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17th – 21st November 2014

Monday I headed to London for three days of meetings. First up was a meeting with Defra on using the SBRI mechanism to unblock progress on policy aims with the issue of carrier bags the one on the table. After a catch up with SBRI and KTN colleagues I took a phone call from UKTI about potential cleantech investment projects. The government themed day continued in a meeting with BIS on a planned bioeconomy roadmap and how we get input from our advisory boards.

The day ended in a Forum for the Future Sustainable Business Model group meeting hosted by The Crown Estate at their St James marketing suite. Here we learnt about the redevelopments they had planned in the area and took input from the companies present on how their sustainability ideas could be applied. It was incredible to learn how much of central London they owned/managed and the vision was pretty exciting despite the considerable challenges presented by tenants. As a group we made some interesting plans for the year ahead.

Tuesday saw me head to the ExCel centre to support the KTN stand at Food Matters Live. This was a new event and it showed in the attendance sadly. Some interesting exhibitors and debate but not enough footfall to make it worthwhile. Heading back into central London I chaired our team meeting (by telecon) and then met with WRAP. We were discussing at length how we can work together to support business on resource efficiency and circular economy; ideally a joint offering rather than the fragmented support available now. We want to help companies innovating towards a circular economy do so faster and WRAP have considerable experience on how to make it work from a business case perspective. We agreed principles and are looking at how it can work in practice.

Wednesday was spent at the Sustainable Leaders Forum hearing from business’s stories on how they ‘do’ sustainability. The highlight by far was an explanation from Steve Waygood at Aviva Investors of why the stock market is set up against long-term investment decisions (his slides are here). Anyone with investments (pensions, stocks etc.) should be communicating their desire for sustainable investments to their funds. Two gems: the companies you invest in are shaping the future you will retire into, and markets are currently capitalising behaviour that will destroy their own value.

Thursday I was on leave and Friday was largely spent catching up on emails from three days or travel and a day off. Much of that was budget work and follow ups from meetings through the week.

Stat of the week:  $88bn is spent annually by G20 countries locating gas, coal and oil reserves

This week’s travel carbon footprint: 36 kg CO2

Mike Pitts