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22.02.2022 NEDonBoard Online: Better Business Act & ESG as a director duty

February 22 @ 8:30 am - 9:30 am

Understand how your duties as a director may be evolving to balance shareholders with society and the environment in board decision making.


In September 2021, NEDonBoard joined the coalition supporting the Better Business Act whose objective is to amend section 172 of the Companies Act to ensure that every organisation puts balancing people, profit and planet at the centre of the purpose and responsibility of their directors. This ethos is embraced within the modern and contemporary business governance practices promoted by NEDonBoard, and its potential application to all directors of UK companies makes this an important session for the non-executive community, no matter the sector or size of your business.

What is the Better Business Act?:

The Better Business Act is a business-led campaign to change UK law and deliver a new contract between businesses and society. Subsection 172(1) Companies Act 2006 allows directors to consider stakeholders when making decisions, but this has to be in the course of pursuing the success of the company for the benefit of shareholders. The Better Business Act proposes to change the default position so that NEDs and board members would no longer be obliged to prioritise shareholders and would advance the interests of shareholders alongside those of society and the environment. We recommend this short pre-read ahead of the event for further context.

Session Overview:

Join NEDonBoard and the Better Business Act to better understand the relevance of the proposed amendments to Section 172 of the Companies Act, Director Duties; considerations for your boards in becoming signatories; and what this may mean for the future of your responsibilities as a non-executive director.

Session Timings (GMT):

  • 08:30 – Welcome
  • 08:35 – Board level insights
  • 09:15 – Audience Q&A
  • 09:30 – Close

As well as perspectives from the Better Business Act, guest speakers include the eminent:

Polly Courtice, who was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 2016 for services to Sustainability Leadership. Polly is a Director of Jupiter Green Investment Trust and a Non-Executive Director of Anglian Water Services Ltd. She is a Board Advisor to the British Standards Institute and serves on the environmental/sustainability advisory boards for AstraZeneca and Nespresso. Polly was the Founder Director of the University of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (1989 – 2021). She was the Founder Director of The Prince of Wales’s Business & Sustainability Programme, and served as Academic Director of the University’s Master of Studies in Sustainability Leadership. She is a Fellow of Churchill College and an Honorary Fellow of Murray Edwards College, Cambridge. In 2021 she was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Cambridgeshire. She is a member of the judging panel for the Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development, a member of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Independent Commission on Climate, and a Trustee of Cambridge Past, Present and Future, a local charity dedicating to protecting and enhancing the Cambridge area and its green landscapes.

Chris Turner, who is Campaign Director for the Better Business Act and Executive Director of B Lab UK, the charity building the B Corporation movement in the UK. B Lab supports a growing community of companies that are using business as a force for good. Chris has a varied background working in the US, Europe and Africa: he began his career in marketing, dabbled in politics, led two successful startups, and built a portfolio of innovative international development projects for a major foundation. Prior to B Lab UK, Chris led an Open Innovation consultancy practice, advising a wide range of clients on innovation and strategy.

Amy Clarke, who sits on the Boards of Big Issue Invest and B Lab UK, the Global Steering Group of the Global Ethical Finance Initiative and the Development Council of the Future Fit Benchmark, and advises the Ocean Plastics Leadership Network. Amy is an environmental scientist by training with over 25 years of experience in corporate sustainability and impact investing. She is Co-Founder and Chief Impact Officer at Tribe Impact Capital, where she leads on the definition and execution of impact across the business, from the core investment thesis to Tribe’s own impact performance, including the management of their position as a leading B Corporation and the delivery of Tribe’s NetZero 2025 target and Science Based Target. Amy works with clients, fund managers, direct investments, and their partners to identify the most additional and material interventions in the delivery of the Paris Climate Accord and the UN SDGs.

Also sharing practical NED perspectives is portfolio board member and NEDonBoard member Tania Songini.

Is this event for me?:

We welcome experienced NEDs and those in development to become NEDs, of any type and size of organisation.

This event is open to NEDonBoard members (free to attend, registration required) and non-members (an attendance fee applies, registration required). Members are prioritised for this event.

If you would like to know more about NEDonBoard please visit: https://www.nedonboard.com/become-a-member/ or email: [email protected]

To attend:

Please ensure to select the relevant ticket option and complete the registration form.

Dial-in details will be distributed the day before the event.