Day 2 – Net Zero: Your Future Workplace

My Net Zero Journey

The stories of inspiration and perspiration. Our speakers will tell you how they got to where they are and what they do. You’ll hear how people changed career, started late, reinvented themselves and how they are all now united by the same goal, making things better.

10:00-10:15

Sumit Bose - future net zero

Join our welcome session with Sumit Bose, Founder of future net zero.

10:15-10:35
Capability for sustainability and a greener economy

Dr Benjamin Silverstone - WMG Skills Centre

Capability for sustainability and a greener economy

Delivering skills for sustainability and a greener economy is not just about focusing on "green jobs" There is an entire ecosystem around ensuring that we are able to create a greener economy in a way that is sustainable for communities and delivers equity within society. The University of Warwick, and Coventry Council, are taking the lead in supporting providers, businesses and local authorities to create the environment in which sustainability, in its broadest sense, is embedded within lifelong learning and how this can ensure that inward investment can be attracted through the establishment of a coherent skills ecosystem.

10:40-10:50

Noel Ferguson - Trident Utilities

Noel started his working life as a Marine Engineer in the Royal Navy, leading diverse teams to deliver everything from humanitarian assistance in Sierra Leonne to bringing Nuclear submarines out of the water for maintenance.  The last 20 years has seen him working with organisations across all sectors to deliver cost and carbon reductions, from global PLCs to single site manufacturing companies and public sector organisations. With an ability to see Net Zero form the point of view of all stakeholders, his focus for the last 4-5 years has been partnering with businesses to make their Net Zero journey simple with a clear pathway to lower emissions.

10:55-11:05
A Day In The Life Of A Sustainability Consultancy

Simon Alsbury - Energise

A Day In The Life Of A Sustainability Consultancy

Join Simon Alsbury for an insightful session exploring the evolving landscape of business from executive to operational levels. Discover what the future holds as he navigates the challenges and opportunities of sustainability. Learn how sustainability-focused companies are empowering customers to become a force for good, shaping a more responsible and impactful business environment.

11:10-11:20
Steering engineering into strategy to energise a decarbonised future

Niki Kesharaju - National Grid

Steering engineering into strategy to energise a decarbonised future

Niki's career journey starts with being curious and questioning 'how do things work' and 'how is the world going to change'. It's these questions that led her to explore an early career in engineering in the automotive sector. Engineering gave her the right analytical and problem solving skills to tackle 'how do things work', but it's her career shift to the energy sector and working in strategy and innovation roles that helps answer 'how is the world going to change'. Niki will share insights on how her interests in technology and strategy have enabled her to pursue a career in delivering net zero, spotlighting the BIG job that electricity networks have to play in a decarbonised future, and the importance of green jobs growth in this sector. 

11:25-11:35
From Professional Sports To Leading Utility Net-Zero Roadmaps

Aden Johnson - Boxfish

From Professional Sports To Leading Utility Net-Zero Roadmaps

Aden’s session will be focusing on how when he left school, he had no intention of being i the sustainability sector. His path was through professional football and then into the commercial water market where he got his first taste of sustainability in utilities. 

11:40-11:50
Harnessing Your Skills And Knowledge To Contribute To A Greener Future

Kuram Gwakyaa - Mitie

Harnessing Your Skills And Knowledge To Contribute To A Greener Future

An overview of the ever-evolving skills required to build and develop a career in the sustainability and net zero sphere. Offering career-based insights with a focus on transferability of skills and knowledge into the sector, as well as an outline of the range of sustainability and net zero roles at Mitie. 

11:55-12:05
Net zigzag: The unconventional path to breaking the corporate mold

Fe Bush - Drax

Net zigzag: The unconventional path to breaking the corporate mold

When asked as a child what she wanted to be when she grew up, Fe’s answer ranged from snowboarding instructor to being the first female Admiral in the Royal Navy and a lot in between. Her career journey has been far from traditional, but has always been underpinned by a core desire to have a positive impact on people and nature. Join Fe as she talks about how a temporary job in data cleansing for an energy company led her to working in carbon removals, using her eclectic skill set to educate, inspire and promote the use of carbon removals as part of decarbonisation strategies. 

12:10-12:20
Charting Your Path To A Net Zero Future

Ashley Webber - Balanced Energy

Charting Your Path To A Net Zero Future

Get ready to be inspired at The Big Zero Show this July at the Coventry Building Society Arena, where Ashley Webber from Balanced Energy will share his journey and excitement in the world of Net Zero careers.

Ashley’s session is specially tailored for students like you, who are curious about the transformative roles in the Net Zero sector. He’ll talk about what it’s like to wake up every day knowing you are making a difference by helping companies tackle their emissions. Discover the passion and opportunities that come with a career dedicated to creating a sustainable future.

12:25-12:35
How Net Zero Inspired My Career... And Could Inspire Yours Too!

Pamela Barbato - Action Net Zero CIC

How Net Zero Inspired My Career... And Could Inspire Yours Too!

Pam will share insights from her career and shine a light on the critical role that engagement and inspiring people play in tackling the Climate and Nature crisis and the relevant skills required. She'll shine a light on the value of developing transferable green engagement skills and the role that partnerships and public private collaboration is playing in delivering impacts for people, planet and the green economy.

Action Net Zero's mission is to empower communities, people and businesses with easy, affordable actions to achieve a healthier and greener world, where carbon emissions are reduced, nature is protected and the climate is no longer in crisis.

12:40-12:50
From digital switchover to decarbonisation

Stew Horne - Energy Saving Trust

From digital switchover to decarbonisation

Lowering energy demand is absolutely crucial to tackling the climate crisis. Being more energy efficient means we need to generate less energy in the first place, build less infrastructure and will make the 2050 targets more achievable. I studied green politics as part of my degree and have been looking for roles to help deliver the changes we need since then.  

In my role as Head of Policy at Energy Saving Trust my team aims to provide the arguments and evidence to UK policy makers to delivery policy and delivery that will accelerate the retrofit of homes, take up of renewables and decarbonised heat and switching to sustainable transport.  

My career didn’t start here. I began working on policy around digital television switchover, and then around food safety and food labelling before moving into energy. The thread that runs through my career is consumer policy and understanding behaviour change. These are such key parts of addressing climate change – and a key challenge in my role is making sure policy makers think about these changes when they design legislation, policy and delivery schemes. 

12:55-13:05
Joining The Dots To Achieve Net Zero!

Fiona Edwards - JPA Workspaces

Joining The Dots To Achieve Net Zero!

My Net Zero journey started when our largest client called a meeting in 2015 to ask what JPA Workspaces was doing about carbon reduction and sustainabilityEncountering a professionally qualified sustainability manager for the first time was a truly terrifying experience in 2015 but we had to respond with a plan - which we did, albeit very simpleWe began our sustainability adventure by focusing on environmental and waste issues which we already knew something about through ISO14001, joining the dots gradually as a larger sustainability picture formedNone of our other clients displayed any interest in environmental impact in the meantime but the arrival of Covid accelerated demand and indeed our own progress faster towards Net Zero than we had thought possible which is why I am here today sharing my experiences. 

13:10-13:20
From Atmospheric Science To Gaming: My Journey To Net Zero

Paula Owen - Eco Action Games

From Atmospheric Science To Gaming: My Journey To Net Zero

Paula started her net zero journey with a PhD in atmospheric chemistry and her first role was trying to educate an oblivious British public about the dangers of accelerated climate change. Through three decades she has, in one form or another, continued in that vein – education and behaviour change to attempt to persuade people to take actionAround a decade ago, she happened upon the idea of using gamification to help engage people in climate action and that has been her focus ever since through her B Corp certified company, eco action gamesIn this talk, Paula will explain why she thinks gamification is a useful tool in the Net Zero professional’s armoury and demo her brand new game – the Great British Net Zero Lowdown – with the audience. 

13:25-13:35

Nebin Babu - British Gas

Session Details Coming Soon

My Net Zero Job

Don’t think your skills could be used in the low carbon economy? Think again! Our speakers from a range of companies, sectors and doing a vast array of jobs, will explain how wide the scope is for a career of any kind in our net zero future.

10:30-10:45

Kisha Couchman - Energy UK

Session details coming soon

10:50-11:05
 A Week in the Life of a Civil Engineer for an Offshore Wind Farm

Eleanor Lawton - SSE Renewables

A Week in the Life of a Civil Engineer for an Offshore Wind Farm

This talk will explore why civil engineering is a fundamental discipline for the successful development of offshore wind farms. It will discuss the application of various sub-disciplines, from flood modeling to drilling techniques, highlighting the diversity and excitement of this profession.

11:10-11:25
 A Week In The Life Of A Sustainability Practitioner

Ola Bankole - London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

A Week In The Life Of A Sustainability Practitioner

The role of a sustainability practitioner goes beyond the technical know-how. This is important…but equally important are the soft skills that needs to accompany this. This can often mean the difference between success and failure of your agenda. This session will show the variety of competencies one needs to possess in order to make a real difference. 

11:30-11:45
 Green Skills: What You Need For The Future Net Zero Workplace 

Sophie Wragg - Be Your Best Version

Green Skills: What You Need For The Future Net Zero Workplace 

If we have any chance of cutting emissions, reaching net zero and stalling climate change every job needs to become a climate job. It cannot just be left to one person or department, it needs to become part of everyone's roles. But how do we upskill our staff to do this and more to the point, how do we effectively engage everyone to embrace net zero?

11:50-12:05
 Knowing Nothing About Energy Can Be A Major Advantage

Toby Costar

Knowing Nothing About Energy Can Be A Major Advantage

Toby will discuss how his lack of energy knowledge when entering the industry ended up being a major advantage when shaping brands in a cluttered market place. 

12:10-12:25
 Net Zero Into Action

Rebecca Howard - Coventry Building Society

Net Zero Into Action

This session is about Coventry Building Society has involved stakeholders in determining ESG priorities, communications and initiatives. It will focus on net zero and greenhouse gas emissions but will also address travel, waste management, diversity & inclusion, social value, community initiatives and supplier payment practices. The presentation will demonstrate how effective inter-organisational collaboration enables acceleration towards a net zero future. 

12:30-12:45
 Start Where You Are. Use What You Have. Do What You Can: Transitioning To A Green Career

Peter Starr - Wayvie

Start Where You Are. Use What You Have. Do What You Can: Transitioning To A Green Career

Unlocking a green career starts with mindset. Explore what might be holding you back – whether it's fear of change or uncertainty about your abilities. Next, hone in on your top transferrable skills for the green sector: critical thinking, problem-solving, communication and adaptability are invaluable in sustainability roles. But don't stop there. Learn how to sell your own value effectively: highlight your passion for sustainability, showcase relevant experiences and demonstrate your commitment to making a difference.

12:50-13:05
 Journey to net zero at Aurora Energy Research

Rebecca McManus - Aurora Energy Research

Journey to net zero at Aurora Energy Research

Introduction to Aurora Energy Research, the largest dedicated power analytics company in Europe. The session will provide an overview of the company and a deep dive into some of the latest key insights and research on Aurora’s net zero analysis.

13:10-13:25
 Set Up Your Sustainability Programme For Success With Insights From Stephen Henry Of Positive Planet

Stephen Henry - Positive Planet

Set Up Your Sustainability Programme For Success With Insights From Stephen Henry Of Positive Planet

More than 9 out of 10 sustainability programmes fail to achieve their desired goals leading to disengaged employees, business risk and additional cost. Set up your sustainability programme for success with insights from Stephen Henry of Positive Planet.  

13:30-13:45
 Accelerating a just global energy transition to net zero through skills

Lydia Malley - Energy Institute

Accelerating a just global energy transition to net zero through skills

Despite not having a clear idea of what she wanted to do for a career growing up, Lydia will share how she has found a career that inspires her to create a better energy future. As a History and Philosophy graduate, her career started off in an unusual place and has not followed a conventional path since, but she has found her passion in her current role focused on upskilling and empowering others.

Lydia will share her personal journey to a net zero career, as well as how the Energy Institute is working to attract, develop and equip the diverse future energy workforce with the skills they’ll need to accelerate a just global energy transition to net zero.

13:50-14:05
 Discovering Net Zero Remotely... Yes It’s Possible!

Ruaire Glackin - Utility Aid

Discovering Net Zero Remotely... Yes It’s Possible!

Faced with rising energy costs and demands for more sustainable organisations, more and more organisations were reaching out to Utility Aid for help.  The challenge was to provide a service to customers that was both cost effective and informative.  Ruaire developed a service for low to medium users of energy that allowed them to take advantage of expert advice without the traditionally high cost of an on site energy audit.  “Onsite audit costs can quickly escalate when there are long travel times. Our thoughts were to remove the travel cost and try to conduct the audit remotely, using the latest video technology”.  In the initial test phase 10 surveys were conducted, the outcome was positive for all 10 and so we developed the package throughout 2023.  In January 2024 we launched version 3 of our audit which now provides all the necessary information organisations need to make good decisions and also the financial information funding providers were asking for.  In todays talk we will discuss how the survey works, the benefits to organisations and how the Remote Discovery Document needs to be the start of your Net Zero Journey.

14:10-14:25
 Empowering Sustainability: The Crucial Role Of Supply Chains In Achieving Net Zero

Amy Collins - BEAMA

Empowering Sustainability: The Crucial Role Of Supply Chains In Achieving Net Zero

Join Amy as she shares her personal journey from marketing to sustainability-driven leadership. Explore the pivotal role of trade associations and the electrification supply chain in driving the Net Zero agenda forward. Discover the essential skills and opportunities within this vital sector that could pave the way for your own impactful sustainability career. 

14:30-14:45
 A Net Zero Graduate Programme; Attracting Talent and Delivering Success

Stephen Atkins - Consultus Group

A Net Zero Graduate Programme; Attracting Talent and Delivering Success

This session will look at our approach adopted to our successful Graduate Programme and the challenges and opportunities this has afforded the business in this fast growing and increasingly competitive industry. It will include a view of the steps undertaken in setting up and running the programme, and look at how this has delivered success for both the participants and for the development of the business.