Responsible business 2023

How can governments, business and civil society collaborate to drive positive change? Connect with sustainability leaders from the public and private sector to advance the ESG agenda.

23 February 2023 — 9:30AM TO 5:30PM
Chatham House
An image of the 30 St Mary Axe building in London

A force for positive change

With companies facing unprecedented geopolitical challenges and rising stakeholder expectations, the roles and responsibilities of businesses are changing. This has created a compelling business case for corporate leaders to adopt more sustainable and responsible practices, particularly within the context of conflict-affected and high-risk areas.

Meanwhile, the momentum behind the environment, social and governance (ESG) agenda is growing in intensity. Reporting requirements are moving from voluntary to mandatory and questions over whether ESG is fit for purpose in its current state remain at-large.

Within this context, this year’s conference analyzes emerging trends influencing the responsible business agenda and explores opportunities for collaboration and alliance building to drive positive change.

Why attend?

  • Deepen your understanding of the changing ESG landscape and its implications
  • Share your expertise on the key considerations for sustainable business practices  
  • Connect with your peers through thought-provoking dialogue and under the rule discussions
  • Gain new insight into best practice relating to human rights due diligence

Who attends

Chatham House exterior.

The venue

Chatham House is a trusted forum for debate and independent analysis. Our conferences provide access to thought leadership, market insight and influential ideas by bringing together policymakers, world leaders, senior business executives and sector specialists.

Join us at our world-famous Grade II listed home in beautiful St James Square, London.


Thursday 23 February (timings subject to change)

Accelerating international responsible business conduct

How should companies respond in a time of conflict and crisis? Is there consistency across values and behaviours? What are the key principles of effective corporate governance and how have the stakes changed? Is the role of business broadening in society and when should it be constrained?

Liz McKeon, Head of Portfolio, Climate Action, Ikea Foundation 
Allan Jorgensen, Head, Centre for Responsible Business Conduct, OECD 
Matthias Stausberg, Group Advocacy Director, Virgin 
Chair: Bennett Freeman, Associate Fellow, International Law Programme, Chatham House


Networking break


Human rights due diligence

Does the ban on forced labour in the EU and the proposed Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive represent a breakthrough? How might markets be shaped as a result and what are trade-offs? How can key stakeholders progress embedding human rights and environmental standards across supply chains, particularly in conflict-affected and high-risk areas?

Phil Bloomer
, Executive Director, Business and Human Rights Resource Centre 
Mark Maurice-Jones, General Counsel & Compliance Officer, Nestlé 
Tomoya Obokata, Special Rapporteur, Contemporary Forms of Slavery, OHCHR  
Genevieve Tuts, Head of Cabinet, Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders, European Commission 
Chair: Richard Howitt, Senior Associate, Frank Bold  




In conversation: Navigating the changing UK disclosure landscape

This session provides a snapshot of evolving requirements within the UK disclosure landscape, with a status update on the development of the UK Green Taxonomy and Sustainability Disclosure Requirements and what companies and investors should be preparing for.

Ingrid Holmes, Executive Director, Green Finance Institute  
Alexander Stafford MP, Chair, All Party Parliamentary Group, ESG  
Chair: James Alexander, CEO, UKSIF 


Ensuring ESG fit for purpose

How will new disclosure requirements such as the EU corporate sustainability reporting directive and proposed SEC climate legislation set the future direction of travel for reporting? How do we move towards a system that balances impact with measuring risk? What are the roadblocks to funnelling ESG investments towards higher risk emerging and developing countries? Has the time come for ‘E’, ‘S’ and ‘G’ to pave separate paths?

David Atkin, CEO, Principles for Responsible Investment 
Patrick de Cambourg, Chair, EFRAG 
Aleksandra Palinska, Executive Director, Eurosif
Richard Ditizio, CEO, Milken Institute   
Chair: Silvia Pavoni, Founding Editor, Sustainable Views, Financial Times  


Networking break


Drive change through engagement: Embracing corporate activism

Exclusive to in-person participants only and held under the Chatham House Rule.

How are organizations stepping up to drive social change and create real-world impact? What considerations need to be taken into account to ensure action is timely and contextually appropriate? How can taking a stance on an issue be converted into real world impact? How can businesses create a sense of purpose that benefits all stakeholders and society at-large to affect meaningful change?

Maria-Krystyna Duval, Chief Programmes and Impact Officer, ClientEarth 
Beth Knight, Amazon in the Community, Europe Lead 
Danielle Mulder, Group Director of Sustainability, BBC 
Lena Patel, Chief External Affairs Officer, RBIJ 
Lorraine Ní Annracháin, Global Campaigns and Programmes Lead, Spotify 
Chair: Daianna Karaian, Co-founder and CEO, Today Do This


Drive change through engagement: Divestment or stewardship?

Exclusive to in-person participants only and held under the Chatham House Rule.

When is divestment the right approach? What are the key factors when considering a divestment or engagement strategy? How does policy influence activities and outcomes? What can be learned from successful examples of shareholder activism and resolutions?

Claudia Chapman, Head of Stewardship, Financial Reporting Council (FRC)
Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) 
Adam Matthews, Chief Responsible Investment Officer, Church of England Pensions Board 
Chair: Bernice Lee, Research Director, Futures; Hoffmann Distinguished Fellow for Sustainability; Chair, Sustainability Accelerator Advisory Board, Chatham House  


End of conference


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