Top 10 must-attend sustainability events in 2024

From London to New York, Abu Dhabi to Azerbaijan, these sustainability-focused events are designed to engage business leaders and help action ESG goals

Among all challenges, climate change is the most urgent – and business events and conferences can play a major role in the transformative change that is now needed.

As COP28 UAE, one of the world’s most important sustainability events, comes to a close, we look to 2024 and to the forums, events and conferences dedicated to helping business and sustainability leaders gain insight and guidance to the most pressing challenges of our time.

Convening leading experts from some of the world’s biggest companies and most important institutions, these top 10 events, in-person and online, are slated to take place over the next 12 months.

10

Climate week NYC

September 22, 2024

New York​​​​​​​

Overview: Climate Weeks are held every year all over the world in partnership with the UN – and Climate Week NYC is the largest of its kind. Led by non-profit Climate Group, and with a mission to ‘drive climate action, fast’, this week-long event delivers more than 600 activities and events across the five boroughs of the city – in-person, hybrid and online.

Programme: Forming a major part of the climate week is The Hub Live, a two-day series of sessions that brings together more than 1,000 influential leaders from business, government and the climate sector to address key themes in driving the transition.

Speakers: Among recent speakers, King Charles III, Apple CEO Tim Cook, former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Adern, PwC’s Global Chair Bob Mortiz, were the most high-profile.


​​​​​​​World ESG Summit

February 19-21, 2024

Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia

Overview: Following the success of the World ESG Summit Dubai and Malaysia, the summit’s third edition moves to Saudi Arabia in 2024. Over three days, leading industry professionals, investors and experts will gather in Al-Khobar to explore the most effective methods for integrating ESG principles into business practices. Given the pivotal role of energy in sustainability efforts, the summit’s primary focus is the implementation of ESG practices within this sector.

Programme: The summit will tackle ESG topics through following three pillars: building towards a sustainable net-zero future, ESG strategies for sustainable impact; and social inclusion and gender equality.

Speakers: The speakers will include academics and policy makers from the Saudi government, including Dr Hamad Alawad from the AI Centre, Ministry of Interior, along with regional big-name business leaders. These include senior sustainability and energy leaders from HSBC Group (Muteb Alhajri), Saudi Aramco (Maan Iskande), Acwa Power (Sahar Taleb), Microsoft Arabia (Zainab Alamin), among others.

8

Cleantech Forum North America

January 22-24, 2024

San Diego

Overview This forum from The Cleantech Group brings together corporate executives, entrepreneurs, cleantech innovators, investors, government agencies, and experts from around the world to discover and share the leading technologies that will deliver the net-zero transformation.

It’s an opportunity to connect with startups, scaleups, investors and multinationals from across Asia all in one place. Attendees will also get to meet leading innovators including companies in the 2024 Global Cleantech 100.

This event also takes place in Asia (Singapore, May 7-8) and Europe (TBC).

Programme The three-day agenda is research-led and focuses on critical issues and innovations needed to achieve net-zero goals, with a programme designed to help participants stay ahead of the trends and changes in the fast-moving cleantech space.

Take a deep dive into topics spanning agriculture and food, materials, aviation, logistics and the built environment with interactive and workshop sessions both around clean tech topics, from decarbonising aviation fuel to green steel to alternative proteins, and around scaling, including and recent trends in VC and shaping a board of directors.

Speakers Hear from leading executives in the clean tech space including Craig Lance, VP Business Development at Caterpillar; Ricky Sakai, SVP Investment and Business Development at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, and others, alongside investors and experts from PwC and JP Morgan.

7

Responsible Business Asia 2024

May, 2024

Asia (online)

Overview: Aimed at business and sustainability leaders, this online event from Reuters – which also takes to the London and New York stage (in-person) with Responsible Business USA (March 26-27) and Responsible Business Europe (June 11-12) – aims to help attendees understand how to overcome near-term pressures and uncover the true potential for business, centered around long-term, profitable and sustainable decisions. Leaders will leave with ideas, tools and strategies to help accelerate the transition.

Programme: Covering five major themes, the programme of panels and case studies come courtesy of world-leading executives – who will deliver first-hand insights on progress made, challenges from a range of projects, and opportunities that lie ahead.

Core themes include strategy, integration and impact; decarbonising business; supply chain transformation; reporting and regulations; and unlocking renewable energy sources.

Speakers: This Reuters event provides a platform for more than 60 CEO and executive speakers from some of the world’s biggest companies, from Bupa to ServiceNow, FedEx to DBS Bank, to discuss how they are driving a sustainable transition while sustaining success for their business.

Past speakers have included Juan Aranois, Nestle CEO for Malaysia and Singapore; Wern-Yuen Tan, CEO APAC at PepsiCo; Takakeo Ohyabu, Chief Sustainability Officer at Takeda and Esther An, CSO at City Developments.

6

Innovation Zero

30 April to 1 May

Olympia London

Overview: As the UK’s largest net-zero congress, Innovation Zero will bring together 12,000 delegates, 600 speakers and 350 exhibitors across 14 forums.

Supported by the UK Government, and held alongside new co-located event, Infrastructure Zero, the two-day show is designed to accelerate meaningful action towards a low-carbon economy – a platform for partnerships and deal-making for those who develop, produce, deploy and fund low-carbon solutions.

Programme: Covering 14 forums, from finance to energy, built environment to industrial, advanced tech to oceans and water, the two-day programme will deliver keynotes and panels on a diverse range of hot topics: from diving deep into battery technology to discussing the power of AI in informing climate mitigation.

Among other topics, discover opportunities in carbon capture and storage and innovations and investments in energy storage.

Speakers: Expect to hear from more than 600 thought leaders and changemakers Among stand-out names in the world of environmental action are UK Government MP Claire Coutinho, the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero and environmental activist Erin Brockovich (as per the namesake film).

They will be joined by other government and non-profit leaders along with climate VCs and business leaders including Farooq Al-Jwesm, the head of data centres at Aramco; Aaron Robion, VP SAF at International Airlines Group; and Dhara Vyas, Deputy CEO of Energy UK.

5

The World Future Energy Summit

April 16-18, 2024

ADNEC Abu Dhabi

Overview: Described as a “global think tank, powered by global innovation, pioneering minds and ground-breaking insights”, this three-day in-person event claims to be the world’s leading business event for future energy – delivering five conferences and attracting more than 30,000 visitors, 2,000 exhibitors and hundreds of expert speakers.

Hosted by UAE pioneering renewables giant Masdar, industry influencers, problem solvers, policymakers, and cutting-edge solutions from world-class startups come together to create a blueprint for a sustainable future.

Programme: Along with an exhibition and technology showcase, there are five dedicated conferences covering the industry’s most pressing challenges and revealing the latest developments across ecowaste, clean energy, solar, water and smart cities. Among discussions and insights to be had, a focus on the digitalisation of cities (Smart Cities), how the water industry can reach net zero (Water), the benefits from circular economy approaches (EcoWaste) and routes to meeting net zero ambitions (Solar).

Speakers: More than 700 speakers will take to the five conference stages. On the greening of transportation, panel experts will include KPMG’s Morsi Berguiga, Engie’s Stephan Gobert, Toyota Motor’s Kei Fujita, while smart city discussions will bring together experts including Dell Technologies’ Hani Khalafa, PwC’s Phil Mennie, Aldar’s Greg Fewer and AESG’s CEO Saeed Al Abbar.

4

Economist Impact Energy Transition Summit

March 4, 2024

London

Overview: With a mission to accelerate a path towards scaling clean energy technologies, join more than 300 attendees at one of a handful of Economist Impact sustainability events in 2024.

Taking place on the eve of the 9th London Sustainability Week and focused on the energy transition through a technology lens, this event brings all the leading clean technology investors into the same room – and provides a platform for investors, end users and energy companies to explore economic opportunities, meet investor demand for sustainability, stay informed of policy support and tech advancements.

Programme: The one day-event is packed with more than 30 keynote and panel sessions that address the clean-energy transition, its challenges and opportunities. Among the many points up for discussion: how AI can make an important contribution; changing the public perception on small modular nuclear reactors; and how to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030 – as per COP28 commitments.

Other topics will touch on electrification, upskilling, scope 3 reporting, space data, nature-based solutions, SAF, solar and the ‘greenlash’.

Speakers: More than 50 speakers will participate in over 30 discussion sessions. Energy, climate and nature leaders from major businesses including Vodafone UK, A.P. Moller-Maersk, IKEA are set to join investor heads from VC firms such as Toyota Ventures and LG Technology Ventures and government officials including UN Energy Co-Chair Damilola Ogunbiyi, and US Department of Energy Director Jigar Shah.

3

Sustainability LIVE Net Zero

March 6-7, 2024

Queen Elizabeth II Centre, London

Overview: Building on Sustainability LIVE’s four-year foundation in providing award-winning and meaningful insights and discussions, BizClik is set to bring to the London stage the leading global voices in the net zero transition.

Like its big-sister show, this two-day event will convene C-level executives from the world’s leading companies – but will zero in on the Net Zero transition.

Following a multi-track, hybrid formula, the conference will address the challenges and opportunities in the journey to net zero and deliver strategies, innovations, and collaborative efforts that are driving the change. Industry experts and thought leaders will deliver explore actionable solutions, share success stories, and inspire positive change.

Programme From keynote addresses to fireside chats, panel sessions to executive workshops, net zero topics will cover four major core themes – Sustainability & ESG, EV & Energy, Climate Tech and Supply Chain Sustainability – and span industries, from travel and tourism to fashion to transportation. Among net zero themes, leveraging emerging technologies including AI to achieve net zero will be key.  

Gain insight into the technologies and solutions toward net-zero, hear from thought leaders on the best practices in sustainability-based applications, and participate in interactive discussions and workshops with some of the greatest minds in the space.

Speakers: More than 60 internationally acclaimed speakers will deliver inspiring keynotes and participate in thought-provoking discussions. Included in the prestigious and fast-growing lineup of speakers are chief sustainability officers from some of the world’s biggest and most innovative companies spanning all industries, including Tech Mahindra (Sandeep Chandna), P&G (Virginie Helias), Microsoft Germany (Sean Jones), Henkel (Ulrike Sapiro), General Motors (Kristen Siemen), Deloitte (Smruti Naik-Jones) and Polestar (Fredrika Klaren).

2

UN Climate Change Conference – UNFCCC COP29

November 11-24, 2024

Baku, Azerbaijan

Overview: Following on from the just-wrapped COP28 UAE, which for the first time delivered language on fossil fuels in its final agreement, the next UN climate conference will take to the global stage in November 2024 in Baku, Azerbaijan. This will see the summit shift to Eastern Europe for the first time in a decade (Warsaw, Poland in 2013).

Like the UAE, which hosted COP28 – the biggest summit yet, with more than 90,000 delegates registered – Azerbaijan is an oil and gas producer and a member of OPEC+. Like the UAE too, Azerbaijan has plans to diversify its energy sources to include more wind and solar power.

Having delivered a comprehensive response to the Global Stocktake and a robust action plan to keep 1.5C in reach – a balanced and realistic plan that addresses emissions and offers a ‘just transition’ – COP28 sets in motion a strong plan for Azerbaijan to follow. COP29 represents the last major chance to get the world back on track and hold nations accountable for delivering on their environmental targets. 

For the first time, COP28 brought the private sector to the table, recognising that the sector plays a pivotal role in in addressing global environment challenges. And it is hoped that such inclusion carries forward, to ensure diverse perspectives and resources continue to be part of a solution that works for all.

Programme: Like all COPs, the 29th edition will bring together representatives from countries that are parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Among the hundreds of thousands in attendance will be heads of state, government officials, industry leaders, academics, representatives from civil society organisations and business leaders. There will as always be formal negotiations, as well as panel discussions, speaking events and cultural events across the two weeks of the conference.

1

Sustainability LIVE London

September 10-11, 2024

Business Design Centre, London

Overview: Returning to the London (and virtual) stage for the fourth time, established event Sustainability LIVE London brings together some of the world’s largest and most innovative companies for a two-day, multi-track conference programme. Hosted by BizClik, and voted number-one sustainability conference in the world, this event follows the sold-out show of 2023 and will once more be held at the iconic Business Design Centre and is expected to attract more than 8,000 in-person and virtual attendees.

This year’s event will introduce the inaugural Global Sustainability & ESG Awards, a prestigious platform to recognise, celebrate and shine a light on the individuals, teams and organisations that are role-modelling and inspiring positive change towards a more sustainable future.

Featuring 12 categories, submissions for the awards will be judged by a prestigious lineup of sustainability champions, including Adam Elman, Head of EMEA Sustainability at Google EMEA.

Hosts BizClik are also delivering regional variations of the event, held throughout 2024 in the world’s leading cities. These one-day virtual events will feature speakers from the individual regions and address the sustainability issues that matter there. Sustainability LIVE Singapore is scheduled for March 19, Sustainability LIVE Dubai (May 14), Sustainability LIVE New York (June 3-4).

Programme With a focus on creating actionable change and real-world partnerships, the conference agenda delivered across two stages will feature keynote speeches, live roundtables, and inspirational presentations from leading executives, discussing everything from ESG strategies and renewable energy to sustainable supply chains, ethical finance, tech and AI and diversity and inclusion.

New this year, four sustainability industry workshops will provide opportunities for interactive learning, while the ClimateTech EXPO will showcase the latest innovations and pioneering startups.

Speakers Hear from more than 60 globally renowned leaders in the sustainability space. Among previous prestigious speakers at Sustainability LIVE were Chief Sustainability Officers and leading experts including Zurich Insurance Group’s Linda Freiner and WEF’s Oliver Woeffray, who discussed sustainable resilience amid natural disasters and the role of strategic intelligence in helping organisations make informed decisions, respectively.

Google EMEA’s Adam Elman unveiled the latest innovations to decarbonise in natural disasters, Kearney’s Angela Hultberg joined a panel to discuss women in the sustainability space, and Tate & Lyle’s Anna Pierce discussing supply chain resilience

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