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 three challenges in 2020:

  • carbon and climate change, led by Divya Seshamani
  • biodiversity, led by Justin Francis
  • plastics, led by Kate Wylie

Examples of work to date include:

  • developing CSB recommendations on:

    • the UK government’s to commit to net zero carbon
    • biodiversity net gain
    • 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:

  • John Vincent (Chair of the Council) (Founder and CEO, Leon Restaurants)
  • 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)
  • John Holland-Kaye (Heathrow Airport Ltd, CEO)
  • Richard Kirkman (Veolia, Chief Technical and Innovation Officer)
  • Eugenie Mathieu (Aviva Investors, Senior SRI Analyst and Pensions Manager)
  • Wil Schoenmakers (PA Consulting, Global Head of Consumer Products and Retail)
  • Divya Seshamani (Greensphere Capital, Managing Partner)
  • Chris Sheppard (EMR Group, CEO)
  • Simon Thomas (Trucost, Founder)
  • John Tutte (Redrow, CEO)
  • Richard Walker (Iceland Foods, Managing Director)
  • Hayden Wood (Bulb Energy, Co-Founder and CEO)
  • Kate Wylie (Mars Inc, Global Vice President of Sustainability)
  • 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