Scheduled for September 30 at The Brewery in central London, the inaugural Net Zero Festival aims to bring together more than 500 business leaders, politicians, academics, and campaigners to explore how to accelerate and optimise the global net zero transition.
The event’s partners include sustainable business bodies We Mean Business, Aldersgate Group, the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), and CDP; trade associations such as RenewableUK, the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association, and the Carbon Capture and Storage Association; leading media and events brands Fully Charged and Carbon Forward; and top environmental charities and think tanks such as Hubbub and Green Alliance.
The first wave of sponsors include BT, which has signed up along with ENGIE, Verco, Heathrow Airport, and Ecosphere+. Further partners and sponsors will be announced in the coming weeks, alongside the full agenda, first tranche of A-list speakers, and ticket details.
“Few, if any, business issues are more important than the net zero transition,” said Gabrielle Ginér, head of environmental sustainability at BT and Chair of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Momentum for Change Advisory Committee. That is why BT was one of the very first corporates to set a net zero target.
“We are delighted to support the Net Zero Festival as Net Zero Leadership Partner to accelerate the net zero transition. It is vital that businesses, industries, investors, policymakers, civil society, and the public at large come together to share best practices and advance the development of a greener economy, and that is precisely what the Net Zero Festival aims to achieve.”
Her comments were echoed by Eliot Whittington, director of policy at CISL, who said the “Net Zero Festival promises to showcase some of the most interesting and inspiring pinch points of this urgent transformation, and we look forward to the energy for collaboration that it will create”.
In addition, BusinessGreen has unveiled the Advisory Board for the Festival, featuring leading sustainability executives and green business experts such as BT’s Ginér, head of sustainable business at M&S Carmel McQuaid, corporate affairs and sustainability director at Landsec Caroline Hill, Carbon Tracker’s Mark Campanale, and director of Cambridge Zero and leading climate scientist Dr Emily Shuckburgh.
BusinessGreen has also announced that Carbon Forward, a leading provider of events and information for the fast-expanding European carbon market, will be the Carbon Market Partner for the Net Zero Festival and will host its annual conference in London from September 30th to October 2nd.
“As a large and fast-expanding battalion of businesses has realised, the net zero transition and escalating climate crisis are the defining economic issue of the age,” said BusinessGreen editor-in-chief James Murray.
“In the past week alone we’ve seen a host of household names, from oil majors and mining giants to transport providers and consumer goods firms, either announce net zero goals or beef up their decarbonisation plans. But the scale and complexity of the transition remains unprecedented and it is characterised by huge risks and opportunities.
“As such, it has never been more important to bring together business leaders, policymakers, investors, and civil society to take on this shared challenge – and this is precisely what the Net Zero Festival will do.”
The Festival agenda will centre on four Festival Streams, which will explore Net Zero Leadership, Net Zero Innovation, Net Zero Culture, and Net Zero Action. Consequently, say the organisers, the day will provide a raft of invaluable insights for business leaders, covering everything from policy developments and investment trends to technology disruption and how to engage with the new wave of climate activism.