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Sustainability campaigner, Mary Portas, announced as headline speaker at Yorkshire Sustainability Festival 2024.

Wednesday 28 February


In a bid to encourage businesses to think twice about sustainability and come together to achieve ethical growth, Businesswomen, broadcaster, author and activist Mary Portas OBE, will be heading up the speaker stage on day one of Yorkshire Sustainability Festivals’ two day conference hosted later this year, and we couldn’t be more excited.

Kate Hutchinson, Founder of Yorkshire Sustainability Festival (YSF), said:

“We are absolutely thrilled to have both Mary Portas OBE and Kevin McCloud joining us for Yorkshire Sustainability Festival 2024. Mary will be taking to our speaker stage on day one of the conference which focuses on circular economy and I couldn’t think of anyone better to represent this category. Mary’s passion and determination for driving innovation and conscious change for the good of our planet is persistent and I can’t wait to hear what she has to say.” 

High profile businesswoman, Mary Portas OBE, famously known for her brand & retail expertise, is also a successful broadcaster, author and is Co-Chair of Better Business Act, an organisation set to change UK legislation for people, planet and profit. She is a relentless change-maker who asks questions, raises complex topics and has the conversations that people shouldn’t be avoiding if we want to live in a more sustainable environment.

In a recent documentary with Kevin McCloud (speaker at day two of YSF) and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, The Great Climate Fight (aired on channel 4 in late 2023), Portas and her co-hosts suggested that despite the Government having a plan to combat climate change, they’re not taking the action required to meet those goals within the set timeframes. We need to be taking steps that achieve more than solely business growth and profit, and start making ethical changes now.

There’s no doubt that Mary will deliver an inspirational talk which is sure to set off lots of lightbulb moments (powered by sustainable energy of course!) for our audience of leaders from the public, private and third sector. 

Event Details

The two week festival of events (10th-21st June) featuring various round table discussions and a two day conference will bring together leaders from the public, private and third sectors all passionate and committed to building a sustainable future for Yorkshire and beyond.

The conference will take place over two days (18th-19th June) in Leeds, Cloth Hall Court  and is set to be the biggest gathering in the north of England. 

Day one of the conference will be focused around a circular economy with tracks including manufacturing, SME support, economy and finance and waste. You can expect in-depth discussions on the doughnut economics model, how AI can help us to bring to life a circular economy, what skills will be needed in a circular economy, how we create new manufacturing methods to turn ‘waste’ into a new product, and what our food system will look like in the circular economy.

Day two focuses on Future Cities; including focused panels, keynotes and workshops with leaders in industries such as construction, energy, transport and water. You can expect regional leaders discussing transport infrastructure, our need to retrofit the region and why that’s an opportunity not a threat, how we improve our energy infrastructure and of course what are the skills of the future that will transform our economy into a green economy of the future!  

Tickets can be purchased for both days of the conference now.

Get Tickets for the Event

Want to see Mary Portas OBE & Kevin McCloud?  Tickets can be purchased for day one and day two of the conference HERE. Discounts are available for start-ups and SME’s.

As well as attending events across the week, businesses are also invited to organise their own fringe events under the Yorkshire Sustainability Festival banner. Find out more about hosting your own fringe event HERE.

Doughnut Economics with Tim Frenneaux

Thu 02 May '24

Thinking outside of the box, and getting into the (doughnut economics) ring, with Tim Frenneaux

We caught up with rebel economist, Tim Frenneaux to talk about Doughnut Economics; what it is and how it’s possible for businesses to shape a greener and more equitable future.

Biodiversity and regeneration with Helen Neave

Mon 22 Apr '24

Biodiversity and Regeneration: The Necessity to Action Change

We discuss why biodiversity is so important to the future of our planet with Helen Neave.

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