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 2021:

  • biodiversity and nature, led by Justin Francis
  • carbon and climate change, led by Divya Seshamani
  • plastic and waste, led by Chris Sheppard

Current projects:

  • The Nature Handbook for Business and ‘Get Nature Positive’ campaign
  • Business roadmaps to net zero carbon - the Carbon Dashboards

Examples of work to date include:

  • developing CSB recommendations on:

    • plastics, including multiple policy recommendations
    • a clean, green and resilient recovery post-Covid-19
    • organising a CEO and senior minister business call to action virtual summit
    • encouraging UK businesses to move towards net zero and improve biodiversity


The Council is led by:

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

The Secretary of State, Chair and CEO 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
  • Gavin Graveson - Veolia, Executive Vice-President UK & Ireland
  • Eugenie Mathieu - Aviva Investors, Senior SRI Analyst and Pensions Manager
  • Chris Sheppard - EMR Group, CEO
  • Simon Thomas - Trucost, Lok’n’Store Founder
  • Richard Walker - Iceland Foods, Managing Director
  • Hayden Wood - Bulb Energy, Co-Founder and CEO
  • Kate Wylie - Chanel, Chief Sustainability Officer & President of Foundation Chanel
  • Neil Munn - BBH, CEO
  • Emma Howard-Boyd - Environment Agency, Chair

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