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 and Environmental Improvement 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 Environmental Improvement Plan goals and targets
  • the government can help businesses in meeting these goals
  • business can be mobilised to take further action

The government’s Environmental Improvement Plan (EIP) sets out government’s goals for improving the environment and the actions it will take to ensure that we leave it in a better state than we found it. It details how the government will work with businesses, communities and other stakeholders to achieve this.

On 31 January 2023 Defra published a revised Environmental Improvement Plan (EIP23). EIP23 builds on the 25 Year Environment Plan’s vision and sets out delivery plans across 10 goal areas, including how we will deliver its statutory Environment Act targets, matched with interim targets to measure progress over the short term.


Examples of the council’s work to date include developing:

  • Projects for Nature, a platform connecting businesses and the public with nature recovery projects across England
  • the ‘Get Nature Positive’ handbook for business – a free resource for businesses with over 200 actions and over 80 case studies on how business can address their impacts on nature
  • ‘Get Nature Positive’ domestic and international campaigns mobilising business on nature and biodiversity
  • 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, including what and why will be the easy or the most difficult changes
  • initiatives 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
  • Shaheen Sayed – Accenture, Country Managing Director for UK, Ireland and Africa
  • Neil Munn - BBH, CEO
  • Will Wells - Hummingbird Technologies, Founder and CEO
  • George Weston - Associated British Foods plc, CEO

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 Environmental Improvement Plan.

Terms of reference

Contact details