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Friend of Tortoise Exclusive

The Tortoise Responsible Business Summit

The Tortoise Responsible Business Summit

This event is exclusive to Friends of Tortoise

  • About
  • Sessions
  • People

Closing the accountability gap: can business keep up with its commitments?

The time for smoke and mirrors is over. Corporate communications teams have done what they can to buy time for organisations transitioning to low carbon operations, developing more inclusive cultures and eliminating supply chain abuse. Consumers and investors are clear: commitments alone won’t cut it. So what now? At Tortoise’s second Responsible Business Summit, we’re joined by business leaders balancing purpose with practicality, in a race against time to secure consumer trust and deliver on their intentions. 

The Tortoise Responsibility100 Index is the first-ever ranking of FTSE 100 companies measured by their commitment to key social, environmental and ethical objectives. Now in its fourth year, the Index uses 120+ indicators to grade Britain’s biggest companies across pillars like carbon reduction and gender inequality. It’s the only index that measures the difference between corporate “talk” and “walk” – helping close the corporate accountability gap.

To mark the release of the Index’s 2021 update, Tortoise’s Responsible Business Summit brings together leaders from business, academia and policy to discuss questions like: what does it mean to be a responsible business in a post-Covid world; do companies care about modern slavery; and is carbon offsetting being used to greenwash corporate reputations? 

You can catch up with what happened at last year’s Summit here.


Knowledge partners

Connecting Partners

Interested in supporting this Summit?

How it works

Your ticket will give you access to all of the online sessions, but just like an in-person conference you can dip in and out. Recordings will be available in our members’ app the next day.

EDITORS
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Co-founder and Editor

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Director of Tortoise Intelligence


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Investigations Editor and Partner

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Data Reporter


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Editor and Partner

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Sensemaker Editor

INVITED EXPERTS (WITH MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED)
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Former Unilever CEO

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Chief Corporate Affairs and Marketing Officer, Capita

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Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer, Nationwide Building Society

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Project Manager, Corporate Accountability and Trade, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

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CEO, Goodweave Intl

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Director, Ardea International

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Director of Communications,
Gold Standard

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Head of Science, Policy and Research, Friends of the Earth

08.30-09.00 BST

Keynote session

Welcome: In conversation with Paul Polman on the Net Positive Revolution.

A firm’s responsibility is no longer solely to its shareholders, and its goal is no longer simply to maximise their returns. In our opening keynote, Paul Polman, the former CEO of Unilever, will present the argument for a wider corporate responsibility. The best way for companies to profit in 2021 is by fixing the world’s problems, not creating them, he will say. How far is this a utopian vision or is it a realistic new paradigm for business? 

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Investigations Editor, Tortoise

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Former Unilever CEO


09.00-09.50 BST

Responsibility 100 Index: 2021 rankings revealed

In partnership with Teneo

The results are in. After analysing 120 data points, 1000s of pages of annual reports, shareholder updates, ESG reports, employment tribunal data and dozens of other public sources, the latest ranking of the Responsibility100 Index is ready to be released. In this session, the team from Tortoise Intelligence will reveal who is up, who is down and which company tops the list of most responsible FTSE companies.

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Director of Tortoise Intelligence

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Data Reporter, Tortoise

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Investigations Editor, Tortoise


10.00-10.50 BST

How has Covid-19 changed the game on business responsibility?

In partnership with Capita

The pandemic has transformed what it means to be a responsible business. From mental health to hybrid working, the expectations on companies – from both employees and from wider society – have changed forever. In this fast-moving post Covid-19 world, how can businesses stay on the front foot in terms of responsibility? What are the key conversations that leaders need to be having? And how far could some innovations – such as hybrid working – help businesses perform well in other areas, such as cutting carbon and boosting employee engagement and creativity?

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Editor and Partner

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Chief Corporate Affairs and Marketing Officer, Capita

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Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer, Nationwide Building Society


11.00-11.50 BST

Modern slavery: does big business care about supply chain abuse? 

The UK broke ground in 2015 when it brought in the Modern Slavery Act, introducing reporting requirements on large companies to remove modern slavery in their supply chains. But six years later, evidence suggests that the Act has failed to deliver: 40% of UK companies don’t comply with it; and there have been no penalties for those failing to report. How serious is modern slavery today and what can policymakers and business leaders do now to ensure companies take responsibility in this area?

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Data Reporter, Tortoise

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CEO, Goodweave Intl

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Director, Ardea International

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Project Manager, Corporate Accountability and Trade, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre


12.00-12.50 BST

Is carbon offsetting a licence to pollute?

With Cop26 approaching, a fifth of the world’s largest public companies now have net zero commitments. But how strong are these promises, and how much scrutiny have they received? How many companies are using offsetting to meet targets, or failing to implement robustness criteria? What does it mean to be truly environmentally responsible in today’s corporate landscape? And for investors and the public, how much of a problem is greenwashing really?

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Sensemaker Editor

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Senior Consultant, Carbon Pricing practice at South Pole

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Director of Communications,
Gold Standard

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Head of Science, Policy and Research, Friends of the Earth