Can sustainability provide a competitive advantage that will see survival of the greenest? Or is it yet another pressure for boards

Our research Sustainability: Pain to Net Gain, told us that while all businesses are challenged to prioritise many different areas, the sustainable transition needs to be part of the immediate operating plan, not next year’s strategic plan.

Join our panellists on Thursday, 10th June, as they discuss this topic and reveal specific findings from 1000 finance and business leaders across the UK & Europe.

Event details

10 June 2021

Thursday 10 June (9.30-10.30 BST)

Online event


Chair & Guests Panellists:

Alison Newton – Chair, Partner, Addleshaw Goddard

The empirical evidence 

Alex Edmans – Professor of Finance, London Business School

Alex has a PhD from MIT as a Fulbright Scholar, and was previously a tenured professor at Wharton and an investment banker at Morgan Stanley. Alex has spoken at the World Economic Forum in Davos, testified in the UK Parliament, and given the TED talk “What to Trust in a Post-Truth World” and the TEDx talk “The Social Responsibility of Business” with a combined 2 million views. He serves as Mercers School Memorial Professor of Business at Gresham College, giving a four-year programme of lectures to the public, and on Royal London Asset Management’s Responsible Investment Advisory Committee. Alex’s book, “Grow the Pie: How Great Companies Deliver Both Purpose and Profit”, was featured in the Financial Times list of Business Books of the Year for 2020. He has been named to Poets and Quants Best 40 Professors Under 40 and Thinkers50 Radar.

The corporate experience 

Dianne Sharp – CEO, Leadership Academy, Non-exec director & business consultant

With over 15 years Executive Board level experience, Dianne has led some of the North East’s global manufacturing businesses, SCM Pharma and Mechetronics, through recessions, growth and MBO’s as well as holding regional director posts for the CBI and Vistage. A non-exec director at Gentoo Group, she has held various other trustee and non-executive director posts for charities and business groups alike.

An accountant by trade she continues to support her profession as an incumbent CIMA North East Branch Chair. A keynote speaker on Leadership and Management, Dianne also runs her own consultancy, the Leadership Academy, supporting mid-sized business leaders across a range of sectors with their strategic growth plans.

The current landscape for corporates 

Sarah O’Toole, Partner, Grant Thornton UK LLP

With over 20 years’ experience working with financial institutions and corporates in all aspects of business turnaround, debt advisory and restructuring, Sarah leads the Grant Thornton restructuring team in the North West and the national asset based lending (ABL) advisory team. Throughout her career she has advised intermediaries and stakeholders on national and international assignments and has experience across a broad range of industries including healthcare, leisure, construction, real estate and manufacturing.

Compliance as a springboard to  competitive advantage 

Nichola Peters – Partner Addleshaw Goddard Head of Global Investigations