK & Ireland, IKEA
Moderator: Trewin Restorick, Founder and CEO, Hubbub

12.55 – 13.55

Networking lunch


Towards Net Zero

13.55   – 14.15

Case Study: Embracing Science-Based Targets

In this session, Paula Hermogenes Gomes, Global Environmental Risk and Performance Manager at British American Tobacco, reveals how the multinational giant came to adopt science based targets, exploring how the targets were developed, the challenges the company faced, the plan for delivering on the goals, and the next steps for the business as it looks to accelerate decarbonisation across its global operations.

Paula Hermogenes Gomes, Global Environmental Risk and Performance Manager, British American Tobacco

14.20   – 14.40

Presentation: Net Zero Economics - Accelerating innovation and business investment

This session will take a look at some of the key policy measures that need to be put in place to accelerate the cycles of innovation and rapidly grow the business investment needed in the ultra-low carbon infrastructure, goods and services needed to get to net zero.

Sarah Williams, Public Affairs Manager, Aldersgate Group

14.45   – 15.25

Panel discussion: Net Zero Now?

If there is broad agreement on the need to build a net zero emission economy, the question of how to deliver the transition is subject to fierce debate. How fast should companies respond? How can they address hard to tackle emissions? How can they help build public and corporate support for disruptive measures? Our expert panel asks if the world is ready for the reality of net zero?

Louis Burford, Head of Solution Sales and Optimization, Centrica Business Solutions
Mark Campanale, Founder and Executive Director, Carbon Tracker
Angela Francis, Chief Advisor, Economics and Economic Development, WWF
Moderator: James Murray, Editor-in-Chief, BusinessGreen

15.25 – 15.45

Networking break

15.45 – 16.25

Keynote panel discussion: The kids are alright

Something fundamental has shifted in the past year. Greta Thunberg and the school strikes movement have become very visible figureheads for a dramatic change in public engagement with climate and environmental risks. A new generation of voters, customers, employees, and campaigners is fully aware of the climate crisis and demanding a response. But how can businesses engineer a response that satisfies their demands and drives a green economic revolution without leading to unacceptable levels of disruption and inevitable alienation? Our panel of top green thinkers and campaigners considers the implications of the new normal.

Mike Barry, Sustainable Change Maker and former Director of Sustainable Business (Plan A), Marks and Spencer
Lola Fayokun, Campaigner, UK Student Climate Network
Sue Garrard, Independent Sustainability Adviser and Former Head of Sustainability at Unilever, Sue Garrard Consulting Ltd 
Liam McCelland, Former Co-Chair, Young Green Party
Luke Murphy, Head of the Environmental Justice Commission and Associate Director for the Energy, Climate, Housing and Infrastructure Team, IPPR 
Moderator: James Murray, Editor-in-Chief, BusinessGreen

16.25 – 16.55

Green Brexit: Deal or No Deal - In conversation with Greener UK's Shaun Spiers

For the past three years Shaun Spiers, executive director of Green Alliance, has chaired GreenerUK, the coalition of environmental NGOs that has campaigned for the government to ensure environmental protection, standards, and ambitions are maintained post-Brexit. In an on-stage interview he reflects on the battle to secure a ‘Green Brexit' and with just a few days to go until the latest Brexit deadline offers his thoughts on how the green economy should prepare for a period of inevitable economic uncertainty and political drama.

Shaun Spiers, Executive Director, Green Alliance

16.55 – 17.00

Closing remarks
James Murray, Editor-in-Chief, BusinessGreen

17.00 – 18.00

Networking drinks