Council for Sustainable Business

The Council for Sustainable Business advises Defra on how businesses can help achieve the aims of the 25 Year Environment Plan.

Role of the group

The Council for Sustainable Business (CSB) advises Defra ministers and policy teams. It provides a sounding board for how:

  • businesses can help achieve the 25 Year Environment Plan goals
  • the government can help businesses in meeting these goals
  • business can be mobilised to take further action

The government’s 25 Year Environment Plan sets out our goals for improving the environment and for being the first generation to leave it in a better state than we found it. It details how the government will work with communities and businesses to achieve this.


The Council for Sustainable Business is focusing on the following challenges in 2023:

  • biodiversity and nature
  • green finance
  • plastic and waste
  • agriculture and water

Examples of work to date include developing CSB recommendations on:

  • creating the Nature Handbook for Business – a free resource for businesses on how to address their impacts on Nature
  • ‘Get Nature Positive’ domestic campaign on biodiversity and business, supported by the FT and with 158 organisations taking part
  • organising a successful ministerial, business CEOs and key eNGOs event at COP26 summit on Nature Day focusing on biodiversity call to action for business
  • multiple policy recommendations on plastics which contributed to Defra’s waste and resources strategy
  • Carbon Dashboards - business roadmaps to net zero carbon, exposing how individual sectors will get to net zero and what and why will be the easy and the most difficult changes
  • encouraging UK businesses to move towards net zero and improve biodiversity


The Council is led by:

  • Liv Garfield (Chair of the Council) Severn Trent Water, CEO

The Secretary of State and Chair of the Council have invited the following individuals to sit on the Council in their personal capacity:

  • Justin Francis - Responsible Travel, Founder and CEO (Nature Lead of the Council)
  • Divya Seshamani - Greensphere Capital, Managing Partner (Carbon Lead of the Council)
  • John Holland-Kaye - Heathrow Airport Ltd, CEO
  • Chris Sheppard - EMR Group, CEO
  • Simon Thomas - Trucost, Lok’n’Store Founder
  • Kate Wylie - Chanel, Chief Sustainability Officer and President of Foundation Chanel
  • Neil Munn - BBH, CEO
  • Will Wells - Hummingbird Technologies, Founder and CEO
  • Simon Eaves - Accenture, Market Unit Lead, UK and Ireland

The council may invite written or oral submissions from individuals, businesses, NGOs and other organisations. It will seek submissions from those who have specific knowledge, either of a relevant industry or environmental goal, within the 25 Year Environment Plan.

Terms of reference

Contact details