The Institute of Directors (IoD) in Guernsey has confirmed the full line-up and sponsors for the sold-out 2021 Annual Convention. The event will explore how sustainability is integral to the island’s global brand and fundamental to creating a thriving economy.
As well as featuring a keynote speech, via video, from Tom Rivett-Carnac, one of the architects of the Paris Climate Agreement and an adviser to the UK government on COP26, the audience will hear a second keynote presentation from Dr Matthew Agarwala, a leading environmental economist at the Bennet Institute for Public Policy, Cambridge University.
Matthew, who is coming to Guernsey for the event, regularly consults for governments and scientific organisations around the world. His work focuses on wealth-based approaches to measuring and delivering sustainability, wellbeing and productivity, based on a firm belief that 21st century progress cannot be described by 20th century statistics. He is a regular contributor to Bloomberg, Channel 4 news, The FT and The Times.
Building on the themes from the last two Annual Conventions, the event will apply a sustainability and biodiversity lens to Simon Anholt’s Nation Brands index, which ranks countries’ attractiveness and success based on six key areas: people, tourism, exports, governance, investment & immigration, and culture & heritage.
In a break from the format of previous IoD Conventions, these themes will be explored in a series of short TED-style talks and videos, with ‘3 sustainability asks’ at the end of each segment. These presentations will then be followed by a Q&A with local thought leaders, moderated by Dr Matthew Agarwala. The event will conclude with the audience being asked to create their own personal manifesto to reduce their carbon footprint, committing to three key changes they will make as an individual and/or as a business.
Investment & Immigration
Led by Keith Driver of Sustainable Development Capital LLP (SDCL), who were awarded Environmental Finance’s Boutique Investment Manager of the Year 2021, this segment will address how important the sustainable investment sector is in the race to net zero. Keith was a pupil at Les Beaucamps school and worked at Close Asset Management in Guernsey before establishing his career with SDCL in the City of London. SDCL is a multi-national investment management firm, which specialises in environmental infrastructure and has a proven track record of financing and developing clean energy, energy efficiency and decentralised energy infrastructure projects globally. This will be followed by a deep dive into Guernsey’s first Guernsey Green Fund. Jeremy Alun-Jones, Group Chief Operating Officer at ADM Capital will talk about what their Guernsey Green Fund kitemarked Cibus Fund has invested in, the impact this has had, and what their future plans are for the fund. Finally, Josephine Bush, ‘We Are Guernsey’s’ strategic adviser for green and sustainable finance, will discuss the opportunity Guernsey has to further develop as a leader in sustainable finance, channelling global capital flows to where they will be most effective.
This segment will dive into human behaviour and how important ’people power’ is to reducing the Bailiwick’s carbon emissions. To transition to a greener, more circular, sustainable economy, we will need action at all levels – from government to businesses and individuals.
The Bailiwick’s top three carbon emitters on-island are energy, waste and transport. During this discussion, speakers will explore where should we be focusing our efforts in these three key areas in order to reduce our carbon footprint and improve our sustainability. This segment will also explore how a more sustainable ‘circular’ approach can lead to improved productivity and greater profitability.
How can Guernsey benefit from an eco-tourism boom whilst treading lightly on the island’s environment? Is carbon-neutral tourism possible, and are we closer than we think to becoming a popular destination for anyone wanting to explore nature whilst preserving our fragile world? This segment will view the island’s tourism brand through a sustainability lens.
Culture & Heritage
This ‘soft power’ is at the core of a Country Brand and is an area where Guernsey has much to offer. Guernsey is a place where we can truly integrate government, business, community and outcomes, and where we have a blueprint opportunity that is relevant beyond our shores. How can we bring all of this together to help Guernsey punch above its weight in this area?
We attach financial values to many assets in the Bailiwick but are yet to assign a value to our finite natural resources - which our economic activity and wellbeing depend on. Natural resources are the single most important input to the global economy but are not yet recognised as an economic asset. Viewing nature as an asset and putting it on the same balance sheet as other resources is essential to ensuring their protection and longevity. So how can the Bailiwick audit and quantify our natural capital? And how can we value the IP in our natural capital through Natural Capital Accounting?
This segment will explore how the Bailiwick’s natural resources could contribute to, and diversify, our economy. For example, could the excess energy produced by our tides, wind, or sunlight be exported around the world? Could Guernsey become a carbon offset hub through carbon sequestration from our natural environment, such as our sea grass? Could the unique Guernsey heritage cow breed, whose milk protein is less inflammatory and easier to digest, become a more significant export for Guernsey? Or could the Bailiwick become a rare species/pollinator species bank for the rest of the world?
Wendy Dorey, Chair of the IoD in Guernsey said: ‘Guernsey has a real opportunity to create a sustainable, resilient, ‘circular’ economy by capitalising on our green capital, natural capital and natural intellectual property. All these areas can generate lasting value that will strengthen Guernsey’s ‘nation brand’, redefining Guernsey as a net contributor to the world and making us an attractive destination for travel, immigration and inward investment. With growing public pressure and COP 26 just round the corner, it is important that we all take responsibility – at both a personal and corporate level - to address the challenges of climate change and help the Bailiwick become part of the climate change solution. ‘
Wendy concluded: ‘We’d like to thank the support from an incredible line-up of sponsors. Carey Olsen has supported this event for 15 years, and we are delighted that so many other local organisations are helping the IoD hold this flagship event where we will be debating such an important topic for Guernsey’s future prosperity.’
The full list of sponsors for this year’s convention have been confirmed as:
Lead sponsor – Carey Olsen
Drinks sponsor – HSBC
Dinner sponsor – Credit Suisse
Speaker sponsor – Deloitte
Digital sponsor – Aspida
Carbon offset sponsor – TISE
Event sponsors – PWC, Healthspan and Cazenove Capital