South West Business Council to host world-class environmental leaders for Natural Capital conference in Devon

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The South West Business Council (SWBC) has announced that they will be joined by world-leading environmental experts, top university wildlife academics, members of the House of Lords and the Crown Estate, as well as delegates honoured by the Queen, for their upcoming Quarterly Conference this September in Devon.

The event, which is set to take place on Wednesday September 7 2022 at Petroc College in Barnstaple, is being held in conjunction with the North Devon Biosphere Foundation and in partnership with co-sponsors Nutri-San and Petroc. 

An esteemed line up of keynote speakers will attend, including the Chair of Natural England Dr Tony Juniper CBE, Professor Ian Bateman OBE, House of Lords member Lord Robin Teverson, UNESCO Biosphere Founder Andy Bell, the Biosphere Foundation’s Commercial Lead Rob Passmore, the Crown Estate’s Senior Development Manager Caroline Price, McKinsey & Company’s Director Robin Smale, Siemens Industry Software’s VP & Managing Director, Ben Sheath. 

The event will be facilitated by Professor Vicky Pope, Chair of the Devon Wildlife Trust and the founding Editor in Chief of Climate Resilience and Sustainability for the Royal Meteorological Society. Attendees will also hear from SWBC Chair Tim Jones as well as the Principal and CEO of Petroc, Sean Mackney.  

The focus of the conference will be on the environment, Natural Capital and the crucial programmes available to help businesses reach their Net Zero ambitions, such as the Natural Capital Fund; the Smart Biosphere and the Natural Capital Marketplace (NCM). Attendees will also hear about the Natural Capital opportunities available locally in Devon, and the significance of the UNESCO Biosphere area, in which the event at Petroc is located. The North Devon Biosphere is one of 700+ Biospheres across the globe that cover 5% of the earth’s surface and is recognised as a world-leading enterprise for its work on Natural Capital, recently gaining international recognition for its environmental programmes. 

Paul Coles, CEO of the South West Business Council, said: “Climate change is an urgent and disturbing reality which should be at the forefront of all of our minds, particularly in light of the recent weather events. The challenge for businesses will be transitioning to a sustainable way of operating and being supported in their Net Zero ambitions, to ensure we are all doing our bit to harness Natural Capital to accelerate economic prosperity and protect our environment and society. 

The work of the North Devon Biosphere is arguably leading in the Natural Capital space, and we are delighted to hold our conference in the centre of the UNESCO biosphere, at Petroc College. Our prestigious speakers come from a range of senior roles and backgrounds in the environmental and sustainability sectors, and will bring a wealth of expert knowledge and insight to our event. 

“A big thank you to the Biosphere, as well as our sponsors, Nutri-San and Petroc, for making this conference possible and we encourage businesses to get their tickets and join us for this groundbreaking event on Natural Capital.” 

The South West Business Council’s conference is being supported by co-sponsors Nutri-San, an international seaweed technology company, as well as leading South West education provider, Petroc. 

San Chau, Founder & CEO of Nutri-San, said: “We’re delighted to be sponsoring this important Conference on green financing with SWBC. As a business committed to environmental solutions we believe in the importance of partnerships and collaborations to achieve our collective goals. Saving the environment is not only critical but the right thing to do, and must be done together. Through partnering we will achieve our aim of enabling our planet to flourish now and in the future.” 

Bill Blythe, Vice-Principal at Petroc, said: “Petroc are delighted to be sponsoring and hosting the Natural Capital – Business and the Environment Working Together Conference. We are committed to supporting our students, staff and businesses across the region to understand the natural environment and the impact we collectively have on it. 

“The College is situated at the heart of the UNESCO Biosphere and we recognise our responsibility to support and develop solutions to the immediate and long term challenges of protecting our environment whilst creating and maintaining a thriving economy. This conference echoes our values and reflects our ever-deepening relationship with the Biosphere and the South West business community.” 

Tickets are now on sale for SWBC members and non-members. For more information and to register, please visit: