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Cambridge Climate and Sustainability Forum 2016

Having helped to organise the 2012 Cambridge Climate and Sustainability Forum, it was an honour to be invited to speak at the 2016 event.

We arrived in time to see the end of the talk by Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever. He was able to reel off by heart a host of statistics and examples that were reasons to feel optimistic about the chances of fixing the mess we’ve made, and of the role business can play.

One thing I noted was that his company plans to convert 500 of its factories to biomass. I’m keen to find out more about how this is being done.

He described Unilever as the world’s largest NGO. Indeed, with all the charitable and good work they do, you could forget that they’re a multi-million pound company that sells lots of products to make a profit.

Chris Garrard of BP or not BP? ran a fantastic workshop, and he was also one the panel I spoke on, which was a fun discussion of the role of the individual that also featured Brett Scott and Mel Strickland. It was a chance for me to try to bring the theme of nature into the room and to talk about A Focus on Nature.

The afternoon finished off with Emily Dunning speaking about Cambridge University’s Green Impact programme and the Living Lab, and Luke Sussams of Carbon Tracker explaining about the financial risks of future investment in fossil fuels.

It was an amazing day, in the beautiful venue of St John’s Old Divinity School. Everything ran very smoothly and the selection of speakers was fantastic. I’d like to offer my thanks and congratulations to the organisers. If you didn’t make it this year, do go along next year!

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