Charity Finance presents the ESG Imperative 2024

21 February 2024 London

A conference for charity professionals looking to further their charity's ESG agenda

We are delighted to announce the return of our ESG Imperative conference. 

There is a growing awareness that organisations of all shapes and sizes have a personal accountability to consider their social and environmental footprint and to behave responsibly. But what does this really look like? How many of the reporting frameworks and strategies being adopted in other sectors are transferable to charities?

From navigating the complex world of responsible investment, through to developing net zero targets and tackling the complexities of reporting and good governance, there is a myriad of practical and ethical decisions facing today’s leaders. Our broad range of speakers will offer practical insight and advice, demonstrating the importance and urgency of the ESG agenda, and leaving you better equipped to take meaningful action. We hope you will join us for what promises to be an inspiring, practical and thought-leading conference.

Download the 2024 programme.



21 February 2024

  • 8.45AM - 9.20AM
    Registration, refreshments, networking and time to visit exhibition
  • 9.20AM - 9.25AM
    Welcome from Tristan Blythe, editor, Charity Finance
  • 9.25AM - 10.05AM
    Opening keynote to be announced!
  • 10.05AM - 10.45AM
    1A. Cutting the rope in the sustainability versus profitability tug of war

    Headlines often frame the energy transition and maximising profitability as competing goals. However, we believe that, in the majority of cases, optimising energy transition strategies can also help to maximise long-term returns for companies. We believe our new engagement-led investing approach complements traditional ESG strategies and aims to drive real-world change alongside unlocking significant return potential for investors. This session will cover the latest innovations in this space and how they might fit within charities’ wider responsible investing strategies.

    Nick Stansbury, head of climate solutions, Legal and General Investment Management

  • 10.05AM - 10.45AM
    1B. Telling your charity’s ESG story

    Charities are at different stages of their ESG journey. Whether your charity is just starting out or already making strides, it is important to be able to communicate with key stakeholders how you are navigating this important area. This session aims to provide practical advice in shaping your charity’s narrative across the different facets of the ESG agenda, as well as sharing good practice examples from the charity sector and beyond - including what might be on the horizon.

    Daniel Chan, director, PwC UK

  • 10.45AM - 11.15AM
    Morning coffee and networking
  • 11.15AM - 12.00PM
    2A. Climate Confident: Charity investments and net zero

    This session will cover the findings from Cazenove Capital's latest research which highlights a groundswell of concern and action by charities around climate change. 76% of the survey respondents believe that charities should be making commitments to act on climate change, however only 54% have made a commitment to date. Our research has shown that many charities are looking for more guidance on how to incorporate their climate ambitions into their investment strategy. This session will provide practical examples of climate related investment policies and outline the actionable steps in order for you to take the next step. 

    Tom Montagu-Pollock, co-head of charities and Emily Petersen, portfolio director & sustainability lead, Cazenove Capital

  • 11.15AM - 12.00PM
    2B. Accelerating the pace and scale of responsible business - what does good really look like?

    One of the challenges facing charities is a lack of guidance, reporting frameworks and benchmarking tools available to help them assess progress. In this session, Business in the Community (BITC)  will share an overview of their Responsible Business Health Check tool which enables an assessment of an organisation's performance and tracks progress against the Responsible Business Map which was built on the United Nation’s Global Goals (also known as SDGs).  Join this session to understand more about the urgency surrounding the need for more responsible businesses to help meet the UN's Global Goals, and practical tips on how to accelerate the pace and scale of your own journey.

    Speaker to be announced, Business in the Community

  • 12.00PM - 12.45PM
    3A. Making ESG more than a buzzword: How to integrate ESG into your investment policy 

    The session focuses on how charities can effectively incorporate ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) and stewardship expectations and requirements into their investment policy. Attendees will gain insights into the importance of ESG and stewardship in investment decision-making, the benefits of incorporating these factors into investment policies, and how charities can navigate the challenges of implementing these requirements. 

    Tom Holbrook, investment director and Nicola Toyer, head of investments, Investec Wealth & Investment (UK) 

  • 12.00PM - 12.45PM
    3B. Meeting the mandate for climate action: Public expectations and practical responses

    While the sector waits for official guidance on net zero strategies and ESG reporting requirements, recent research demonstrates that public expectation on charities to be active is rising, including the need for even non-environmental charities to be playing their part. Is there an opportunity for cross-sector collaboration, where charities could share resources and knowledge in order to move forward together faster while also reducing costs? 

    Alex Davies, sustainability and ESG lead, Cancer Research UK

  • 12.45PM - 1.15PM
    Plenary: Embedding an ethical approach into your organisation's DNA 

    Defining your values and purpose is an essential step to embedding ethical practice in any organisation. However, navigating the complexities around your moral obligation as a charity towards your beneficiaries, staff and other key stakeholders are far from simple. Sir Laurie Magnus' experience spans a four-decade career in finance in the City of London, chair of Historic England, deputy chair of the National Trust and most recently, as chair of The City of London Investment Trust and a senior advisor at the investment banking firm Evercore Partners. We invite him to share his take on how to go about making financial and strategic decisions that are in the best interest of your charity in the long-term. 

    Sir Laurie Magnus, deputy chairman, European investment banking, Evercore Partners

  • 1.15PM - 2.15PM
    Lunch and time to visit exhibition
  • 2.15PM - 3.00PM
    4A. ESG masterclass: using ESG to drive value

    This session will use real life company case studies to demonstrate how ESG can be integrated into financial modelling, with the goal of driving stronger investment returns for charity investors.

    Olivia Lewis, charity investment advisor, & Mike Topley, head of sustainable portfolio management, Barclays Private Bank

  • 2.15PM - 3.00PM
    4B. Panel: Building charity boards fit for the future

    The composition and strategic focus of any organisation's board is crucial to determining the direction of travel. Without buy-in at the top, and the right balance of voices round the table, it will be extremely difficult to progress ESG initiatives or champion meaningful change. We invite our speakers to consider some of the challenges posed by traditional governance models, and where untapped opportunity might lie in order to remove any existing barriers and create sustainable charities fit for the future.

    Chair - Meg Wright, voluntary sector consultant and governance specialist
    Panellists - Bushra Ahmed, trustee, Lloyd's Bank Foundation, Ri Chakraborty and Leon Ward, chief executive, MyBnk

  • 3.00PM - 3.40PM
    5A. Fuelling positive change - using the collective power of charity investments to tackle the climate crisis 

    In this session, we delve into the heart of NCVO's 'Fuelling Positive Change' campaign, a transformative initiative urging charities to reconsider their investment in fossil fuels. With fossil fuels accounting for a significant portion of global greenhouse gas emissions, this campaign stands as a rallying call against the unsustainable practices that contribute to climate change and social inequalities. Our speakers share their own experiences of campaigning for and embracing divestment: from understanding the importance of supporting a fossil-free economy, through to the practicalities and process involved with divesting, and advice for gaining board buy-in.

    Chair - Muireann Montague, senior campaigns officer, NCVO
    Panellists - Tessa Khan, founder and executive director, Uplift and Paul Parker, recording clerk, Quakers in Britain

  • 3.00PM - 3.40PM
    5B. The journey to net zero - starting from scratch

    Every journey begins with taking a single step and no matter how small, any positive action is better than inaction. This session will share some insights and inspiration from 'Going Green Together', an initiative supporting organisations and communities in the North East and Cumbria to take action on the climate emergency, support nature and biodiversity and ensure a just transition to a low carbon future for our communities. 

    Carol Botten, chief executive, VONNE (Voluntary Organisations' Network North East)

  • 3.40PM - 4.00PM
    Afternoon coffee and networking
  • 4.00PM - 5.00PM
    From the director's chair - leading and developing responsible organisations in turbulent times

    In an era of permacrises, running any organisation comes with many pressures. Charity leaders in particular are under more scrutiny than ever to deliver their mission and to meet the needs of both internal and external stakeholders. In addition, economic insecurity and an escalating climate crisis continues to impact the fabric of society and our planet. What role do charities have to play in all of this and should organisations consider changing their strategy to ensure sustainability in the long term? We ask our panel what being a responsible organisation looks like to them, and what kind of leadership is needed to navigate the challenges currently facing our sector. 

    Chair - Ian Allsop, contributing editor, Charity Finance magazine
    Panellists - Enver Solomon, chief executive, Refugee Council, further panellists to be announced

  • 5.00PM - 5.05PM
    Chair's closing remarks
  • 5.05PM - 6.00PM
    Networking reception


Great ways to save!

  1. Be an early bird!
    Book your place now to save up to £150 off the ticket price.
  2. Attend with your team!
    Ensure your whole team benefits from a great day's learning. With the Charity Team Ticket you can send up to four people  
Ticket type   Early-bird (before  26 January) Final release tickets (after 26 January)
Charity Finance subscriber rate    £79 £149
Charity delegate   £99 £169
Charity team ticket (up to four places)
**Limited quantity available**
  £249 £460


With thanks to our sponsors of the ESG Imperative 
















With thanks to our exhibitors of the ESG Imperative 















For sponsorship and exhibition queries contact Yvette Micallef

For speaker queries contact our events team

For registration queries contact Carys Pugh

For media partnerships and marketing queries contact Kirsty Brown 

Terms & Conditions

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  • Programming
    1. Please note that speakers and topics were confirmed at the time of publishing, however, circumstances beyond the control of the organisers may necessitate substitutions, alterations or cancellations of the speakers and/or topics. As such Civil Society Media Ltd reserves the right to alter or modify the advertised speakers and/or topics if necessary. Any substitutions or alterations will be updated on our web page as soon as possible.
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    2. In the event that we have to postpone this event due to COVID-19, we will transfer your ticket to the next alternative date.