2024 Annual Summit Full Agenda

Time Format Agenda
09:15-10:00   Registration
10:00-10:25 Keynote Welcome Speeches
10:25-11:05 Panel Reimagining Supply Chains to Leave No One Behind 
How can businesses and suppliers strengthen their relationship to ensure mutual business success and advance sustainability strategies?

As supply chains face mounting disruptions from natural disasters, climate change, conflict, and social inequalities, businesses throughout the entire value chain need to build stronger relationships and effectively collaborate to tackle such challenges.

Existing and incoming sustainability legislation is putting companies under increasing pressure to ensure awareness and compliance throughout their supply chains. Failure to get suppliers on board, can lead to scrutiny from customers, employees, and investors, damaging brand reputation.

Equally, this increase in stakeholder burden is felt by suppliers who are being inundated with inconsistent reporting requirements, and requests to level up in alignment with corporate sustainability demands. Despite strained resources and supplier fatigue, those who do not meet demands risk being left behind.

By providing an opportunity to voice challenges and identify solutions, this panel will emphasise the need for collaborative relationships between businesses and suppliers to ensure mutual business success.

11:05-11:40 Fireside Chat Enhancing Cross Team Collaboration to Accelerate Net Zero Transformation</td

How are sustainability professionals working internally to engage colleagues and other stakeholders across the organisation to drive progress on net zero targets?

This session will explore one company case study with representatives from different teams across the organisation sharing how they have come together to deliver against organisational sustainability targets.

Discussions will focus on the relationships that had to be built with teams outside of the sustainability function, how net zero targets have been internalised by representatives from those various teams, and how to manage the balancing of net zero targets with the priorities of other key functions/departments.

11:40-12:05   Coffee Break
12:05-12:15 Publication Launch Building Bridges in the C-Suite
How can CSOs and CFOs strategically align to reduce risks and achieve transformative sustainability outcomes?

Finance teams now undoubtedly have a vested interest in sustainability through non-financial reporting mandates, and their scope of responsibilities are key to achieving the broader sustainability aims of a company. Therefore, the question of how Chief Sustainability Officers and Chief Financial Officers can engage to create more meaningful sustainability strategy and outcome is increasingly pertinent.

This session will launch a report that UN Global Compact Network UK has developed in collaboration with experts and leading UK businesses, and share key insights to help companies understand how engagement between CFOs and CSOs can enable sustainability progress and drive long-term value.

12:15–12:55 Panel Transforming Compliance into Strategic Communications
Can new reporting standards be an opportunity for companies to engage stakeholders and use sustainability data to inform future-facing strategy?

This session will bring together experts on corporate sustainability reporting legislation, and companies who are leading the way in sustainability reporting to discuss how adhering to discuss the challenges around emerging legislation around sustainability reporting, as well as how companies can capture opportunities.

The session will provide practical insights on how companies can approach governance and collect data to report on mandatory requirements. The panel will bring different perspectives to the question of how this data can bolster decision making internally and shape engagement with wider stakeholders and investors, who have a growing interest in the sustainability metrics and story of a company.

12:55-13:55   Lunch
13:55-14:35 Panel Advancing Decent Work through Worker Engagement and Representation
How can effective worker voice initiatives help business drive decent work across their supply chains?

Worker engagement and representation are essential strategies for building a competitive, sustainable business that adapts quickly to changing social and legal environments. Worker engagement and participation in social dialogue with employers on workplace issues is integral to robust human rights due diligence and directly supports business efforts to uphold decent work across their value chains. Even in countries where freedom of association is restricted or poorly enforced by governments, companies still need to ensure workers in their supply chain have access to effective grievance mechanisms and systems that ensure their voices are heard.

This panel discussion will explore strategies and actions businesses can take to engage with workers in their supply chains on decent work issues to ensure concerns are heard and workers are empowered to advocate for their rights and negotiate improved working conditions.

14:35- 15:15 Panel Unlocking Value Chain Collaboration – A Circular Initiative Case Study
How can companies build effective relationships across their value chain to further circularity?
This session will focus in on a project case study featuring companies already in the process of collaborating with each other across their respective value chain to drive circularity. Insights will be shared into how initial bridges were built, what the framework for collaboration has looked like, how targets for collaboration were defined, and how success has been achieved.
15:15-15:35   Coffee Break
15:35-16:05 Fireside Chat Responding to Investors and Regulatory Pressure – Human Rights Disclosures 
How can businesses meet growing regulatory and investor social sustainability disclosure expectations?
It has been long acknowledged that businesses wield significant influence over human rights conditions in their operations and value chains. Human rights in this context is attracting increased interest due to its emphasis in emerging legislation such as the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD). Consequently, businesses must be able to show investors and other stakeholders that they are responding to the most pressing social sustainability issues. This session will convene experts to discuss the key social sustainability actions that businesses should prioritise, and the disclosures required to ensure they are meeting expectations and emerging legislation.
16:05-16:55 Debate Regulatory Momentum versus Voluntary Action: Accelerating Progress Towards Change
Motion: This house believes that voluntary commitments are more efficient in propelling sustainability and prosperity than regulatory frameworks.

Are voluntary commitments more effective than regulatory frameworks in driving sustainability and prosperity? Are regulations the key to unlocking success or do they create unnecessary economic burdens? Do voluntary frameworks enable flexibility and innovation, or allow for complacency and inaction? Is it the responsibility of the private sector to lead the way in shaping regulations? Do evolving regulatory requirements represent a shift towards a more sustainable and responsible business ethos?

In this formal debate, two teams of experts will square off to answer these questions.

16:55-17:00   Closing Remarks
17:00-18:30   Networking Drinks