An independent Task Force is being launched today aimed at finding new opportunities for UK businesses to drive green economic growth. Led by Ian Cheshire, Group Chief Executive of retail group Kingfisher plc, the Ecosystem Markets Task Force (EMTF) will review the opportunities available to UK business that could help them develop green goods, services, investment vehicles and markets which value and protect the environment.
The business-led Task Force will bring together industry leaders and experts from a wide range of sectors, ranging from banking to building and biodiversity conservation, to look for ways in which companies can improve both the environment and their bottom line.
The Task Force will report back to the Government in early 2013 through the Green Economy Council.
Both Ian Cheshire and the Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP - Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - will speak at the launch. The event will provide a unique opportunity for decision makers from UK businesses to help shape the early thinking and work programme for the Task Force.
Ian Cheshire, Group Chief Executive of Kingfisher plc, commented:
“The challenge for the Task Force, as I see it, is to find new ways for business to profit from valuing and protecting nature. It is an opportunity for business to contribute and make recommendations to the Government and to shape the agenda. We need to be radical and innovative in our thinking and explore areas where businesses can gain real, measureable benefit as the UK moves towards a green economy.”
The Secretary of State welcomed the Task Force:
“It is estimated that UK businesses could save around £23bn each year by using raw materials, energy and water more efficiently. If businesses can reduce waste, develop sustainable alternatives or recover value from existing products they will not only help their bottom line, but also benefit the environment.
“The Ecosystem Markets Task Force, which begins its work today, will help UK businesses get ahead of the curve and help us grow our economy more sustainably. I look forward to engaging with them on the business opportunities there will be for greener businesses and I look forward to reading their analyses.”
The launch will take place at the headquarters of Nomura in the City of London.
1. The Natural Environment White Paper announced that the Government will set up a business-led Ecosystem Markets Task Force to review the opportunities for UK business from expanding green goods, services, products, investment vehicles and markets which value and protect nature’s services. It will report back to Government in 2012/13 through the Green Economy Council.
2. The Task Force is made up of business leaders and experts: Ian Cheshire (Task Force Chair) (Group Chief Executive Office, Kingfisher plc), Kim Buckland (Co-Founder, Liz Earle), Vivienne Cox (Chair, Climate Change Capital), Jack Frost (Director of Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells), David Hill (Chair of the Environment Bank), Russ Houlden (CFO, United Utilities), Mike Wright (Executive Director at Jaguar Land Rover), Martin Roberts (Programme Director of the Cambridge Natural Capital Leaders Platform), Amanda Sourry (Chairman of Unilever UK and Ireland) and Peter Young (Strategy Director at SKM Enviros and Chairman of the Aldersgate Group). Defra provides the secretariat and administrative support.
3. The Natural Environment White Paper is available at: http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/natural/whitepaper/
Defra Press Office: 020 7238 5498
Kingfisher Press Office: 020 7372 8008