Julia Hailes MBE

Sustainability Pioneer


When I say I’m going to be out of the office this week, people assume I’ll be on holiday. Actually this couldn’t be further from the truth.

– I’m spending Monday in Brussels advising Procter & Gamble – they have asked me to sit on an Environmental Advisory Panel relating to their cleaning and detergents division.
– Tuesday will be in Luxembourg as the key note speaker at the ALFI Spring Conference – ALFI stands for the Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry. The title of my speech: ‘Is the investment community making money at the expense of the planet?’.
– On Wednesday I’ll be in London at a National Trust event called ‘Never mind the Ice Caps! Who can save Britain’s Backyard’ at the Royal Geographic Society. I’m on a media panel alongside David Miliband, Secretary of State for the Environment; Rosie Boycott, journalist; Alex James, musician; Fiona Reynolds, Director General of the National Trust; and the Chair, David Aaronavitch, columunist.
– On Thursday I’ll be in Naples making a presentation to the European Management Team at McDonalds on sustainability issues in supply chains.

Eeek – I’m afraid that any virtue I gained last year by not flying have gone out of the window. I’m even flying to Brussels because the meeting starts early on Monday morning. I’d already concluded that pretty well anyone talking about climate change will be a hypocrite – think of newspaper stories about David Cameron, David Miliband, Prince Charles, Al Gore and anyone else you care to think of. Even George Mombiot flew to America to talk about climate change not so long ago. My view is that we should try and cut down on flying where possible but that you have to be pragmatic about business trips – or change what you do…. I’ll be buying carbon off-sets for my travel, not because I think they fully compensate the CO2 I’ll be adding to but because I think it’s better than nothing…..

On Friday I’m going to St Malo for the weekend – but I’m taking the ferry….

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