Cambridge conference to focus on sustainability

7th July 2014

Sustainability is high on the IEMA agenda, with a dedicated conference due later this year, just months after the Institute's amalgamation with the Global Association of Corporate Sustainability Officers (GACSO).

Throughout last year’s Vision 2020 consultation, members were adamant that sustainability should become a key theme in IEMA’s programme of activity, delivery and influence. Taking on board that feedback for 2014’s activities, IEMA acquired GACSO in March, boosting the membership’s count of sustainability professionals, while the Institute’s inaugural conference on sustainability will be held in the autumn.

Entitled “How can IEMA professionals enable sustainable growth?”, this event will be held on Wednesday 24 September in Cambridge. The conference will provide members with the opportunity to learn about critical challenges in sustainability through an economic lens, with a focus on climate change and energy economics, natural resource dependencies, risks, externalities and the economic mega trends.

Delegates will benefit from hearing from and meeting sustainability professionals and leaders to discuss, test and develop their own solutions to leading sustainability challenges.

IEMA has secured a number of leading sustainability experts to speak at the event, which was planned by the Institute’s East of England and South East regional steering groups. Speakers and topics include:

  • Dr Alan Knight, GACSO founder and chair, and general manager, corporate responsibility, at ArcelorMittal – “Setting the scene for GACSO and IEMA – our challenge”.

  • Dr Julia Baker, biodiversity specialist at Parsons Brinckerhoff – “How numbers (not offsetting) can achieve the ideal – development with a net gain in biodiversity”.

  • Colin Braidwood, global procurement, sustainability manager at National Grid, and Ian Heptonstall, director at Action Sustainability and project director at the Supply Chain Sustainability School – “Sustainable procurement”.

  • Bekir Andrews, group sustainability manager at Balfour Beatty – “Non-financial mandatory reporting: reaping the business value from the numbers”.

  • Paul Toyne, director of sustainability at Balfour Beatty Construction Services UK, and Mat Roberts, head of sustainability at Landmarc Support Services – “The Social Value Act and its implications for public tenders”.

  • Penny Walker, sustainability professional and facilitator – “Engaging stakeholders: from firefighting to a strategic approach.”
  • Speaker TBC, Mott Macdonald – “Climate risks and dependencies: IPCC report and developments in climate change adaptation”.

Other topics to be covered at the conference, due to held at the City Hotel in Cambridge, include:

  • “Developing and building the
  • business case for sustainability”.
  • “Commercial sustainability – increasing the top line”.
  • “Ecosystems approach and biodiversity offsetting”.

The full conference timetable is set to grow further, with more names and sessions being added in July.

IEMA members can secure their seat for the special early bird rate of £120 when booking before 31 August 2014, a saving of £36 on the full rate. To book a place and to view the full conference programme of keynote speakers, workshops and networking opportunities, click here.


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