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2024 Event Summary
Re-watch sessions, view the photo album, and see speakers, agenda and attendee insights from the previous event.





The opening session will explore the role of technology in ESG improvement. We will examine both sides of the equation; considering how we can reduce the adverse environmental impact of our technology estate, and exploring how technology can be positively harnessed in support of ESG ambitions.

09:15    Welcome and Introduction from the Conference Chair

Mark Stephen, Journalist & Broadcaster, BBC Scotland

09:25    The 2 Sides of Technology Impact: Maximising the Ups & Mitigating the Downs

  • Business transformation: making the case, getting buy in, promoting the business value

  • Sustainability for IT: how can we buy, build, use & discontinue in the most sustainable way

  • Actionable impact: where can the tech function support the Groups sustainable transition

  • Practical examples: use cases of best practice green innovation involving AI + automation

  • Decoupling digital consumption: ensuring we can progress and innovate without harming the planet


Natalie Pullin, CTO Head of Sustainability, HSBC Technology 

09:45    Think Bigger & Build Better

  • Green Design Principles - project management actions, design actions and a nod to engineering actions

  • Culture change within companies

  • Systems change across companies in the tech industry

  • Tech worker action

Sandra Pallier, Design Manager, Microsoft & Director, ClimateAction.Tech 

10:05    What We Learned from Benchmarking the CO2 Impact of Our Technology Estate

  • How we began looking at technology with a sustainability lens

  • Identifying the biggest areas of impact we could prioritise

  • Challenges of sustainability measurement: accuracy, baselines, caveats

  • Initial changes to procurement, process, and strategy

  • Benchmarking progress and the genuine impact of change

Andrew Macintosh, Head: Office of the CETO, abrdn 

10:25    Combined Q&A

10:55    Refreshments & Networking


Session 2 will explore a series of key ESG topics in a longer presentation format. The session will be run in breakouts across three parallel streams, providing delegates the opportunity to attend two options live.

11:30    First Breakout Option (A-C)

A: Sustainable Innovation: UXR Principles for Ethical Behaviour Change

  • Creating consumer demand for sustainable innovation is a tough challenge

  • However leveraging behaviour change theories can make eco-friendly choices more compelling

  • Three behaviour change theories & how to apply them within the sustainable solution space

  • Lasting design principles to support sustainable user behaviour

Nicola Dunlop, Senior User Researcher, NatWest

B: The Role of DLT in Empowering an Agricultural Renaissance

  • Addressing an Industry’s Ethical Imperative can lead to ESG impact beyond expectations

  • Humanised technology is the imperative 

  • Revolutionising Agriculture and Impacting ESG with Cutting-Edge Technology

Greg McLardie, CEO & Founder, Two Hands

C: Digital Technology: Driving ESG in North East Scotland's Energy Sector and Beyond

  • Digital Tech as an enabler of ESG compliance

  • North East Scotland’s energy tech commitment to ESG

  • Enterprise case study (Stena and Onboard Tracker)

  • People and skills for a sustainable future 

Ewan Baird, Digital Transformation Business Analyst, Stena Drilling 

Kevin Coll, CEO & Founder, Onboard Tracker

Graeme Gordon, CEO, IFB & Vice Chair ONE D&E

12:00   Transition

12:10    Second Breakout Option (D-F)

D: AI Sustainability: Navigating the Path to a Greener Future 

  • As AI technology evolves, its environmental impact cannot be ignored

  • The urgent need for the tech industry to address AI's carbon footprint and energy consumption

  • The hidden environmental costs, the geopolitical dimensions, and the growing policy pressures  

  • Solutions and best practices for developing sustainable AI, and how transparency and interdisciplinary collaboration can turn sustainability into a competitive advantage

  • How AI can be both a tool for and a threat to sustainability and drive transformative change within your organisation and the tech industry

David Elliman, Chief of Software Engineering, Zühlke

E: The Employee Angle: How Royal London (RL) are Building Momentum in Sustainability Engagement

  • The interplay between discovering individuals motivations and building a culture of sustainability

  • Data on key success factors in engagement

  • Insight on the roles of sentiment and education in changing the narrative

  • How employee emissions benchmarking can underpin behavioural change towards a culture of sustainability

Christian Arno, CEO, Pawprint

Teja Hudson, Senior Sustainability Analyst, Royal London

F. Improving Trust in the Age of AI for a Sustainable Future

  • An overview of the key legal risks that can arise from using AI

  • Tips on how to combat them

Jo McLean, Director, Technology & Commercial, Burness Paull LLP

12:40    Lunch and Networking


Building on the themes from this morning, the afternoon session will focus on specific examples of innovation in action across a range of sectors and use cases. These examples will illustrate how technology like AI & Blockchain can be applied to drive transparency, efficiency, and socio-environmental impact.

13:30   Breakout Option (G or H)

G. The Value of Blockchain Technology in Supporting ESG

  • With ‘Scope 3’ emission reporting on the horizon, companies face real challenges in how to access and share ESG data safely to support disclosure requirements, and transparently prove their mitigation activities to stakeholders

  • How blockchain technology can help organisations share their data securely, ensuring it remains tamper-proof and immutable at all times

  • How blockchain encryption keeps data indecipherable to bad actors, while also greatly improving the efficiency and reliability of information sharing

  • How blockchain can transform the way we store, protect and communicate data in relation to ESG activities 

  • But what about environmental impact, in particular energy use in crypto? Find out how solutions incorporating the above are being used to address this new growing asset class  

Martin Halford, CTO, Siccar

Vicky Byrom, Chief Data & Analytics Officer, Zumo

H. Applying Data & AI to Regenerate our Built Environment

  • Introduction to Regenerative Placemaking in Scotland

  • The potential of data and AI to support and scale regeneration activities

  • The Role of ESG and Technology in Impact Investment Deployment

  • Local, Regional, and National Data-Driven Strategies

  • The Future is Digital, Inclusive, and Focused on Action

Katherine Gunderson, CEO, Grand Bequest

14:00   Transition to plenary

14:05   Sustainability: AI for Impact (CANCELLED)

  • Businesses are facing three key challenges: new growth, costs, and tighter regulation

  • How can AI improve sustainability measurement to build resilience

  • Power insights to use energy and resources more efficiently in operations and supply chains to reduce costs

  • Help unlock new growth opportunities and markets

Georgina Bulkeley, Director of Financial Services, Global Strategic Industries, Google Cloud

14:25    AI for Social Change

  • Building AI products for the civil service: What we did and how we did it

  • The mix of skills you need

  • How to evaluate progress

  • What works in practice

  • Outcomes and impact

Jude Webb, Head of Delivery, i.AI: Cabinet Office

14:45    Combined Q&A Panel

15:15     End of Session

15:20    Networking & Drinks Reception

16:00    Close of Conference


*The conference agenda is provisional and subject to change


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