What will the City of the Future look like?

SENIOR BUSINESS leaders come together to map a sustainable vision…

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Leaders from some of the City’s most prominent organisations came together with senior professionals from the food and business infrastructure sectors to discuss the future of integrating environmental and social factors into a concept of value creation in urban environments.


In association with the City of London Corporation, Corporate Sustainability Champions Footprint gathered decision makers from a range of sectors including manufacturing, finance, infrastructure and agriculture to highlight the issues around exploding urban populations and the impact this will have on delivering goods and services.


It is estimated that London alone will have increased in population by another 2 million by 2030, while the global population will have increased to 9 billion. The strain this will put on the world’s food chain is expected to present significant challenges.


Footprint believe, however, it also offers a huge business opportunity for London and the UK in general. Its latest Footprint Forum: Future Cities, is the first of many discussions on the potential that could come from a collaborative approach to managing infrastructure.


The objective of the Footprint Forum is to forge relationships and promote understanding between complex sectors. It aims to explore the forensic analysis and complex investment models that are underwriting food security, climate change adaptation as well as the social and environmental implications of exploding populations and urbanisation.


Speaking at the event, Nick Fenwicke-Clennell, CEO of Footprint, commented: “We are all facing a world of constrained resources which will put pressure on both the financial industry and companies whose business it is to deliver corporate services.


We believe that a joined up approach is the obvious way forward, ensuring that the problems are tackled in a holistic and sustainable fashion. In working together, the opportunities afforded by this future represent significant positive potential for business spanning multiple sectors.


In bringing together thought leaders and influencers to begin discussions on what this future might look like, we aim to ensure that the UK is prepared to make the most of any opportunity for growth.”


Charles Miers, Footprint’s Managing Director added: “Today has offered insight into the dynamics between corporate clients and their business infrastructure partners. Service providers are ostensibly businesses that enable business to do business; a pretty intrinsic relationship. We have tapped into the huge opportunity for long term value creation through transparency and a far more collaborative approach to supply and value chains. We’re very excited and this is just the beginning.”


Environmentalist and author Stanley Johnson moderated a panel which included Simon Mills of the City of London Corporation, Adrian Gault, Chief Executive of the Committee on Climate Change, Inder Poonaji, Head of Sustainability at Nestlé, David Clarke, CEO of Red Tractor and director at PwC Tom Beagant.


Attendees at the event included celebrity chef Thomasina Miers, a long-standing campaigner for the UK food industry and Sir Timothy Laurence, Chairman of the Major Projects Association.


The Footprint Forum will be releasing a report which is a narrative of best practice, vision and understanding for those wanting to sustainably deliver goods and services in cities for decades to come, and is considered the first of its kind to be created.


The next financial sector focused Footprint Forum will be hosted on the 22nd of January 2015. Details to be released in November.