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M&S, Tesla Motors and Yorkshire Water headline Yorkshire environment conference

High profile speakers from M&S, Tesla Motors and Yorkshire Water will showcase how innovation drives positive and sustainable business change at a major environment conference in Leeds, sponsored by Yorkshire Water.

Spearheaded by Business in the Community, the event on May 12 will reinforce how the need for companies to innovate and seek out new solutions in today’s ever changing and resource-constrained world – has never been greater.

Chris Harrop, chairman of the United Nations Global Compact UK Network will chair the ‘Business Unusual’ event at the Headingley Experience where speakers include Mike Barry, director of sustainable business, M&S and Richard Flint, CEO, Yorkshire Water.

Also sharing their company’s powerful experiences are Bert van Son, CEO of acclaimed innovator Mud Jeans and Georg Ell, country director UK & Ireland of Tesla Motors – named Forbes most innovative company in 2015.

M&S director Mike Barry said: “The timing of the conference is vital. We are entering a new era for business and how it addresses environmental issues.

“A focus on risk management practices is being replaced by a recognition that climatic, pollution and resource constraints are being reached quickly and that we need new approaches to business that are circular, low carbon and focused on the use of sustainable raw materials.

“The journey forward is exciting but hardly clear – and companies will have to innovate hard to find the right economic, social and environmental balance.”

Yorkshire Water CEO Richard Flint, chair of the regional BITC Board who is also chairing a breakfast leadership discussion for board directors and senior managers, said: “Supplying water and sewerage services to more than five million people and 130,000 businesses demands relentless innovation and investment – and our drive over the past two decades has resulted in significant environmental and supply chain improvements along with enhanced customer service.

“Some of the most effective changes are brought about by forging strong collaborations for greater impact. Yorkshire Water is an exemplar of this innovative approach – harnessing our extensive networks to effect change at a local and a national level.”

Conference organiser Elizabeth Edgington, BITC’s Area East head of environment, said: “The importance of businesses collaborating for mutual advantage is unprecedented and our speakers will showcase powerful examples of innovation via their business models, product development and supply chains.

“As well as learning from an excellent range of speakers, delegates will have the opportunity to bring new thinking to life through interactive sessions and discussions, and will leave inspired to seek out innovation opportunities in their own organisations.”

For more information about the conference, or to book at place, visit www.bitc.org.uk/businessunusual

Acclaimed innovator Bert van Son CEO of Mud Jeans
Acclaimed innovator Bert van Son CEO of Mud Jeans

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