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UK Business Leader Forums

Environment Analyst hosts a series of online and in-person UK Business Leader Forums, to enable senior leaders to come together and discuss pertinent issues in small, closed group settings.

These Forums are for Environment Analyst members.

To request an invite please contact

Upcoming Forums

Operationalising ESG in Infrastructure Delivery

29 November, 4-5:30pm in-person at the Leonardo Royal Hotel, London City

As reported in our market overview at the recent Global Business Summit, the blurring of boundaries between industry sectors, and a growing importance of ESG both within, and driving, wider activities and revenue share, is resulting in environmental and sustainability fundamentals moving from project design, to the core determinant of project success. Multidisciplinary consultancies have responded by pivoting their mission and values to align with the sustainability imperative.  

This move, arising from, to borrow a term from LinkedIn’s Global Green Skills Report, “the Great Reshuffle” is resulting in environmental & sustainability divisional leaders now finding themselves in a new position within the company and an opportunity to leverage this both operationally and strategically.    

How can this be optimised? How can we effectively shift the message within an engineering structure to integrate ESG into business strategy and project delivery, and ensure that nature, climate and social sustainability considerations are truly embedded into all infrastructure design and delivery? How can we effectively operationalise ESG in infrastructure? 

Delivering Ambitious ESG Goals 

  • As we reach the implementation era of ambitious sustainability and net zero goals, what challenges are your companies encountering?
  • What if the stretch targets have “stretched” too far, how do you recalibrate the goals to a realistic end-point - and what impact is this having on client relationships?
  • Is the USP of this industry to provide an honest, realistic take on what is possible? To present the deliverable solution in overcoming infrastructure challenges such as biodiversity net gain, carbon and social value.  
  • What are the key client-side relationships that need nurturing (CFO, CSO?) 

Positioning Group Businesses for “Total” Sustainability Services

  • As sustainability takes centre stage in the mission and value of engineering companies, how has this affected your role as environment business leader? What has changed in recent years? 
  • Have environmental businesses assumed greater strategic importance at the vanguard of business growth?
  • How can engineering firms magnify their sustainability expertise across wider teams of engineers, designers, planners. What does it take to truly operationalise sustainability within a multidisciplinary consultancy?  
  • What are the hurdles to overcome?
  • What will the future environmental consultant look like? 

With Philippa Spence, Managing Director, Ramboll UK


Previous Forums

Moving up the Consulting Value Chain

22 March 2023, 3-4:30pm BST, online

The first Business Leaders’ Forum in Feb 2020 discussed how to improve the value proposition of environmental & sustainability consultants and effectively communicate this value to the C-suite so that the sector is seen as credible sustainability leaders and can compete on a more level playing field with other professional services firms who were beginning to enter the space.  

At our 2022 Global Business Summit, the CEO of ERM, Tom Reichert talked about the need for innovation and building a “more integrated and successful business”. Environmental & sustainability consultancies are well-placed to offer technically-robust solutions, but helping companies to solve issues around carbon and sustainability management will mean “demanding a seat at the table”. 

Three years on from the first meeting, this Business Leaders’ Forum discussed progress made since 2020 in moving up the consulting value chain, adopting a “strategic advisory approach” and how the widespread development of the ESG agenda has driven opportunities. With “implementing sustainability” perceived as a unique differentiator compared with the professional services firms, this Forum explored where this sector can and will add value, and what remain the barriers to overcome in securing that “seat at the table” 

The forum also briefly discussed the potential for a UK recession and how this may impact both business opportunities and the sustainability agenda.

Read the write-up

Managing Organisational Challenges & the Impact of the “New Normal” on Business Structure, Culture, & Practices

26 April 2022

The session began with a top-line summary of the report findings presented by Ross Griffiths, Operations Director, Environment Analyst, followed by an industry perspective from Alizabeth Aramowicz Smith, EHS Senior Consultant and Health and Safety Practice Leader at Antea Group USA.

Attendees then moved into small breakout groups to discuss:

  • What the post-Covid organisation looks like and the long-term impact of remote or hybrid working on internal and external relationships:
    • employee and client engagement & connection
    • future talent pipeline development
    • the culture of the organisation
    • the optimum workplace strategy
  • The extent to which aligning company purpose and values with ESG goals can enhance employee recruitment and engagement: developing sustainability leadership
  • Evolving business models aligned with operational and project trends and changing demands for consultancy

Read the write-up

Exploring the Evolution of ESG in Environmental Consulting

21 June 2022

ESG has become an integral part of your clients’ businesses from climate and sustainability goals to employee recruitment and retention, and business ethics and governance. ESG factors are central to long-term growth and commercial success.

But what does this mean for the environmental consulting sector, your value proposition, and the services you provide? This in-person Business Leaders’ Forum, which took place on the eve of our 8th annual UK Business Summit, explored the impact of ESG and evolving client needs on environmental consulting services, how business models are evolving in response, and how to differentiate yourself in a world where everyone is “doing ESG”.

Following a couple of short industry opening perspectives, there was a group discussion on two topics: 

Responding to Changing Client Expectations

Finding the ESG “sweet spot” – identifying where the sector can deliver the most value and differentiate itself

  • Where does “traditional” consultancy fit in – transitioning from traditional permitting and compliance services to a more advisory-focused role
  • Examining the role for SMEs 

“Walking the Talk”

  • Showing leadership - managing your own net zero goals and internal ESG strategy and governance aligned with stakeholder and client expectations   

Read the write-up

Managing Organisational Challenges & the Impact of the “New Normal” on Business Structure, Culture, & Practices

22 July 2021

This Forum brought together senior executives from leading environmental consulting firms, as well as policy experts, early career professionals, industry participants, and strategic advisors to discuss the major issues and drivers impacting the growing skills shortage.

Key themes discussed include:

  • How to attract graduates
  • Improving the visibility of the sector 
  • Fostering skills for a successful career
  • Employee retention and engagement 
  • Finding attractive propositions beyond salary 

Read the write-up

Making Sustainability Relevant: Creating the Right Package & Reaching the Right Peop

7 July 2020

This Forum discussed:

  • Effectively translating the SDGs into tangible business and productivity goals as part of the environmental consultancy offering.
  • Exploring the changes required in positioning, charging and language used to reach the C-suite and key decision-makers within client organisations.

Speaker: Ben Murray, CEO, Avieco  

Accelerating the Delivery of a Zero Carbon Economy

1 July 2020

This Forum explored:

  • Alternative partnerships & coalitions to maximise collaborative value & accelerate innovation (Pledge to Net Zero initiative)
  • Practicalities of applying a natural capital approach & measuring environmental Impacts 
  • How the tools available can be used effectively to enable better decision-making and help deliver a zero carbon economy.


  • Matthew Farrow, Executive Director, Environmental Industries Commission
  • Robert Spencer, Director, Sustainable Development, AECOM

Improving the value proposition of environmental consultancy

February 2020

The first Environment Analyst Business Leaders’ Forum meeting of 2020 saw animated discussion around three interrelated themes of digital disruption, value proposition and the future environmental consultant.

Read the write-up