ESG is a term used to define the standard of ethical business. For investors, an ESG highly rated company is environmentally friendly, diverse and has a strong understanding of its social impact, a recipe for responsible investing.
In this post, we explore what ESG means and how businesses can strive to become more socially responsible. With the industry growing in importance, corporate leaders must identify their impact on society and the environment, then make improvements where necessary. Keep reading to discover the top ESG speakers who will help you do just that.
What is ESG investing?
Traditional investing considers the profitability of a company, to decide whether it is worth financial support. ESG investing takes this a step further, by factoring in a business's social and environmental policies that set the standard for its ethical practices.
Investors use a rating system that quantifies a company’s quality of diversity, stance on social issues and contribution to climate change. Though there are pros and cons to this approach, with many highlighting the potential for “greenwashing”, the growth of ESG is undeniable - it is predicted that by 2025, investments in sustainable products will surpass EUR 7.6 Trillion.
Google’s Sustainability Officer, Kate Brandt, is leading the environmental revolution. She is responsible for Google's global operations, overseeing supply chains and product manufacturing to ensure the company's eco-friendly status. As a speaker, Kate can discuss circular economies and climate change, teaching businesses how to meet the ESG criteria for sustainability.
DR SALLY UREN
Dr Sally Uren is the Chief Executive of Forum for the Future, an organisation that analyses sustainability trends to forge a greener world. She has worked with some of the biggest names in business, like Olam and Walgreens, to inspire global change. At events, Dr Sally imparts with attendees the changes they can make in their businesses to drive sustainability practices.
As the daughter of Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid leader, Makaziwe Mandela was raised to change the world. She has worked with such institutions as the University of the Witwatersrand, the Development Bank of Southern Africa, and the Industrial Development Group, for which she pioneered sustainable business strategies. Makaziwe is a key figure in the fight for equality, so uses her knowledge to improve business’ inclusion and diversity at events.
SIR IAIN DUNCAN SMITH
Former Conservative Party leader, Sir Iain Duncan Smith, has had a keen interest in welfare, social justice and tackling poverty for most of his career. He has held several high-profile positions in the British Government, including as Shadow Secretary of State for Social Security and MP for Chingford, a testament to Iain’s vast understanding of politics. When booked for events, Iain teaches businesses how to become forces for good within their communities.
Jon Wright is the co-founder of Innocent Drinks, one of the leading brands on sustainable production and environmentally friendly packaging. From co-founder to Managing Director in the UK, Jon continually prioritised the company’s social responsibility as it grew, by giving 10% of its profits to charity. As a speaker, Jon’s keynote engagements highlight the importance of charitable donations in business, to meet the ESG criteria.
Specialising in energy and the future of work, Lars Thomsen is carving a roadmap for businesses to follow, within ESG’s parameters for ethical operations. The founder and CEO of Future Matters, a think tank, has spent the last two decades developing future strategies, and arming companies with the knowledge needed to meet their customers' moral expectations. Lars helps corporate audiences to rethink their sustainability policies and workplace culture.
Alexandra Palt, Executive Vice-President of the Fondation L’Oréal, is a powerful speaker on corporate responsibility. Having worked with the global beauty brand since 2012, she has produced sustainability strategies and management programmes that have transformed L’Oréal’s reputation and positioned the company as an example of ESG excellence. Alexandra’s speeches establish corporate responsibility as a vehicle for growth.
Lucas Joppa has lead Microsoft’s sustainability initiatives since 2009 when he joined the company as a Computational Ecologist. Later progressing to Chief Environmental Scientist and Chief Environmental Officer, he launched Microsoft’s AI for Earth Programme in 2017, an innovative solution for climate change that harnessed the power of AI. Lucas’ speeches combine technology, social responsibility and environmental strategies to produce transformational results.
Göran Carstedt, former Senior Director of the Clinton Climate Initiative, is a passionate thought leader on philosophy and sustainability. As a speaker, he regularly explores the secrets of successful leadership and how to create a sustainable future, starting with businesses and industry bodies. Göran was the President of IKEA in Europe and North America, a role that taught him valuable skills in ethical business management, which he imparts at events.
President of Green Strategies, Roger Ballentine, is one of the foremost specialists on sustainable business practices. Including investing, clean energy and environmental policies, he is a highly sought-after speaker on ESG requirements and the impact that businesses have on the planet. Roger’s events leave attendees empowered and educated on the key traits of an ethical company.
With decades of experience in the public and private sector, Alice Charles’ understanding of sustainability in business makes her an increasingly popular ESG speaker. She has served on many prestigious boards and has worked with the World Economic Forum to pioneer ethical urbanisation and property developments. Alice provides corporate audiences with the best of both worlds, insight into sustainable practices and profitable growth.
Nigel Topping was appointed the UK’s High-Level Climate Change Champion by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in 2020, a role reflective of his global reputation. For both investors and businesses, he collaborates with industry leaders to predict the trajectory of climate change, opening people’s eyes to their own impact on the environment.
Champions does not speak for or claim to represent all the individuals listed on this website as the exclusive booking agent or agency unless specifically stated. Acts listed on this site are for informational purposes only.