Sustainability LIVE: Net Zero – Verdantix CEO, Keynote

Taking to the stage at Sustainability LIVE: Net Zero, David Metcalfe, CEO and Co-founder of Verdantix discusses future trends for sustainability leaders

Reflecting on compliance, stakeholder expectations, transformation, risk and more, David Metcalfe, CEO and Co-Founder of Verdantix delivers a keynote on Future Trends for Sustainability Leaders at Sustainability LIVE: Net Zero.

Sustainability trends

Gauging the audiences in sustainability and climate forensics, David begins his keynote by discussing the evolution of sustainability efforts over the last decade highlighting the increase in investment and overall interest in sustainability. 

"We found 27% of companies had one person with sustainability in their job title [...] so many brilliant new people like you getting into the sustainability movement,’ says David.

Introducing four major themes, David notes that digital automation, holistic climate risk, mandatory disclosure and organisational reboots are shaping the future of the movement. 

David Metcalfe, CEO and Co-Founder of VerdantiX

Focusing on compliance

Examining the shift towards a more compliance-centric approach to sustainability, David emphasises the impact of compliance requirements on strategic priorities and budgets. 

"Compliance has now become the number one priority [...] Firms having to become compliance-centric,” says David.

To navigate compliance and stakeholder expectations, David advocates for stakeholder-aligned strategies despite compliance pressures and emphasises the importance of securing executive buy-in to deliver impactful sustainability initiatives.

"CEOs are more involved in sustainability strategy than they have ever been," notes David.

David Metcalfe, CEO and Co-Founder of VerdantiX

The consequences of non-compliance 

Emphasising the importance of adhering to sustainability regulations and the potential for significant fines as a consequence of non-compliance, David not only highlights the importance of collaboration but the need for digitalisation particularly within the sustainability workflow and data collection. 

David notes the importance of accurate and timely data for effective sustainability reporting and decision-making: "As we move into compliance, as this becomes more complex, as the risks of this information being not just inaccurate but late become much bigger, you will have to digitise your processes."

David also addresses the potential AI, machine learning and predictive analytics have for sustainability, but circles back to the concerns regarding data quality and data collection.   

"The huge issue is how do you get the high-quality data into the system?” says David.

More to come in 2024…

Sustainability Magazine will be hosting a further four events in 2024, both virtual and in-person. Don’t miss out on your chance to hear from leading industry experts at:

To find out more about these events and awards, click here.

Essential diary dates – 2025

  • Net Zero & Scope 3 LIVE 2025 | QEII Centre, London | 5-6 March 2025
  • Sustainability Singapore Virtual Conference | 19 March 2025
  • Sustainability Dubai Virtual Conference | 23 May 2025
  • Sustainability LIVE Chicago and Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE Chicago | 4-5 June
  • Sustainability LIVE & Sustainability Awards 2025 | BDC, London | 9-10 September 2025
  • NEW | ClimateTech Magazine

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