10 things not to be missed at next week’s Sustainability Leaders Forum

With less than a week to go until edie's award-winning Sustainability Leaders Forum kicks off, the editorial team have highlighted 10 key sessions that are not to be missed across the two-day Forum on 8-9 March.

10 things not to be missed at next week’s Sustainability Leaders Forum

There's still time to register for this hybrid event

Under the ambition of Time to Transform, the multi-award-winning Sustainability Leaders Forum will take place at the Business Design Centre in London’s Islington on 7-9 March.

The event will offer up the most diverse and inspirational speaker programme to date, with an enhanced focus on championing disruptive, purpose-led business models, nature-based solutions, and youth empowerment.


The Sustainability Leaders Forum 2022 forum will feature an array of powerful keynote talks from global industry leaders, dynamic panel discussions, never-before-seen sustainability case studies, interactive and co-creative workshops.

Here, edie have pulled out five key sessions for each of the days.

1) Day One’s opening keynotes

The Sustainability Leaders Forum starts with a bang on day one as Emma Howard Boyd, Chair, Environment agency and Sir David King, Founder and chair, Centre for Climate Repair provide opening keynotes to delegates.

These two experts on the sustainability and climate movement will discuss what the future of climate leadership looks like while also providing practical advice as to how sustainability professionals can shape future green policy.

2) Becoming a net-positive business

Not just content with reaching net-zero, some businesses are trying to include other societal and planetary considerations as part of a wider “net-positive” movement.

So, why not take part in various leadership streams across both days of the Forum. On day one before lunch a panel of climate experts discuss how to take ownership of our environmental impacts, scale-up nature-based solutions, and become a truly ‘net-positive’ organisation.

3) The Big Debate: Carbon offsetting to reach net-zero emissions – who’s right, who’s wrong?

There are two schools of thought: Some say carbon offsetting should be an integral part of decarbonisation strategies and a force for good; others say offsets can be something of a ‘Band-Aid’ for climate action and distract from operational emissions reductions. In this special closing discussion, we bring together a selection of climate experts to discuss where carbon offsetting fits in the global transition to net-zero emissions. 

Chatham House Rules will apply for this panel discussion in the afternoon of day one. Under these rules, participants are free to use the information from the panel discussion, but neither the identity, nor the affiliation of the speakers, nor that of any other participant, may be revealed outside of the session.

4) How courageous companies can lead with purpose plenary

The afternoon of day one also sees us focus on the B Corp movement and how to embrace socially conscious capitalism. We’ll hear from the likes of Charmian Love, Co-founder and activist in residence, B Lab UK, Richard Hall, VP general secretary, Danone UK & Ireland, Lysander Bickham, CEO, Leo’s Box, Mark Cuddigan, CEO, Ella’s Kitchen and Amy Bourbeau, Co-founder and chief impact officer, Seismic.

5) Exclusive Networking Drinks and Sustainable Futures Game

Day one will end with an interactive networking session. Participation will shape the decisions of actors representing businesses, entrepreneurs, policy makers and civil society as they react to changes in environment, economy, technology, and society along pathways towards a more sustainable future. 

Together, delegates will reflect on the world their actions have created and consider how visiting the future with curiosity can inspire and empower people to take action in the present, through Cranfield’s Exploring Sustainable Futures Game is a role-playing learning experience.


6) All in for 1.5°C: The key ingredients for our climate action cocktail

To kickstart day two, we’ll be hearing from Maria Mendulice, CEO, We Mean Business to discuss the key corporate ingredients to respond to the need to reach 1.5C. Following Mendulice’s speech, renown sustainability expert John Elkington will discuss how climate and society are crucial considerations for a new economy.

7) Climate activist Lily Cole in conversation with Solitaire Townsend

Supermodel-turned climate activist Lily Cole has been revealed as the inspirational closing keynote speaker for edie’s flagship Sustainability Leaders Forum, taking place in on 8-9 March in London.

Cole, who spoke at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, will join our Sustainability Leaders Forum chair Solitaire Townsend on stage for a ‘fireside chat’-style discussion on the afternoon of Wednesday 9th March.

8) Young leaders shaping the future of sustainable business

At 09:50 on Day Two of the Leaders Forum we’ll head from the next generation of leaders. The influence of younger voices on corporate strategies and values is growing, immensely. Here, we give a panel of youthful visionaries a platform to discuss what businesses and governments should really be doing to build a more sustainable and equitable future, today.

Speakers will include, Aliza Ayaz, UN Youth Ambassador for the Sustainable Development Goals, Zaqiya Cajee, CEO and founder, SwopItUp, Serena Bashal, COP working group, UKYCC and more.

9) Driving social equality and achieving a just transition workshop

Across both days of the Sustainability Leaders Forum edie will host breakout workshops, giving delegates a chance to co-create on challenges and opportunities across a plethora of sustainability issues.

Each session will feature a panel of industry experts and an array of workshop activities which spark new ideas and actions. Workshop outputs will be tangible and translatable outside of the event – offering meaningful solutions to those attending live in London and tuning in remotely. One such workshop on Day Two is that of the “just transition”.

10) Circularity and finance streams

Business leadership is about championing all parts of the sustainability spectrum. Circularity has been a prominent consideration for many, but closed-loop systems will change in a post-pandemic world. On the other side of the spectrum, green finance is only just starting to boom.

Sustainability professionals will have their choice of workshops for these topics on day two, as they co-create to answer some of the biggest questions facing resources and finance.

Register for edie’s Sustainability Leaders Forum 2022

The UK’s largest sustainability leadership event takes place on 8-9 March 2022 at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London. The event will unite hundreds of professionals for inspiring keynotes, dynamic panel discussions, interactive workshops and facilitated networking sessions.

More than 80 speakers will grace various stages and panels across the event, including experts from Natural England, the Green Finance Institute, the World Economic Forum and the Centre for Climate Repair. 


edie staff

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