Creating a sustainable future for local communities


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Posted on 01 May 2013
The world’s natural resources are stretched – if everybody lived like we do in the UK we would use the resources of 3 planets to maintain our modern, high quality lifestyles.

2 May 2013: High profile speakers from the world of sustainability will come together today at Keele University to debate the risks and opportunities of creating quality lives for UK citizens in the future. The Sustainable Futures Summit is organised by Business in the Community, the responsible business charity.

Dr Alan Knight, Sustainability Director at Business in the Community says: “The world’s natural resources are stretched – if everybody lived like we do in the UK we would use the resources of 3 planets to maintain our modern, high quality lifestyles. With a population of 9 billion expected by 2050, we have to be able to support high quality lifestyles for everybody. It is vital to engage with business to debate the key issues that need to be addressed to achieve this and the risks and opportunities it poses for their organisations.”

Over 120 delegates are due to attend the Summit to identify potential for innovation and collaboration that can enable businesses and communities to maximise the economic opportunities and build local resilience.

 The event is taking place during Business in the Community’s ‘Be the Start’ campaign, a month long celebration and demonstration during May of how living sustainably is rewarding and meaningful. For 31 days, 31 businesses and organisations, many of which are household names, will join the campaign to support and inspire people in their journey towards a sustainable lifestyle. It is exactly issues like the role of businesses to really improve the quality of the conversation with citizens around sustainable living, that will is behind Be the Start and will be debated at the Summit.

Also speaking at the Summit will be Jonathan Porritt, Founder of Forum for the Future and Chancellor at Keele University, Joan Walley MP, Chris Shearlock, Sustainable Development Manager at the Co-operative Group, Chris Matthews, Head of Sustainability at United Utilities and Fiona Stark, Corporate Affairs Director at E.ON.

Some key issues that will be raised are:

-       What does sustainable capitalism look like?

-       How can focusing on providing key elements of a high quality lifestyle, such as water, food and energy,  build local resilience boost economic wellbeing and promote health and wellbeing.

ENDS

For more information about attending the event, photography and interviews with spokespeople please contact:

Vicky Gashe, Head of Media, Business in the Community t: 07714 411539 e: vicky.gashe@bitc.org.uk

Gudrun Cartwright, Head of Regional Environmental Impact, Business in the Community t: 0161 233 7772 e: gudrun.cartwright@bitc.org.uk

 

The Summit is delivered in partnership with Keele University, The Environment Agency and supported by United Utilities, The Co-operative, The North West Business Leadership Team and WSP.

About Business in the Community

Business in the Community (BITC) stands for responsible business. A unique business movement of 850 member companies – the largest business-led charity of its kind – committed to building resilient communities, diverse workplaces and a more sustainable future. BITC works locally, nationally and internationally with members to transform businesses and transform communities. BITC believes that responsible leadership is the ability to balance both.

Business in the Community is one of The Prince’s Charities, a group of not-for-profit organisations of which the Prince of Wales is President. www.bitc.org.uk

About Be the Start – www.bethestart.org

Start, the UK sustainable living initiative inspired by HRH The Prince of Wales, is launching ‘Be the Start’, a month long celebration and demonstration of how living sustainably is a rewarding and meaningful way of life.

Be the Start is all about starting and encouraging others to start – new ways to be happier and healthier, to live more resourcefully, to help build more vibrant communities, to travel smarter and to transform us all into a nation that shares. Over 40 businesses and organisations, many of which are household brands, have joined the campaign to promote the ideas and know-how we already have and to support and inspire people in their journey towards a positive and sustainable lifestyle. By the end of the month, we’ll have shown that it is possible to start now, and that there is so much to gain when we come together to be the start.


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