The keynote address was provided by Sir Ian Cheshire, chairman of Barclays UK and Debenhams, and the lead non-executive director for the UK government. He shared stories from his sustainability successes and provided practical advice for professionals seeking to create change within their organisations, as well as highlighting the opportunity for companies to shift their business models to make them fit for purpose in a low carbon economy.
I’d say that a lot of your jobs are occasionally miserable, and occasionally thankless. The multi-faceted challenge of sustainability needs a very boring thing: sheer bloody persistence.
Sir Ian Cheshire, Chair, Barclays UK
The 2018 Carbon Trust Assurance Awards were then presented by London’s Deputy Mayor for the Environment and Energy, Shirley Rodrigues, recognising companies that had excelled in their environmental impact reduction efforts over the past year.
The morning session continued with a case study from French food giant Danone, presenting on how the company is delivering on its commitment to reach net zero emissions across its value chain by 2050.
Flore Augé, who is responsible for Danone’s climate change strategy, discussed how the company is responding to climate change and how they are moving towards their goal through action at one of the company’s flagship brands, evian.
Danone’s session was followed by a panel on tackling emissions in the value chain, with Quorn Foods and GlaxoSmithKline discussing how they are measuring and managing the environmental impacts outside of their own operational boundaries.
The final external speakers for the morning session were from Carbon Zerow, the first team to complete a carbon neutral crossing of the Atlantic in a rowboat, which was done with carbon footprinting support from the Carbon Trust.
The morning session concluded with the presentation of the Carbon Trust’s new Climate Leadership Framework for corporates, which is currently in development and entering into a pilot phase.
After lunch the delegates were able to select from two streams of expert workshops, featuring updates on the latest trends and new thinking in corporate sustainability, as well as best practice examples from leading companies.
The day ended with drinks and networking in London’s Living Room, allowing delegates to mingle and reflect on what they had heard throughout the day.