Rathbone Greenbank Investments
Investor Day - Sustainable Consumption
On Monday 9 May, Rathbone Greenbank was delighted to welcome some 70 guests to its 14th annual Investor Day event, held at the Earth Trust Centre near Didcot in Oxfordshire.
Having addressed the logistical challenges presented by assembling speakers from London, Manchester, Paris and Amsterdam, we were welcomed by the Trust’s chief executive Harry Barton, before embarking on the day’s theme: “Sustainable consumption – a contradiction in terms?”
Andrew Simms of nef (new economics foundation) was first to tackle the question, arguing that the premise of infinite economic growth on a planet with finite resources was fundamentally flawed. Instead he argued that the UN’s Human Development Index shows that a low consumption pathway is not only possible, but can deliver a better quality of life.
Next, Paul Cousins from Manchester Business School gave an insight into how companies are managing sustainability issues in their global supply chains. His highly entertaining style of presentation took many of the audience back to their student days!
After a break, the audience heard from representatives of InterfaceFLOR (the global leader in modular flooring) and Philips (the healthcare and consumer electronics group) who outlined how their companies were addressing their direct impacts while developing products and services which enable customers to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption.
Following a delicious buffet lunch in the Centre’s courtyard, guests were conducted by our excellent hosts on a short walk to the nearby iconic landmark of the Wittenham Clumps. Despite the threat of rain clouds, the sun held out and we managed to complete the tour dry, if a little windswept!