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Future sustainability leaders: Alice Goodbrook



What will business look like in the future and who are our future leaders?

This is the penultimate instalment in our series speaking with a group of young people who are making waves in sustainability. All 12 are scholars on Forum for the Future’s renowned master’s course in leadership for sustainable development.

Ten years on from reading an article about climate change that sparked her interest in sustainability, Alice Goodbrook is ready to help business evolve. Here, she tells us about some of the key lessons she has picked up over the past year.

Tell us about your experience on the Forum for the Future master’s course. What have your placements involved?

With four placements across four sectors and no two lecturers the same, my experience of the course can certainly be described as varied! While the weeks we spend at Forum’s offices give us the opportunity to learn new ideas and question our own assumptions by being able to debate with world renowned sustainability leaders, the placements root this in the real world – putting our ideas into action. They also give us the opportunity to develop key skills from different reporting techniques, holding video conferences with multiple countries, to other practicalities such as working on the move.

At Delhaize (think Belgium’s equivalent of Sainsbury’s), I was developing sustainable packaging guidelines to be used across their stores in eight different countries.

At the Welsh government, I was lucky enough to be placed with the team working on the future generations bill (previously the sustainable development bill) which aims to put sustainability at the heart of the Welsh government’s decision-making. My project was to develop the draft implementation plan for the bill.

At the Technology Strategy Board (a non-departmental government organisation aimed at stimulating the economy through helping get new technology to market), I created a database of all the test and demonstration facilities worldwide around energy systems. I also had the opportunity to build relationships between them and the TSB by conducting site visits.

Finally at Actis, a private equity firm purely investing in the developing markets, I am developing a model to assess the impact of their real estate developments in relation to their core environmental, social and governance (ESG) priorities.

Where does your interest in sustainability come from? 

When I was 14, my favourite chemistry teacher brought in an article he thought I would be interested in. It was from the Times. It showed the potential apocalyptic state the world would be if our climate continued to get warmer – my house was underwater. What followed was a discussion that has continued ever since. Why was no one doing anything about it? If we needed to decarbonise our energy system sooner rather than later, what was the delay? Why was the government not leading this action?

I strongly believe that my generation can be the ones to fix these problems, to stop talking and start doing and I want to help lead the way.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given during your course? 

Don’t expect to know everything, know enough and have the appetite to learn whenever the opportunity arises.

What’s most important business lesson you’ve learnt? 

Don’t expect everyone to understand sustainability – learn the language others use and if that fails find someone within the industry who can help translate!

What one idea you think could change the world for the better? 

The internet of things – both terrifying and miraculous in equal measures.

What do you see of the future in terms of sustainability, business and the environment? 

I see the future for sustainability as evolving to becoming the business as usual approach. Businesses will understand that talking about resource depletion and other sustainability issues is not just an environmental issue but a core part of their strategy. It is the only way to ensure that business is viable for the long-term.

Where will you be in 10 years’ time?

A decade has passed since I was handed the Times article that sparked my interest in energy and my fascination with its future remains. In 10 years’ time, I hope to be working within the sector, making strategic decisions which help the industry evolve to meet the many challenges the need for a carbon neutral future creates.

Further reading:

Future sustainability leaders: Adam Lewthwaite

Future sustainability leaders: Kate Beattie

Future sustainability leaders: Maia Tarling-Hunter

Future sustainability leaders: Ruth Shave

Future sustainability leaders: Angela Green

Future sustainability leaders: Andrew Adam

Future sustainability leaders: Zoe Draisey

Future sustainability leaders: Rebecca Trevalyan

Future sustainability leaders: Sam Gillick

Future sustainability leaders: Patrick Elf


Report: Green, Ethical and Socially Responsible Finance



“The level of influence that ethical considerations have over consumer selection of financial services products and services is minimal, however, this is beginning to change. Younger consumers are more willing to pay extra for products provided by socially responsible companies.” Jessica Morley, Mintel’s Financial Services Analyst.

Consumer awareness of the impact consumerism has on society and the planet is increasing. In addition, the link between doing good and feeling good has never been clearer. Just 19% of people claim to not participate in any socially responsible activities.

As a result, the level of attention that people pay to the green and ethical claims made by products and providers is also increasing, meaning that such considerations play a greater role in the purchasing decision making process.

However, this is less true in the context of financial services, where people are much more concerned about the performance of a product rather than green and ethical factors. This is not to say, however, that they are not interested in the behaviour of financial service providers or in gaining more information about how firms behave responsibly.

This report focuses on why these consumer attitudes towards financial services providers exist and how they are changing. This includes examination of the wider economy and the current structure of the financial services sector.

Mintel’s exclusive consumer research looks at consumer participation in socially responsible activities, trust in the behaviour of financial services companies and attitudes towards green, ethical and socially responsible financial services products and providers. The report also considers consumer attitudes towards the social responsibilities of financial services firms and the green, ethical and socially responsible nature of new entrants.

There are some elements missing from this report, such as conducting socially responsible finance with OTC trading. We will cover these other topics in more detail in the future. You can research about Ameritrade if you want to know more ..

By this report today: call: 0203 416 4502 | email: iainooson[at]

Report contents:

What you need to know
Report definition
The market
Ethical financial services providers: A question of culture
Investment power
Consumers need convincing
The transformative potential of innovation
Consumers can demand change
The consumer
For financial products, performance is more important than principle
Competition from technology companies
Financial services firms perceived to be some of the least socially responsible
Repaying the social debt
Consumer trust is built on evidence
What we think
Creating a more inclusive economy
The facts
The implications
Payments innovation helps fundraising go digital
The facts
The implications
The social debt of the financial crisis
The facts
The implications
Ethical financial services providers: A question of culture
Investment power
Consumers need convincing
The transformative potential of innovation
Consumers can demand change
An ethical economy
An ethical financial sector
Ethical financial services providers
The role of investing
The change potential of pensions
The role of trust
Greater transparency informs decisions
Learning from past mistakes
The role of innovation
Payments innovation: Improving financial inclusion
Competition from new entrants
The power of new money
The role of the consumer
Consumers empowered to make a change
Aligning products with self
For financial products, performance is more important than ethics
Financial services firms perceived to be some of the least socially responsible
Competition from technology companies
Repaying the social debt
Consumer trust is built on evidence
Overall trust levels are high
Payments innovation can boost charitable donations
Consumer engagement in socially responsible activities is high
Healthier finances make it easier to go green
37% unable to identify socially responsible companies
Building societies seen to be more responsible than banks….
….whilst short-term loan companies are at the bottom of the pile
Overall trust levels are high
Tax avoidance remains a major concern
The divestment movement
Nationwide significantly more trusted
Trust levels remain high
For financial products, performance is more important than principle
Socially conscious consumers are more concerned
Strategy reports provide little insight for consumers
Lack of clarity regarding corporate culture causes concern
Consumers want more information
The social debt of the financial crisis
For consumers, financial services firms play larger economic role
Promoting financial responsibility
Consumer trust is built on evidence
The alternative opportunity
The target customer

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A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon




energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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