Ian Cheshire launches Ecosystem Markets Task Force

Press Release   •   Nov 24, 2011 08:39 GMT

An independent Task Force is being launched today aimed at finding new opportunities for UK businesses to drive green economic growth. Led by Ian Cheshire, Group Chief Executive of retail group Kingfisher plc, the Ecosystem Markets Task Force (EMTF) will review the opportunities available to UK business that could help them develop green goods, services, investment vehicles and markets which value and protect the environment.

The business-led Task Force will bring together industry leaders and experts from a wide range of sectors, ranging from banking to building and biodiversity conservation, to look for ways in which companies can improve both the environment and their bottom line.

The Task Force will report back to the Government in early 2013 through the Green Economy Council.

Both Ian Cheshire and the Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP - Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - will speak at the launch. The event will provide a unique opportunity for decision makers from UK businesses to help shape the early thinking and work programme for the Task Force.

Ian Cheshire, Group Chief Executive of Kingfisher plc, commented:

“The challenge for the Task Force, as I see it, is to find new ways for business to profit from valuing and protecting nature. It is an opportunity for business to contribute and make recommendations to the Government and to shape the agenda. We need to be radical and innovative in our thinking and explore areas where businesses can gain real, measureable benefit as the UK moves towards a green economy.”

The Secretary of State welcomed the Task Force:

“It is estimated that UK businesses could save around £23bn each year by using raw materials, energy and water more efficiently. If businesses can reduce waste, develop sustainable alternatives or recover value from existing products they will not only help their bottom line, but also benefit the environment.

“The Ecosystem Markets Task Force, which begins its work today, will help UK businesses get ahead of the curve and help us grow our economy more sustainably. I look forward to engaging with them on the business opportunities there will be for greener businesses and I look forward to reading their analyses.”

The launch will take place at the headquarters of Nomura in the City of London.