Prominent UK and regional leaders urge bosses to drive sustainable business agenda

High profile regional and national business leaders will be promoting the business boosting benefits of being a responsible and sustainable company at a conference in Sheffield in May.

Spearheaded by Business in the Community (BITC) which champions responsible business practice, the fourth annual Business Unusual Conference takes place at the Edge Conference Centre, in Sheffield on May 6.

The day-long event will address the findings of a new report called ‘Forces for Change’, led by the University of Sheffield Management School, which examines the drivers to creating sustainable organisations. 

Dr Jon Burchell, senior lecturer in Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development in the Management School, said “We are delighted to be supporting this conference at which we will showcase some exciting new work designed to support organisations in making their business sustainable in the face of a diverse range of challenging global pressures.”

Keynote speakers including Tony Walker deputy managing director, Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK); Estelle Brachlianoff, executive vice-president of Veolia UK, and Chris Harrop, chair of the UN Global Compact – will share their powerful insights and reinforce how business leaders are critical in achieving this goal.

The conference is supported for the second consecutive year by Marshalls and Yorkshire Water, and is hosted by the University of Sheffield Management School. 

Yorkshire Water CEO Richard Flint, who is also a regional BITC Board Member, is chairing a breakfast leadership discussion entitled ‘Taking it Personally’ for board directors and senior managers.

He said: “Supplying water and sewerage services to more than 5 million people and 130,000 businesses is a long-term business, so sustainability is an issue very close to my heart.

“I am looking forward to discussing this important issue with local business leaders, many of whom have a key role to play in supporting the economic, environmental and social wellbeing of our region.”

Conference organiser Elizabeth Edgington, BITC’s head of marketplace sustainability, East of England, said: “The event will challenge and inspire delegates to take the initiative for a sustainable business and a sustainable world. 

“Those companies who embrace, enable and promote greener and more sustainable environments tend to be stronger, healthier and with a robust balance sheet. Their responsible business practices resonate deeply with key stakeholders including customers, suppliers, investors, employees and insurers.”

For more information about the conference, or to book at place, go to


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