May 2018- ellwood atfield gallery
We are often asked about how to take the next step in progressing sustainability careers. With options to go either into a consultancy or move into a corporate affairs position, we brought together two respected names, one from each side, to discuss the merits of the two paths.
Our speakers, Nigel Salter and Andy Wales reflected on their careers, shared lessons learnt and insights gleaned from their experience.
The session was hosted by Dani Brown, who specialises in sustainability and have worked with Boards and Executive Committees to identify, evaluate and secure the modern blend of skillsets required where performance, purpose and reputation meet.
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Nigel is the co-founder and until last month, Chief Executive Officer of Salterbaxter, one of the world’s leading communications and sustainability consultancies. Nigel sold the business to the global marketing services firm, Publicis MSL. Salterbaxter was established 18 years ago and employs 70 people in London and New York. Nigel is a well-known advisor, speaker, commentator and facilitator in the global sustainability agenda. He helps clients to respond to the challenges and opportunities that sustainability, purpose and new business thinking are creating. He specialises in helping clients to develop strategies, missions, models and communications that deliver commercial and competitive advantage – finding ways for companies to review their role in society and the value they create.
Andy Wales is an independent consultant and a Visiting Fellow at the Smith School for Enterprise and the Environment in Oxford. He was previously Global VP Sustainable Development for AB InBev, having spent 10 years with SABMiller as Corporate Affairs Director Europe and SVP Sustainability. Andy has also held Corporate Responsibility and Strategy Director roles at the environmental services group Severn Trent and textiles firm Interface, Inc. In 2009 he was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He is a member of WWF UK’s Programme Committee. In 2010 he was the lead author of the book ‘Big Business, Big Responsibilities’, published by Palgrave Macmillan.
In order for the speakers and attendees to speak freely, and frankly, the session ran under Chatham House Rule. This allowed a lively and open discussion around the issues facing sustainability practitioners, difficulties experienced, as well as potential pitfalls to be aware of.
After the discussion, the panel took questions focused on career progression and gave advice as to what to look for.