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Sustainability conference helps businesses thrive as forces for good

survive or thrive line up

Business leaders from the North West of England, North Wales and beyond are invited to a sustainability-boosting event this June, to take inspiration and practical tips from a panel of experts.

Organised by the University of Chester, it aims to help businesses thrive, as forces for good that people want to work for, buy from, and invest in.

The event is being held, in partnership with UK for Good, at the University’s Riverside Innovation Centre, on Tuesday June 4. It has been planned by staff from Chester Business School and the Sustainability and Environment Research and Knowledge Exchange Institute (SERKEI) at the University.

It is hoped that the day will see businesses and organisations from across the region immerse themselves in a day of positive sustainability and be inspired by meaningful networking, discussions and practical tips. They will also be treated to a plant-based lunch made by the University’s award-winning catering team.

As organisers Louise Goodman and Dr Rebecca Collins explain, the event looks to be a catalyst for collaboration in a world of rapidly-changing business where the impact of enterprises on people, communities, and the planet has never been more important.

Louise Goodman, Knowledge Exchange Manager at Chester Business School, said: “To thrive – rather than just about survive – businesses need to proactively generate profit with purpose. In collaboration with UK for Good and supported by a diverse and exciting line-up of contributors, this conference will inspire, inform and challenge us all to think about how courageous leadership can deliver impactful and enduring business as a force for good.”

Dr Rebecca Collins, Deputy Head of Division, Humanities, Cultures and Environment and Director of the SERKEI, added: “The University of Chester’s Sustainability and Environment Research and Knowledge Exchange Institute (SERKEI) exists to build relationships between the University and other organisations that enable knowledge-sharing for positive societal and environmental impact. We are looking forward to the Survive or Thrive conference acting as an important catalyst for new collaborations around sustainability in business across the region.”

The exciting line-up of speakers will share their own experiences of tackling sustainable business challenges, related to environment, climate and nature; people and culture; inclusivity and social value and resources, and waste and circularity:

  • Donna Okell, Founder and Co-CEO of UK For Good, a B Corp Certified business enabling businesses to understand, improve, and embed social and environmental impact into their organisation.
  • Andrew Ashford, CEO of The Bren Project, an award-winning charity which supports and inspires people with learning disabilities and autism to gain experience in the workplace.
  • PK Whalen and Andrea Wood, ofPositive Planet, helping organisations tackle their environmental impact and embed sustainable working practices.
  • Julieanna Powell-Turner, Professor of Environmental Sustainability, University of Chester,with more than 20 years’ experience in environmental management and protection.
  • Simon Pringle, Visiting Professor at the University of Chester andan independent coach and management consultant with a passion for supporting leaders to enable change. 
  • Dr Matthew Watkins, a Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Product Design Engineering in the Wolfson School at Loughborough University.
  • Elliot Kilbride, accomplished ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) professional, who has built a reputation for success in the financial services and energy sectors.
  • Chantal Davies, Professor of Law, Equality and Diversity in the School of Law and Social Justice at the University of Chester.

All businesses and organisations, large and small are welcome, and can sign up and find out more on the University of Chester Survive or Thrive conference web page. The event runs from 10am to 4pm at the University of Chester, Riverside Innovation Centre, 1 Castle Drive, Chester, CH1 1SL.

All income generated from the event will be used to support sustainability projects and activities developed and delivered by University of Chester students.

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