Our 2023 speakers will be announced in due course.

Natalia Phipps

Head of Advocacy - The Carbon Literacy Project

Natalia is Head of Advocacy for The Carbon Literacy Project. She leads on driving forward the number of sectors and organisations that are delivering certified climate education and action training, aka ' Carbon Literacy'.

Natalia joined The project in 2019 to develop and deliver a new innovative approach to rolling out CL training through the creation of Sector Toolkits. Funded by BEIS (Government Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy) Natalia and colleagues created a suite of Public Sector Toolkits for the NHS, Universities and Colleges, Local Authorities and the Civil Service. Since then, this approach has been successfully replicated in a range of other sectors including Social Housing, Automotive, Museums and Sport.

Founded in 2012 the Carbon Literacy Project has certified over 72,000 learners across seven continents via over 570 courses in fields as diverse as jet engine finance, fire-fighting and wedding planning. They were recognised as a globally unique initiative at the historic Paris climate summit and their prominent ‘graduates’ include both Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall and Sir Patrick Vallance.

Katherine Burden

Business Development Lead - Green Economy

Katherine is Business Development Lead for Green Economy, with more than two decade's experience in the environmental sector. Katherine is responsible for a portfolio of business support contracts that drive corporate decarbonisation and green technologies sector growth.

As an award-winning provider of environmental services designed to accelerate the UK’s NetZero ambition, Green Economy has significant experience of delivering decarbonisation projects with businesses of all sizes

Since 2012, the has worked with SME businesses to convert environmental pressures into competitive advantages. Through this activity, the team has helped to save 2 million tonnes of carbon and over £500 million in energy, material, and waste costs.

Adam Bower

Head of Sustainability Strategy & ESG - Cranswick Plc

A passionate sustainability expert who has gained a significant amount knowledge and experience on the environmental & social issues facing the food industry today. In addition, I’m also a doctoral student at Sheffield Hallam University, where my research project is looking at the barriers and enablers to sustainable innovation within the food supply chain

Susanne Lorenz

Lecturer in Climate Change Adaptation - University of Leeds

Susanne is a Lecturer in Climate Change Adaptation at the University of Leeds. She has been working in the field of climate change risk, resilience and adaptation for almost 15 years across academia, local government and consultancy. She is experienced in climate risk management, developing adaptation plans, capacity building and supporting businesses with their climate risk disclosures. She is passionate about helping organisations understand and prepare for climate risks and become more climate resilient. In her role at the University of Leeds, she is particularly passionate about inspiring and teaching students to be able to create positive change upon starting their professional careers.

Neil Cartwright

Senior Net Zero Programme Manager within the North East and Yorkshire Regional Greener NHS TeamNHS - NHS

A dedicated environmentalist since his university days, Neil is an seasoned company director and senior manager with extensive experience spanning the public, academic, and voluntary sectors. Neil works together with NHS organisations across northern England to support their journey towards Net Zero carbon emissions and biodiversity restoration, while ensuring a just transition for all. Through adaptation and nature-based solutions he assists the health service in building resilience to face the rapidly changing climate and loss of biodiversity. Neil is dedicated to creating a greener, fairer health service for the benefit of people and planet.

Neil has a Boston Terrier called Derek, enjoys planting trees and can be found wandering around Cleethorpes with his litter picker.

Oliver Jones

Associate Director – Sustainability & Innovation - Cundall

Dr Olli Jones, Head of Sustainability & Innovation at international multidisciplinary engineering consultancy Cundall is part of a world leading, international network of sustainability thought leaders, innovators and disruptors who are working to realise a more sustainable future.

Olli has been recognised as one of the construction sectors top 500 influencers in 2019 and as one of the UK's top 100 sustainable design visionaries in 2021 by the UK Design Council. He works with government policy makers, NGO's and organisations to develop sustainability strategies as a trusted advisor.

Olli is driven by a healthy planet, healthy people philosophy – an enduring belief that regenerative practices will create healthier people, societies, environments, and economies.

Rebecca Russell

Head of Corporate Affairs GB - SSE Renewables

Rebecca is Head of Corporate Affairs (GB) for SSE Renewables. She is responsible for policy development, stakeholder engagement, community and government relations across SSE Renewables’ Great Britain portfolio which incorporates hydropower, onshore wind, offshore wind, solar, and battery projects and assets, including what will be the world’s biggest offshore wind farm, Dogger Bank, currently under construction off the coast of Yorkshire.

Prior to joining SSE Renewables, Rebecca was Head of Corporate Affairs for SSEN Distribution, the electricity Distribution Network Operator responsible for delivering power to over 3.8 million homes and businesses across central southern England and the north of Scotland. In this role, Rebecca oversaw a team which delivered public affairs, communications, policy, brand and crisis communications support for the business. Before taking up this position, Rebecca held public affairs roles at SSE plc and The FA.

Stuart Leslie

Director of Buildings Decarbonisation and Energy Efficiency - United Kingdom Infrastructure Bank

Stuart is the Director of Buildings Decarbonisation and Energy Efficiency at the UK Infrastructure Bank. He works with Local Authorities to provide advisory support and lending solutions for projects with Net Zero or Regional and Local Economic Growth outcomes. The UK Infrastructure Bank is 100% owned by HM Treasury and has £4bn to deploy to Local Authorities for projects, within an overall balance sheet of £22bn. Stuart joined UKIB at the start of 2023 after 15 years at Lloyds Bank, where he was a Corporate Banking Director responsible for some of the bank’s largest clients in the UK FTSE and internationally. He is also Chair of the Board at St Nicks, a role he has held for the past 3 years at this award-winning environmental charity based in York, where he lives with his wife and two young boys.

Elizabeth Edgington

Group Carbon and Sustainability Manager - NG Bailey

Experienced manager with a proven track record of success in business engagement. Expertise in responsible business practice, including environmental management, gained in a listed international company. I employ influencing skills at senior and practitioner level to push through multiple challenging programmes.

Key achievements
• Deliver business advice and consultancy on carbon footprinting, setting net zero carbon strategy and science based targets
• Annual engagement with 150+ organisations making environmental sustainability and specifically net carbon zero part of the way they do business
• Development of the Business in the Community Net Zero Carbon Taskforce with senior business leaders collaborating on projects to remove carbon from the economy
• Built a successful corporate responsibility and environment programme from scratch for a top 250 company, including an award winning reporting.

James Mitchinson

Editor - The Yorkshire Post

Simon Biltcliffe

CEO - Webmart

Simon Biltcliffe is an award winning CEO, international public
speaker and business expert; widely acclaimed for his talks
on his Marxist-capitalist business model, as well as talks on
employee motivation and running a thriving organisation in
the 21st century.
An IoD Director of the Year, he is the founder and CEO
of sustainable integrated marketing agency Webmart,
and the world’s first digitally driven print platform,
Trade Print Management. From starting Webmart with
just £10,000 of his own savings, Simon has turned the
business into a £20 million turnover organisation with just
40 employees whilst implementing his unconventional
business model and maximising everyone’s I.E.F
(Intellectual, Emotional and Financial) return.
Driven by his strong moral values, Simon implements
capitalist principles to create value in the organisation and
implements Marxist principles to redistribute that wealth
back to the company and the wider community. The success
and originality of this business model has led to Simon
speaking on this topic at various conferences and events.
Simon’s esteemed career in the print industry has lead
him to be in the Printweek Power 100 for the last 10
years and the success Webmart has resulted in the
business picking up awards from the National Business
Awards over the past 3 years, including European
Business Award for Innovation, 2019 and the 2022
Inspirational Leader award from Connect Yorkshire.

Rob​ Conway

Business Director - Net Zero - Flotilla

After studying Business & Environment Studies at Leeds University, Robert has spent 15 years working with a broad range of impact startups and scale-ups from social care to green tech. His core focus is enabling SMEs to measure/understand their carbon footprint and support the development of Net Zero transition plans via the adoption of pioneering software.

Shona Smith

Head of the Priestley Centre for Climate Futures - University of Leeds

Following a research career in atmospheric chemistry, Shona moved into professional services within the Higher Education sector to focus on coordinating and leading interdisciplinary research and innovation activities in sustainability and climate. As Head of the Priestley Centre for Climate Futures at the University of Leeds, Shona leads the delivery of the Centre’s research vision working across disciplinary, professional, and institutional boundaries to drive research-led climate action. Through her leadership of the UK Universities Climate Network net zero universities activities, Shona has facilitated academics and practitioners to collaborate and provide thought leadership on challenging issues for delivering a just and resilient net zero transition within the Higher Education sector and beyond including the role of offsetting, mainstreaming climate education, assessing climate risk and building resilience.

Matthew Doughty

Business Development Manager, UK & Ireland - TESVOLT AG

Matthew Doughty joined TESVOLT in spring 2022 and is responsible for the development of the UK market. As TESVOLT is one of the innovation and market leaders for commercial and industrial energy storage solutions in Germany and Europe, Matthew offers our UK partners a consultative approach to technical sales; and in turn helps companies achieve their goals to decarbonise, use more clean energy, and decrease their dependency on electricity from the grid.

Matthew’s background is from the built environment, specifically M&E contracting, and has significant experience in project & contract management and electrical design. Matthew speaks fluent Spanish after living in Chile for 11 years, which is also where he worked in the renewables sector and developed a passion for clean energy after experiencing Santiago’s air pollution first-hand every winter.

Andrew Whittles

Assistant Director Sustainability - Bradford City Council

Andrew Whittles was previously the Director of Air Quality Programmes within the Council. His role includes developing and implementing a Clean Air Plan, CAZ and wider projects including HyBradford, EV Infrastructure and community grant programmes

Keith Davie

Senior Advisor, Catchment Funding - Environment Agency

Keith is a chartered environmentalist and works for the Environment Agency. With nearly twenty years’ experience in landscape and environmental restoration, Keith believes strongly that environmental improvements should have a strong positive impact for nature, people and the economy. His involvement with the Aire Resilience Company is bringing the business and environmental sectors together to make Leeds a safer city.

Growing up in Durban, Keith developed a love for the natural world mucking about in his local mangrove swamps, spending plenty of time in water and sailing and boating. He holds a master’s degree in environmental decision-making from the Open University.

Mark Casci

Head of Policy and Representation - West & North Yorks Chamber

Mark Casci oversees all of the Chamber’s policy operations.
He and his team engage with a wide stakeholder base of the region’s employers to represent the best interests of the local economy. His work sees him lobby and consult with all levels of Government and other business representative organisations.
He leads on all the Chamber’s policy groups, covering everything from transport to planning to sustainability to economics to development.
He oversees and authors the Chamber’s Quarterly Economic Survey, a document which is reviewed by, among others, the Bank of England, the Treasury and the Office of Budget Responsibility. Mr Casci also heads the Chamber’s media relations.
Prior to joining West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce Mr Casci was an award-winning journalist, most notably at The Yorkshire Post where he served as both business editor and news editor.

Jim Cardwell

Head of Distribution System Operation Policy - Northern Powergrid

Jim is leading on the delivery of customer propositions that support the transition to a smarter more flexible energy system that enables decarbonisation in Yorkshire and the North East of England. Recent projects include establishing the local energy systems team that is engaging with local authorities and mass installers of low-carbon technologies to share data and support deployments. He is also focused on reducing lead times for major connection customers where Northern Powergrid has seen significant interest in the last few years and is seeking to connect people ahead of reinforcement required on the transmission system.

Since joining Northern Powergrid in 2004, his network experience also encompasses smart grid innovation projects and the regulatory issues and programme management involved in price control reviews that set revenues for the monopoly business. Jim joined the energy industry in 1991 and previously worked for E.ON in a number of technical and managerial roles in the power generation business before moving into electricity distribution.

Steve Bagshaw CBE

Chair - BioYorkshire Industrial Advisory Group

Steve has over 35 years’ experience across the biotechnologies and fine chemicals business and manufacturing sectors. He was CEO for six years of Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies – a globally leading contact biopharmaceutical manufacturing and development organisation. Prior to that he led the UK business for seven years based in the north-east of England in Billingham, Teesside.

Bruce Heppenstall

Plant Director - Drax

Bruce is Plant Director at Drax Power Station responsible for all site activities at the world’s largest biomass power station and Europe’s largest single site renewable generator. Drax Power Station is located near Selby in North Yorkshire and is rated at 4GW consisting of 4 power units that have been converted to run on sustainable biomass and 2 coal units that close in September 2022. Since joining the business in November 2019, Bruce has been focussed on ensuring improving safety and aligning the cost base of the plant to ensure long term sustainability beyond the closure of the coal units.
Prior to moving to Drax, Bruce was based in Newcastle for 8 years managing manufacturing businesses in the oil and gas supply chain with a focus on high technology subsea products.
In his early career, Bruce qualified as an electrical and mechanical engineering at Aston University and started his career working in large power stations in various engineering and management positions leading to him managing the worlds most advanced gas fired power plant in South Wales in 2002. In 2005 he had an opportunity to move into managing the business operations, trading over £100M of gas and power per year and latterly into developing and operating new solar, wind and gas fired power plants across Europe and California with a portfolio of assets worth over $1.5Bn.
Bruce has always had a passion for developing business strategy as a means to building world class and strongly performing teams and using this to change organisational culture.

Martin Jenkins

CEO Zenith Commercial and Group Strategy Director - Zenith

Martin Jenkins is CEO of the Commercial division and Group Strategy Director at Zenith. He joined the company in 2018, having worked as an adviser to the company for 15 years before that.

Martin leads the company’s Commercial division, which currently manages more than 45,000 vehicles and keeps the fleets of the UK’s most prestigious companies operational. He is also responsible for the Group’s strategy, managing Zenith’s purpose and vision.

Dr Linda Wain

Engineering Director - LNER

Dr Linda Wain has been the Engineering Director at LNER for about 18 months, previously being the Head of Engineering. As Engineering Director she is accountable for the safe and reliable delivery of 54 Azuma trains and eight IC225 electric sets to service. Train presentation in service and station cleanliness is also managed through the Engineering team. Azuma trains are managed and maintained by Hitachi, delivered under contract to LNER on a daily basis so contract management and engineering assurance are key activities in the team. Linda also manages the LNER ERTMS team who are responsible for bringing in cab signalling onto the East Coast mainline as part of the East Coast Digital Programme.

Linda has had a long career in the Railway joining Network South East (British Rail) in 1992 as a Reliability Engineer until privatisation moved the Technical Offices into consultant positions. Prior to LNER, Linda was HST Fleet and Depot Manager at Neville Hill for East Midlands Trains.

Clare Steward

Strategic Projects and Buisness Manager, Innovative, Funding and Finance. - Environment Agency

Having studied Marine Biology at Aberdeen University I started my career with the Environment Agency 15 years ago, going on to complete a postgraduate course in River and Coastal Engineering. I have had a varied career within the Environment Agency working in both flood risk management and Environmental Improvements. I now work nationally, supporting local delivery teams to close funding gaps in large-scale strategic projects through public, private and philanthropic investment. In my current role am also lead for the ‘Local Investment in Natural Capital’ Programme, working with Local Authorities to deliver Natural Capital through Private Investment. The climate is changing and we must find new and innovative ways to protect our environment.

Angela Terry

CEO - One Home

Angela Terry MSc MEI is the founder CEO of One Home, which helps UK citizens adapt to a low cost, low carbon lifestyle and extreme weather events. One Home provides free independent information to citizens promoting solutions to accelerate the transition to net zero and increase resilience to extreme weather events.

Angela appears regularly in the media with a reach of over 500 million in just five years through regular features in national, international and regional media including her weekly column for National World called ‘Going Green’.

Angela has twenty years’ experience in developing and funding renewable energy projects including pioneering community-owned wind and solar schemes. Angela has contributed to Government energy policy including the renewable heat incentive (RHI) and has worked in forestry, energy efficiency and water quality sectors.

Angela is an environmental scientist with degrees from Leeds University and Imperial College and is a member of the Energy Institute and judge for EDIE net zero awards.

Jamie Saye

Co-Founder and General Manager - Sustainable Arts in Leeds

Jamie is the co-founder and general manager of SAIL, a not-for-profit that supports the creative and cultural industries to be environmentally sustainable.

Peter Cole

Head of Decarbonisation - Transport for the North

Peter is a Chartered Environmentalist with over 20 years’ experience. He led the development of Transport for the North’s (TfN) Decarbonisation Strategy which was published in late 2021 and now leads TfN’s portfolio of decarbonisation activities falling out of the Strategy, which includes work on electric vehicle charging, hydrogen for heavy transport uses and evidencing policies that reduce private vehicle demand whilst capturing wider health and accessibility benefits. Peter is also a Commissioner at the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission, specialising in transport and net zero strategy.

Peter joined TfN from Temple Group, an environmental and sustainability consultancy, where he had spent eight years, during which he founded Temple’s Manchester office and grew a multi-disciplinary team working on projects such as NPR and HS2, as well as initiating work on TfN’s Decarbonisation Strategy evidence base.

Prior to this, Peter had stints working in Local Authority at the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and at consultancies Halcrow and the Transport Research Laboratory.

Faizan Ahmad

Decarbonisation Programme Director - First Bus

Faizan Ahmad joined First Bus in summer 2023 as Decarbonisation Programme Director. He brings a wealth of commercial and delivery experience from across multiple sectors, most recently at Amazon, where he led Europe-wide electric vehicle (EV) charging strategy workstreams for the company. Faizan spearheads First Bus’s ambitious decarbonisation programme with a public commitment to a full zero-emission fleet by 2035, and 600+ EVs projected on the road by March 2024.

Alan Bastey

Decarbonisation and Sustainability Consultant - Zenith

Alan is decarbonisation and sustainability consultant at Zenith, joining the company in 2002. Having held a number of roles within the business he has recently led the company’s carbon neutral and net zero programmes, he is responsible for the strategic delivery of customer fleet solutions, including the transition to zero emission vehicles and collaboration on customer sustainability ambitions.

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