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Corporate Leaders Groups

Business leadership for a climate neutral economy

For immediate release, Wednesday 28 January 2015

Business and climate heads celebrate 10 year anniversary of Corporate Leaders Group

HRH The Prince of Wales addressed more than 300 business leaders, policy-makers, academics and environmentalists at the Guildhall in London last night (Tuesday, 27 January 2015), to reflect on 10 years of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) and the importance of bringing about a strong global agreement to tackle climate change.

The CLG is a select group of European business leaders, including Unilever, brought together by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), to work with policy-makers and business peers to address the threat of climate change. The Prince of Wales is patron.

Earlier in the day, UK Energy and Climate Secretary Ed Davey praised the CLG for doing "so much to demonstrate that climate change action is not just economically useful, it is an economic requirement." But he said it was "highly likely" that the aggregate of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) due to be put forward by countries by April would be inadequate - and called on the CLG to exert a positive influence. He also called on business leaders to work together with government to unlock low carbon technologies, develop financial tools and integrated energy markets, and help to take the green growth message to a new international audience.

There were also speeches by José Manuel Barroso, former President of the European Commission; Sir Ian Cheshire, former Chief Executive of Kingfisher; and Connie Hedegaard, former European Commissioner for Climate Action.

Director of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership Polly Courtice said:

“HRH The Prince of Wales is clear that 2015 marks a tipping point for tackling climate change – and that business must use its influence to achieve a robust international agreement.

“For a decade CISL has brought together European business leaders through its Corporate Leaders Group, to work with national and international policy-makers to address sustainability challenges. These kinds of partnerships hold the key to driving forward green growth, that will strengthen our economies for the future.”

The CLG launched its vision for the UK economy yesterday, highlighting the growing risks to business posed by resource scarcity, energy security and extreme weather, and calling on governments to work more closely with the business community, and academia, to develop a strong and stable climate policy framework. Its goals include a secure, efficient and decarbonised power sector, a resilient and low-carbon built environment, a cleaner and integrated transport system, and more support for sustainable consumption.

Following a speech by Unilever CEO Paul Polman, the winner of the 2014 Unilever Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneur Awards - delivered in partnership with CISL - was also announced last night. Daniel Yu, CEO of Reliefwatch, was presented with the HRH The Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Prize. His business develops simple software to help medical clinics in the developing world to digitise and manage inventory records via automated voice calls from feature phones.

/ Ends

Notes to editor

Contact: Marie Reynolds, The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group +44 (0)7849 785635,

1. HRH The Prince of Wales’s full speech is available online at:

2. Ed Davey's speech is available at:

3. For photographs from the event, or from the last decade of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group, contact Marie Reynolds, +44 7849 785635,

4. ‘A Vision for a Strong, Sustainable, UK Economy’, accompanied by case studies of action being taken by member companies to address sustainability, is available to download at: .

5. ‘A Decade of Progress’, a report reflecting on the achievements of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group and the wider business community in tackling climate change, is available to download at:

6. Now in their second year, the Unilever Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneur Awards celebrate inspirational entrepreneurs aged 30 and under who have developed a product, service or application that helps make sustainable living commonplace. More than 800 entrepreneurs entered from nearly 90 countries worldwide. The overall winner, receiving HRH The Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Prize, was Daniel Yu, CEO of Reliefwatch. Daniel was selected from a shortlist of seven finalists following a demanding interview process and an intensive accelerator programme to prepare finalists for the final pitch. As part of the prize Daniel has been awarded €50,000, and he/she will be supported with a tailored mentoring programme delivered by CISL and Unilever experts over the course of 2015. The six runners up each receive a cash prize of €10,000 in addition to mentoring and support from CISL and Unilever

7. The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) brings together business, government and academia to find solutions to critical sustainability challenges. Capitalising on the world-class, multidisciplinary strengths of the University of Cambridge, CISL deepens leaders’ insight and understanding through its executive programmes, builds deep, strategic engagement with leadership companies, and creates opportunities for collaborative enquiry and action through its business platforms. Over more than 25 years, CISL has developed a leadership network of more than 5,000 alumni from leading global organisations and an expert team of Fellows, Senior Associates and staff. HRH The Prince of Wales is the Patron of CISL and has inspired and supported many of the institute’s initiatives. For more information, see:

8. The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) is a select group of European business leaders working together, under the patronage of The Prince of Wales and with the support and advice of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, to advocate solutions to climate change to policy makers and business peers at the highest level, both within the EU and globally. Unilever is one of the CLG's member companies. For more information, see:

9. Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries. Its ambition is to double the size of its business, whilst reducing its overall environmental footprint (including sourcing, consumer use and disposal) and increasing its positive social impact. The company is committed to helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, sourcing all our agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020, and decoupling its growth from its environmental impact. See more on the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan at For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit: