Interview with Ben Wielgus: Informa’s Head of Sustainability – PODCAST

Interview with Ben Wielgus: Informa’s Head of Sustainability – PODCAST

Interview with Ben Wielgus: Informa’s Head of Sustainability – PODCAST

Interview with Ben Wielgus: Informa’s Head of Sustainability – PODCAST


Meet the author

Ruth Wilkinson

Sustainability, Purpose and Impact Lead

Leading international events, digital services and academic knowledge group Informa‘s Head of Sustainability Ben Wielgus chats to Clarasys’ Ruth Wilkinson about being a sustainability lead.

In the sixth episode of ‘Clarasys presents: Simply Sustainability’, Ruth and Ben discuss motivations behind becoming a sustainability lead, what it’s like to be in charge of the space at Informa, key skills needed for the role, benefits, challenges and opportunities involved, as well as advice and resources for those who are interested.

Listen here or read on for an edited transcript.


Sam Maguire: Welcome to our Simply sustainability podcast presented by Clarasys. In this series, we look at what can sometimes be the intimidating topic of sustainability and break it down into digestible bite-sized chunks to help you on your way to a more sustainable future.

Ruth Wilkinson: So welcome to our podcast, learning from the best a guide to being a sustainability lead.

Ruth Wilkinson: As companies recognize the importance of sustainability for their future many are appointing sustainability leads for the first time or increasing the prominence of those in charge of sustainability. This can be a daunting challenge and in this series of podcasts, we want to bring you interviews with established sustainability leads to understand their perspectives on being a lead, what it takes to be successful in the role.

Ruth Wilkinson: So we’ll kick off with some introductions I’m really excited to be hosting today’s podcast from Clarasys. I’m Ruth, I’m a consultant at Clarasys, but I was previously sustainability lead at a UK charity. And without further ado, our first official interviewee sustainability lead Ben, would you please introduce yourself?

Ben Wielgus: Yeah, thanks, Ruth. I feel like I’m on the wrong podcast actually because learning from the best doesn’t really feel like it applies to me. I feel like I constantly suffer from imposter syndrome because like a lot of sustainability leads my job is to figure out how we create a competitive differentiator from being a more responsible and sustainable business.

Ben Wielgus: And yeah, that’s never really been done before. So we’re constantly learning. I’m not really sure what the measure of best is, but I’m Ben Wielgus, I’ve been Informa‘s Head of Sustainability for the last six years. Informa is a FTSE 50 listed business in the UK. And we are a business that connects people with networks and knowledge through being the world’s third-largest academics books publisher, and the operator of more than 1,500 conferences and trade shows, which makes us the largest trade show organizer in the world, by some measures.

Ben Wielgus: Prior to that, I spent 15 years as a consultant in KPMG as well. So I joined the dark side when I moved across to Informa and all of that time was working with 150 organizations to help them figure out how do they do what they need to do on sustainability to help people and the planet. Well, I was also kind of maintaining that profit margin that they need to have.

Ruth Wilkinson: Amazing. Well, it’s great to have you thanks so much for joining us. Fascinating that you’ve worked in sustainability for so long. Cause obviously lots of people are joining sustainability new.

Ruth Wilkinson: Can you tell us a bit about your kind of personal motivations, why you got into sustainability and how you decided to specialize in that area?

How and why did you become a sustainability lead?

Ben Wielgus: Yeah, I suppose like a lot of people of my generation in sustainability, I didn’t fall into it, but I did joke for about a decade that I was completely unqualified to do my job because, in 2000, there was not really a qualification in sustainability.

Ben Wielgus: Prior to becoming a sustainability practitioner at KPMG I was a tour guide. I travelled around the world for a couple of years, um, spending a lot of time in nature and with wildlife. Before that, I did a computer science degree. And before that I spent eight years running my own business, helping people with team building and innovation workshops. But I think if I trace it back, my passion for sustainability came from being a Cub Scout and we did projects about otters and owls and recycling and conservation, and this was pretty new stuff in the eighties to be doing that kind of thing. And I think that stuck with me for a very long time. I was always very much, I hated waste of any kind, whether it’s waste resources or waste time or waste money or wasted potential. And as I became a tour guide in the late nineties, early two thousands, just going back into nature allowed me to rekindle that passion for conservation.

Ben Wielgus: And I thought I need to get a proper job I need to be in a big company where I can make a big difference through the resources and assets they bring whilst learning and growing myself. And I found a weird little team called the sustainability advisory team. I’d never heard of it before, but they were willing to take someone who had a strange career history and then train me up in this. And I loved it. You know, it’s a chance to work on carbon footprint in the morning and diversity and inclusion at lunchtime and geopolitics in the afternoon. Everything else in the evening. It hooked me 20 years ago because of that feeling of being able to make a difference whilst learning and growing and working with some of the best companies in the world.

Ruth Wilkinson: That is an amazing story. And so relatable, I think for so many people you’ve made me reflect on my origins and why I started thinking about sustainability and you’re totally right, it’s that engaging with nature. Finding joy in the world, around you and wanting to protect and preserve that. That’s pretty fascinating and an amazing journey to have gone on.

Ruth Wilkinson: I know, obviously you talked about joining the dark side of Informa, it’d be really fascinating to hear about what Informa’s sustainability ambition looks like and how you feel about it as part of your role leading it?

How do you feel about being the sustainability lead at Informa?

Ben Wielgus: Yeah. A lot of people have not heard of Informa and I think we kind of like it that way because we’re about creating platforms for our authors and the brands who come and work with us. But we made a decision about five and a half years ago to really figure out what it is we, we can do on sustainability that will make a difference to our business and our customer markets. And we now call that program our faster forward program, recognizing we all need to go faster on sustainability. And as a large media business, we’ve got the opportunity to help accelerate, not just our own progress, but the thousands of niche markets and millions of customers that we serve every year. And so faster forward’s made up of three key components. Faster to zero, which is about getting to be a zero carbon and zero waste business as fast as possible using carbon neutral as a stepping stone. In most of that case.

Ben Wielgus: We want to embed sustainability inside every one of our products and brands, because we serve niche markets and help train up their advisors and connect their markets together. So if we can put sustainability in the hands of each of our different markets, we can help that sector solve its own sustainability challenge.

Ben Wielgus: And the final area is called impact multiplier, but it’s recognizing we’ve got a set of unique skills and assets that can be of use to the communities that we work within. Diverse groups of people who were perhaps not connected with the products and services and would benefit from being connected and supporting community groups and helping people travel efficiently.

Ben Wielgus: So it’s quite a broad agenda, but we’re really trying to drill down to. Looking after our own house, through our environmental impacts and then making sure that our products are helping our markets and customers do what they need to do.

Ruth Wilkinson: Yeah that’s a brilliant sustainability strategy. I guess, one of the challenges that I, I always reflect on when we talk to sustainability professionals is how far you reach within your organization.

Ruth Wilkinson: Obviously when you’re a standalone team or you’ve got sustainability in your job title it’s clear what you’re doing. How far do you feel that that strategy is embedded in Informa as a whole and kind of what’s your remit? What’s the breadth that you work within?

What’s your remit as a sustainability lead at Informa?

Ben Wielgus: I think I’m enormously lucky. I was hired by the chief executive six years ago to figure out what the heck Informa should do on sustainability. And all I was told was to ‘make it relevant commercially to our customers and our people’. And I had this enormous Greenfield opportunity just to figure this out. And I, I spent the first few weeks I went around and met the hundred most senior people I could find in the company and, and dozens and dozens of, of more junior people to just figure out what sustainability meant to them and what was already happening.

Ben Wielgus: And I think at the start, I just took the assumption I could go anywhere and ask anything. And I’ve tried to keep that ethos in my mind. And so I’ve been very lucky I can talk to the CEO or the divisional CEOs and update them on what’s going on. I obviously don’t abuse that, but I’m very lucky amongst my peers, that we’ve got a very engaged leadership group, especially now that the world’s really waking up to this, that there’s proven commercial case for this a proven demand from investors a proven demand from customers.

Ben Wielgus: So it’s taken a while to get that momentum going. But now it feels almost unstoppable everywhere in the businesses crying out for sustainability. And then we’re actually, instead of trying to open doors, we’re trying to decide which open doors we go through because there’s not enough resource to work everywhere and I found myself occasionally trying to slow a few people down because they’re charging ahead and you want to make sure they do it in measured steps in line with the rest of the organization as well.

Ruth Wilkinson: That was exactly going to be my next question. But before I ask that I just love that ‘assume you can go anywhere and ask anything as a sustainability professional’, because I felt very similarly that sustainability touches everything an organization does. And so if you don’t feel that way and you feel you’re sort of stuck in a little box in the corner, you’re not going to be able to have the impact unless you affect.

Ben Wielgus: Yeah, I recognize not everybody gets to do that. For years I would describe the sustainability team, myself included as the weirdos in the corner of the room. You know, you might not have been in a box, but nobody quite knew what to make of you, what to do with you. And I think certainly in the last four or five years, the sustainability profession has emerged mainstream into most businesses. And there’s a huge opportunity for anybody who wants to get into that sector. To migrate across now because you know, it’s crying out for transferable skills and people who understand communications, behavioural change, project management, accounting, it’s all skills that are needed either within the dedicated teams or I think increasingly out within the business. And so we, we find although we’re a small team, we’re not 0.2% of the overall Informa population, we’ve got friends and allies in a lot of places who want to get on board with us and now our job is moving from the suasion to enabling and upskilling and providing frameworks to make sure everyone’s going in that right direction.

Ruth Wilkinson: That was exactly what I was leading to, which is that open door piece where you’re kind of being pulled in lots of different directions and the resource that you have is required across the organization. And I guess that balance between you being the kind of subject matter expert, really understanding sustainability. And how you go so far as to enable and empower other people who might not have sustainability in their job title, but can do the work in sustainability to keep that moving in their space. Have you found a challenge with that or any kind of particular opportunities around that?

Have there been any challenges or opportunities being a sustainability lead?

Ben Wielgus: A very good friend of mine in the construction industry and sustainability probably helped me do some of the most interesting work I ever did. Always talked about sustainability, being a collective responsibility, that every role has something to play, whether you’re in sales or comms or facilities or innovation and design, but it’s about figuring out how you help people focus on that bit and then enabling it and creating the conditions in the company to do that. Whether it’s about volunteering or it’s about new product innovation, each one of these things can do something on.

Ben Wielgus: I think the hardest thing is trying to enable people to do anything they want whilst guiding and funnelling it down the direction you want to go in and the direction you need to go in. So we have a set of priorities.

Ben Wielgus: There are a hundred other things we could do on sustainability. And I don’t want to stop any of those hundred other things going down, but it’s very easy for people just to run off and get distracted. When actually, we know through the work we’ve done, where we can most move the needle in the company and in the world. And I’m trying to make sure everybody focuses on that because that will make the biggest difference in the long run, which is why I joined a big corporate in the first place because it’s got the skills and resources to do that.

Ruth Wilkinson: Yeah that’s a really typical challenge when you’re a sustainability leader is how you harness the enthusiasm of your colleagues without everyone going in different directions and actually making a small impact across lots of areas. I’m sure we’ll come back to that later. That’s really interesting to hear about your journey, to hear a bit more about Informa and the work that you’re doing.

Ruth Wilkinson: I think what we’d like to do now on the kind of second part of this interview is to really look at what skills it takes to be a successful sustainability lead, what you’ve admired in others, what you hope to be in yourself. So what do you think are the key skills that you want to see in a sustainability lead?

What are the key skills for a successful sustainability lead?

Ben Wielgus: It’s a great question. I think it’s really changed. 20 years ago you either had to be an expert in engineering or wind farm design or contaminated land remediation, or you had to be someone who served with the UN or charities in Africa for a very long time.

Ben Wielgus: I think these days we’re seeing the rise of, of the sustainability professional with a master’s or bachelors in some kind of sustainability topic. But I think the people who are most successful are those who I think can persuade the audience no matter who it is of the validity and benefits of sustainability, and actually realize that most people want to do this. Nobody wants to go to bed at night, knowing you created more waste or that you led to slave labour in the supply chain. Everybody wants to make a positive difference. It’s not even about being neutral. Everybody wants to make a positive difference, but they don’t know how to do it. So how can you arm them to do that?

Ben Wielgus: When I hire for sustainability people, I definitely look for people who are widely read. So you’re not just an expert in one thing, but you could talk about diversity inclusion or the impact of the leather industry on sustainability or what fuel efficiency calculations matter. I love people who are resilient and are able to have a conversation with a wide range of audience groups and those who bring some skill from elsewhere in communications or finance or mathematics or something else.

Ben Wielgus: Because whatever you’re doing in sustainability you’re probably going to need to draw on the ability to analyze data, interpret it, and then communicate it. Yes, there are definitely roles that are different. If you’re working in a charity around fundraising or you’re working for an engineering company, usually with a three-letter acronym and as its name, you’re going to need something much more specialist, but as corporate in-house sustainability these days, even though the roles are varied and differentiated, you’ve got to be someone who, if you’ll forgive the cliche, you’ve gotta be a change maker.

Ruth Wilkinson: I love that. I totally agree. And I’m really glad to hear you talk about that distinction between how it might’ve been 20 years ago and how it’s transitioned. I once heard someone say that in the world of sustainability professionals, one of the key things they think it needs is pizzaz and that’s like the comms and selling this to people and really helping people feel part of it.

Sell the sizzle, not the sausage

Ben Wielgus: Yeah. What’s the old phrase? Selling the sizzle, not the sausage is a very good paper for anyone, it’s actually, what’s the point of Sustainability. It’s not that we should do this. It’s not even that it’s a moral imperative, although it definitely is, especially in the latest climate science, we’ve just got to do this, but actually, what are the benefits that arise from this?

Ben Wielgus: Even carbon offsetting, most people love the idea of a carbon offset and that is reducing their carbon footprint. But the stories that seem to resonate with people are the co-benefits that arise from that. So we’re actually protecting rainforests that have orangutans living in it, or we’re lifting people out of poverty by putting solar panels on the roofs of their homes so their kids can study at night, or we’re helping people in Africa live longer lives because we’re reducing indoor air pollution by having proper cookstoves.

Ben Wielgus: And that’s what I mean about the sizzle. There’s something in there that’s the hook that will motivate any audience you talk to. And I found at Informa, it was using the phrase, competitive advantage, just because it helps the business realize that we’re doing this for business reasons. So we’re allowed to do it.

Ben Wielgus: It’s changed now everyone sees the value of sustainability as well, but it’s still, if we’re doing this to make the business stronger, more successful and more resilient, better relationships with customers and we get the environmental, the social benefits as well. Why would you not do this stuff?

Ruth Wilkinson: We need to think of a vegan, alternative analogy to sell the sizzle, not the sausage,

Ben Wielgus: When I, you know, people often say what’s the five things I should do to improve sustainability in my life. And, and one of them is always eat a healthier diet because you’ll have more energy and it happens to be better for the environment and that, yeah, that tends to be eating less meat, more veg.

Ruth Wilkinson: Amazing, I love those analogies. I’m going to take those away. So what would you say to yourself if you were starting in a sustainability lead role tomorrow, what advice would you give yourself or someone else starting?

What advice would you give to a sustainability lead just starting out?

Ben Wielgus: I once gave a keynote speech almost on this topic so I’m chuckling because I very much recognized all the mistakes I made when I started the role. Moving from consulting to in-house one of the things I learned was that the process way of doing this, where there’s a very logical process, you learn when you’re doing a sustainability course or as I say I was a consultant, doesn’t work in practice because you never have the time to do a two-year program that starts with materiality and goes to this.

Ben Wielgus: So the first thing I’d say is you need some quick wins. You need something that says you get an award, you get a ranking, you’ve seen an improvement in score, you found a product, or at least you’re able to show that you’re doing a great job. And one of the best ways we found in doing that is to find what’s already good and sustainable about what you’re doing and celebrate that and use that as an example to show, look, it’s not impossible because we’re already doing.

Ben Wielgus: The second thing I learned is, is what I term, um, MacGyvering it. So you may not be of a generation Ruth that remembers MacGyver, but he was an American. And what was he? A TV star, I think. And he used to fix things with duct tape and a paperclip and a couple of bulldog clips and whatever problem was on and he could MacGyver it and fix it by wrapping tape around it. And I think that’s what you have to do in sustainability, that there are typically so many things that need fixing you can’t possibly do all of it. You certainly can’t do all of it as thoroughly as you’d like. So I try to make sure that we’ve fixed what was most broken and most important first whilst just holding everything else together. Sometimes I feel like, you know, you’re in the go-kart going down the hill, holding the wheels on trying to kind of fix it as you go down. And then that’s just the nature of it. You’re never gonna have a perfect offset strip carbon strategy.

Ben Wielgus: You’re never gonna have a perfect carbon footprint. You’re never going to have a great D&I program, a great charity program, but you can work on some and make them better whilst the others do a good enough job. And, and the third, I think is what I talked about earlier, which is just know what the big leavers are that you have to shift.

Ben Wielgus: For me at the moment, a lot of what we’re doing is about reducing our carbon footprint from a particular source and getting rid of waste from disposable exhibition booths used by our customers. If those contribute the biggest sources of carbon emissions and waste. And right now I’m not thinking about our buildings very much.

Ben Wielgus: Occasionally you’ll nudge it. You just got to know, I can make the biggest difference in the world by those two things. As long as I’ve moved them on a bit, every single week, that’s all I can ask myself because you could constantly beat yourself up over not being good enough, not moving fast enough. And really you’ve just got to do what you can.

Ruth Wilkinson: That’s brilliant. I think all three of those. You’re right, I don’t know who MacGyver is but I have heard people reference so thank you for explaining the analogy, but really like those and would agree with all of those being great things to think about if you’re starting in a sustainability role. That’s fantastic.

Ruth Wilkinson: We talk a bit about the kind of challenges and the things that you might face. What’s been the best bits. What are the most enjoyable aspects of being a sustainability lead?

What are the best bits of being a sustainability lead?

Ben Wielgus: Got to be the people. Like you talk about being a weirdo in the corner of the room. And quite often you were there by yourself. You know, the person who playing with a pop plan at a party rather than being in the center of the party. And that was fine with me. I like plants, but as the sustainability profession has grown as we’ve got more professionalized and bigger teams, we’re working with people who care about the same thing, that we do. And actually as sustainability has become more mainstream of the people in the organization have been willing to open up and say, actually, I care about this stuff too. And I want to come to work knowing I’ve made a difference. So now every day I’m surrounded by incredibly skilled, passionate people who are genuinely making a difference and we’re helping other people do that as well. So they finish their week feeling better about what they’ve done and knowing that actually they’ve really empowered some customers or they’ve really created jobs in their local economy, or they really helped some diverse individuals access a community they couldn’t already. And that’s gotta be a good week whenever that happens.

Ben Wielgus: Yeah, it’s great that you’ve reached carbon neutral and we score higher in the indices and we get some bandages and that, that gives you proof that you’re doing it. But John was my chairman of our board once told me, but it’s, it’s really just, you’re working with people who really care about what they do.

Ruth Wilkinson: That’s great. I, I completely agree. What would you say to someone who maybe hasn’t got that? Maybe someone who’s feeling a bit lonely in the, maybe they’re the sole sustainability professional in their organization.

Ben Wielgus: Yeah, I’ve been there. Yeah. I remember what that’s like, and I’ve certainly worked with lots of people who are in that situation.

Ben Wielgus: I think it’s, it’s probably getting less common now because there are always allies out in the business. You’ll find that green team, find that sustainability working group that works with you. And I think there’s a real danger if you’re the weirdo in the corner of the room for too long, because you may be not only the lack that energy and inspiration, but there’s a risky fall behind because in sustainability circles, the more you can learn from each other, the faster we’re all going to go together.

Ben Wielgus: So we deliberately open source every bit of knowledge we can that inform us developing because we know there’s those sole practitioners as sustainability managers out in our peers. And if we can help them do better, then we’re lifting the sector up. Yes, it’s a competitive differentiator, but better that the sector’s strong than just one of us and then the rest is struggling. And I’ve had great pleasure in joining the various networking groups that are out there, whether it’s the local green Mondays, or the local association or something else, there are always people out there to talk to on this.

Ruth Wilkinson: That was definitely my experience. I was a sole sustainability person starting it from scratch, and it did feel lonely at times. It wasn’t anybody else’s priority like it was mine. And I was definitely the weirdo in the corner of the room. And I think those networks are really important.

Sustainability drives collaboration

Ruth Wilkinson: We talk about a kind of competitive differentiator, but we can’t compete with each other to solve the sustainability crisis. We’re facing them as a global community.

Ruth Wilkinson: Our businesses might need to thrive within that. And we might need to keep some elements of that kind of supportive of that. But my view would be an interesting new perspective would be that we’re not competitive in our sustainability solutions. We can still share those even among kind of competitive organizations.

Ben Wielgus: I completely agree. I guess, one of the things I’ve often remarked is you can have competitors who absolutely hate each other at the company level yet the sustainability people still work together and that’s never been something that’s really been discouraged or frowned on even by the leadership because there’s such a good chance to work together.

Ben Wielgus: Sustainability drives collaboration in a way that, that doesn’t. And I’ve been there. I, you know, when I first joined Informa, it was a very small team and people didn’t really know what I did. And it’s, it’s hard. We’ve used the metaphor. It’s like being out in the trenches sometimes that you’re constantly trying to persuade people to do something that you deeply care about. And sometimes they don’t get it. Well, they do, but they can’t prioritize it because they’re based on quarterly or yearly short-term financial targets. I’m so thrilled to see that that’s changing in a lot of places. Um, we probably need some kind of support group for, you know, veteran widows in the corner that can go and do this.

Ben Wielgus: But there are others out there to talk to. I mean, hell you know if people want to talk to people, send me a LinkedIn message. Send Ruth a Linkedin message. We can all share our experiences, but there’s, there are lots of places to go on this kind of stuff. And I don’t think sustainability practitioners should feel alone anymore because there are a lot of people out there trying to do the same thing that they are.

Ruth Wilkinson: Absolutely. And I would say, you know, not, everyone’s going to agree with you and you’re not going to persuade everybody. So it’s okay. If you’ve got that person who’s really driven by something, the quarterly results and they can’t see beyond that. That’s okay. Don’t labour away trying to persuade them, focus on the allies in the room.

Ben Wielgus: Yeah. And there’s a lot of them these days. Great paper talks about this idea of tempered radicals that we are the weirdos and the radicals in the room. And we’re tempered in that we have to become hard like steel, but there are more and more tempered radicals coming out now. I don’t, I don’t want to link it with a D&I agenda, but certainly people are more confident talking about the fact that they do care about nature and they feel pain when they realize that they might be working in a product that may have slave labor in the supply chain and they don’t know for sure. And people can now turn that into action. If we can just shape and give conduits to that outlet.

Ruth Wilkinson: That’s fascinating. That leads me on to my last kind of formal question, which is, is there anywhere you’d send people, we said LinkedIn to drop us a message any suggested kind of books or training or resources or papers that you would recommend people read and consider?

What resources would you recommend?

Ben Wielgus: I think there’s so much that you can learn on sustainability for me, my favourite reading is actually the weekly or the daily newsletters from some organizations like Corporate Citizenship or Edie or others that keep you up to date with the broad range of what others are doing in sustainability because that’s where you help avoid being isolated and falling behind.

Ben Wielgus: I think if you want technical courses, there’s a ton out there, whether it’s from IEMA or Edie or others. If you haven’t seen ‘Don’t look up‘ on Netflix, always a good one, just for Jay Law’s rants about how she feels about climate change. It’s the cathartic thing. I think we all want to say. And then, you know, flip side, keeping an eye on the latest IPCC reports from the science allows us to articulate, but also I think to reinvigorate ourselves if you can avoid feeling too depressed about it, it gives you the fire to want to make a difference. Uh, and then there’s a great set of books out there everything from, you know, The Revenge of Gaia to some of the more self-reflective things that help you kind of learn and coach yourself on this kind of thing. Personally, I tend to stay away from some of the science that is consolidated and instead look at the things that help me be a stronger change agent and articulate the narrative for this.

Ruth Wilkinson: Yeah, that’s really interesting. I definitely think some of the pieces around kind of change and people and psychology and the way we behave, the way we do has really helped me think about how sustainability could take form in life and in organizations, even if it’s not sustainability focused. I’d also add to that on top of everything you said.

Ben Wielgus: Definitely. I mean, I always try and watch two or three TED talks a week and that’s everything really from, you know, psychology of human motivation through to new technological solutions for geoengineering or climate change cause you never know what’s going to come up.

Ruth Wilkinson: Mm yeah, definitely. There’s some amazing innovation happening as well and hopefully, we can all harness that in different directions. That’s fascinating. Any final things you’d like to leave any listeners with about your time as a sustainability lead? Any, any final comments before I wrap us up for today.

Final comments

Ben Wielgus: Well, this conversation didn’t go the direction I thought it would so I feel like it’s definitely been that self-help group we’ve all started that it’s difficult to know what to say to people, but if you want to move into sustainability, there was lots of lots of jobs going over the next two years, especially at the mid and junior level, because these new senior leaders who’ve been hiding are looking for it. But equally many existing jobs are going to be looking to incorporate sustainability. So this is a great place to do that. But I think what I’ve taken away from this is that reminder that we aren’t just the weirdos in the corner of the room. We can be the weirdos in the middle of the room now, and we can invite others to that party and I think that’s a really strong place to be now is we can say, we want to make change with enough people we can achieve that. We just need to be brave enough to talk about it.

Ruth Wilkinson: That is brilliant. That sums up very nicely. And I would say you started this podcast being very modest and self-deprecating, I said, this is about learning from the best. I’d say, I think, you know, your stories are inspirational and the stuff you’ve achieved in your time, particularly at Informa is amazing.

Ruth Wilkinson: It’s been an absolute pleasure having you. Thank you so much for joining us on this series and lookout for the next set of these series with another sustainability lead, where we’ll be asking similar questions and having a similar conversation.

Ben Wielgus: Great. Thank you, Ruth.

Sam Maguire: Thank you for listening to our simply sustainability podcast.

Sam Maguire: We hope you enjoyed it for more information, please contact us at

To find out how our sustainability consulting can help you, get in touch. To find out more about Informa check out their website or follow them on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. Or reach out to Ben directly on LinkedIn.

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