Author and carbon advocate John Elkington announced as keynote speaker for SPARK 2019

John Elkington says it’s time to reimagine carbon. The UK-based author and entrepreneur is a driver behind initiatives that reframe carbon’s “dirty” reputation by creating more ways to transition the molecule from a burden to an asset.

Elkington is the founding partner and executive chairman of Volans, a future-focused business working at the intersection of the sustainability, entrepreneurship, and innovation movements. Through Volans, he leads the Carbon Productivity consortium,  group that is targeting the two defining challenges of our time: productivity growth and climate change.

“Instead of demonizing carbon as the main chemical culprit in accelerated climate change, the real challenge is to reimagine our relationship with this magical element, the most critical to life on Earth,” Elkington stated.

Elkington is the ideal opening keynote to set the stage for ERA’s SPARK 2019, on Tuesday, October 29. This year’s theme is Carbon Positive: doing more with less impact on what matters most.

“John is an obvious choice to kick off SPARK 2019. Innovators around the world, and right here in Alberta, are looking at carbon as a source of immense opportunity. An opportunity that lowers the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and deliverers prosperity for a growing global population. It’s a chance to take meaningful action to reduce emissions and create competitive industries,” said Steve MacDonald, ERA CEO.

An author of 19 books and over 40 published reports, Elkington has brought worldwide attention to the environmental impacts of everyday products and brands. While he recently recalled the term, Elkington popularized the ‘Triple Bottom Line’ concept, laying the framework for sustainable business strategy. BusinessWeek described him as “a dean of the corporate responsibility movement for three decades.”

His most recent book is The Breakthrough Challenge: 10 Ways to Connect Today’s Profits with Tomorrow’s Bottom Line, was coauthored with former PUMA CEO and Chairman Jochen Zeitz.

“John challenges all of us to think and act big in the pursuit of breakthrough innovation. He is the epitome of a thought leader, always at the leading edge. On carbon specifically, I appreciate that his work is helping reframe the global conversation to focus on carbon productivity. John’s is a great and timely message for Albertan industry and innovators.” Chad Park, Lead Animator, Energy Futures Lab.

“John Elkington’s thoughtful development of the triple bottom line over two decades ago created a foundation for a new approach to sustainability.  His latest thought leadership, moving forward using a more holistic, long term and valuable approach to today’s big challenges is something that I and my peers across Canada would benefit from,” said Nathan Maycher, Director of Climate Change & Sustainability Integration, Suncor.

Register today for SPARK 2019: Carbon Positive.