Congress of Business | Building on the Glasgow Climate Pacts establish during COP26 | Glasgow Chamber of Commerce

Congress of Business

COP26 was a historic, collective achievement for Glasgow. 

With all eyes on Glasgow, the world saw almost 200 countries come together alongside an unprecedented turnout from the private sector to commit to act on climate change. 

Building on the COP legacy, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce organised Congress of Business (COB) on Wednesday 24 May 2023 to drive and inspire action within business and cities to transition to net zero, supporting the ambitions of the various Glasgow Climate Pacts forged during COP26.

Congress of Business led positive change by connecting global businesses and cities to ignite action and drive innovation to tackle climate change.

With an initial focus on the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) and Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration, COB included a series of purpose lead discussions, interventions and networking sessions.

TUESDAY 14 MAY 2024.

Further details will be announced in due course.

COB 2023 Speakers

Martha is an entrepreneur and internet activist. In 1998 Martha co-founded Europe’s largest travel and leisure website, She became a crossbench peer in the UK House of Lords in March 2013. In March 2014, she was appointed Chancellor of the Open University and is a chairperson of WeTransfer where she helped them reach B-Corp Status. She is also a non-executive director of Chanel. From 2009 to 2013 she was Digital Champion for the UK and helped to create the Government Digital Service – transforming government service delivery.

Cook, writer, presenter and Wahaca Entrepreneur. After winning Masterchef in 2005, Thomasina co-founded Wahaca, winner of numerous awards for its food and sustainability credentials. In 2016 the whole restaurant group went carbon neutral and half of its menu is vegetarian. Her passion lies in food and its power to positively impact people, health and the environment. She was a founding member of the Sustainable Restaurant Association in 2009, helped set up Chefs in Schools in 2017, for which she is a trustee and was awarded an OBE in 2019 for her services to the food industry. She lives by her firm belief that three times a day we have the chance to save the planet through what we eat.

Elected President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in September2021, Razan Al Mubarak is the second woman to lead the organization in its 75-year history and its first president from West Asia.

She also serves as UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for the leadership team of COP28 UAE, which will take place in Dubai from November 30 to December 12, 2023.

Greg is Chair of the Connected Places Catapult, the UK’s innovation accelerator for cities, transport, and place leadership. He also chairs the UK Cities Commission for Climate Investment, a partnership between Connected Places Catapult, Core Cities, London Councils and a wide range of other private and public organisations. He is a Board Member of Transport for London, and a member of its Finance and Elizabeth Line Committees. He is also Chair of Transport for London's new Land and Property Committee. He is an Honorary Professor at UCL STEaPP, a Visiting Professor at the University of Strathclyde, a senior fellow at the Urban Land Institute and a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and until recently, a global fellow at Brookings Institution. 

Keith is Chief Executive Officer for ScottishPower and he also sits on the ScottishPower Board, where he was appointed in February 2012. Keith has full responsibility for the Company’s activities in the UK including the £10bn investment plan to 2025 designed to strengthen the position of the Company as the Utility of the Future. Keith is a member of the Prime Minister’s Business Council, the UK Government’s Investment Trade Advisory Group and is also a COP26 Business Leader. Prior to joining ScottishPower, Keith worked with some major financial institutions including The Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Life, as well as working as a management consultant with Ernst & Young.

Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli has been Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow since 2009. An economist, his research interests are monetary economics, central bank independence, fiscal policy, international finance and macroeconomics. Sir Anton was Chair (2016-21) of the First Minister’s Standing Council on Europe, a non-political group providing expert advice to Scottish ministers on Scotland’s relationship with the EU. He is a member of the advisory group for Sir Paul Nurse’s Review of the UK’s Research, Development and Innovation Organisational Landscape. 

In 2021, Shevaun Haviland became the Director General of British Chambers of Commerce. Shevaun has had an extensive private sector career and was at the forefront of digital innovation through her work as the Founding Director of the Academy of Digital Business Leaders and as a Director at Independents United. In 2016 she joined the Civil Service in as the Deputy Director of Business Partnerships at the Cabinet Office. From 2017, Shevaun also became the head of Business Relations at Number 10, Downing Street alongside her Cabinet Office position.

Wayne is the Chief Executive Officer of ReLondon – formerly the London Waste and Recycling Board – where he is responsible for helping London’s boroughs, businesses and residents to increase recycling rates, reduce waste and accelerate the development of the circular economy in London. Wayne has 25 years experience in the waste and resource management industry.

Dr Gary Kendall has been working at the intersection of business strategy and systemic risk for sixteen years, joining NatWest in March 2022 after eight years with Nedbank in Johannesburg.

Prior to joining Nedbank in 2013, Gary was Deputy Director at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) in Cape Town for 3 years. Gary previously served as Executive Director at SustainAbility, a hybrid think-tank and strategy consultancy based in London. His career in sustainable development began when he joined WWF International’s Climate & Energy team in 2006.

Wesley Spindler is a Sustainability Strategy Managing Director within Accenture and Co-Author of The Circular Economy Handbook. As Global Circular Economy Lead, she drives programs with partners and companies across industries, applying expertise in business, technology and innovation.


Congress of Business 2023 was organised in partnership with

The Scottish Government

British Chambers of Commerce

University of Glasgow


Congress of Business 2023 was held at:

The Engine Works
23-25 Lochburn Road
Glasgow G20 9AE

(This was an in-person and virtual event)

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