Nicholas Simpson of Suez

Jason Longhurst of Central Bedfordshire Council

Pat Laughlin

Background information

The UK Business Council for Sustainable Development is leading business in the transformation to profitable, sustainable growth. We demonstrate how the practical delivery of sustainable development creates outstanding opportunity for our members; and share best practice and valuable insight across our cross-sector network of leading organisations.

Priority Activities for 2014

  • Energy Efficiency & Security
  • Natural Capital and Ecosystems Services Valuation
  • Sustainable Manufacturing (Manufacturing Close to Market)
  • Sustainable Water – Water as A Critical Resource

Cross-cutting Themes

  • Skills for Sustainability
  • Sustainable Behaviours (Good behaviours for Sustainability)

Focus Groups

Our focus groups work towards delivering WBCSD’s Vision 2050 and Action 2020 Programmes in the UK. They are member-led and bring together companies from across the UK who may not ordinarily work together to deliver projects and create new business opportunities. Each Group aims to catalyse change through leading research, delivering practical activity to inform policymakers and support businesses implementing change, and sharing good practice within and across sectors

Energy Group: The Energy Group continues to deliver exemplar site visits, ongoing research programmes with partners, and focusing on removing barriers to energy efficiency investment and improving energy security through awareness raising, project delivery and identifying funding opportunities to support implementation.

Its objectives for 2014 are:

  • Produce a set of guidance documents on energy efficiency and renewable technologies for SMEs.
  • Examine energy and carbon management in the construction of major infrastructure projects in relation to managing energy demand and improving energy security and carbon emission reduction.
  • Raise awareness about finance issues relating to the implementation energy efficiency security.

Manufacturing and Engineering Focus Group:Promote best business practice in the implementation of sustainability in engineering and manufacturing.  The Group has recently completed research on Sustainability and Reshoring and the development of local supply chains and will deliver events on the Future of Sustainable Manufacturing

Natural Capital and Ecosystems Valuation: - The NCEV Group provides business input to policymakers, and aims to raise awareness of the importance of natural capital and ecosystems services to business through designing and delivering projects which test and challenge the tools available and introduce new thinking into the relationship between business and the natural environment. The Group is represented on a number of policymaking bodies, is a member of the Natural Capital Coalition, and will deliver or complete three innovative projects in 2014 relating to:

  • Ecosystems services and urban growth and development (Natural Capital City Model)
  • Ecosystems services as a tool for delivering land management solutions (CEV Pilot in South Wales)
  • Ecosystems services and the relevance to supply chains (CECV Lite for SMEs)

All projects have member-input and the Group is also engaged with projects relating to Resilience and Biodiversity Offsetting

Water Focus Group: Exchange best business practice in process water efficiency and management.  It is currently leading a research project on benchmarking for water intensive industries with member Heriot Watt U and will be considering the economics of water in the UK and the implication of the proposed new water legislation


The UK BCSD also supports a regional network to work directly with national and local government.  The network will deliver common events relating to good practice and to examine the need for policy change on the cross-cutting themes of Sustainable Skills and Behavioural Change. In addition

  • In Scotland the group will focus on: Energy efficiency in commercial buildings, finding investment for energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, identifying funding opportunities to support the implementation of sustainable development, and adoption of sustainable business models in SMEs.
  • In Wales we work in partnership with Cynnal Cymru- Sustain Wales, supporting the introduction of the Sustainable Development Charter for business and have identified themes of energy security, the importance of ecosystems services and climate change adaptation.
  • In Yorkshire and Humberside the focus will be on constructing and managing sustainable buildings and Sustainable manufacturing
  • In the Midlands UK BCSD is represented by the Midlands Environmental Business Companies. The Group will be focusing on energy efficiency and energy security with activity around waste to energy technology change, alternative fuels and transportation systems current, and ecosystems services and urban development. In support of this CEO Pat Laughlin is involved locally in developing Birmingham’s objective to become a leading sustainable green city through her work as a member of the Green Commission. Birmingham has just become one of 8 Biophilic Cities.