Southampton: Annual conference attracts 200 business leaders

More than 200 business leaders from across the South came together at the Business South Annual Conference.

With a focus on responsible business and good growth strategies, the event featured speakers from Heathrow Airport, Fawley Waterside, Siemens, IBM and Toyota.

A compelling panel discussion gave professional insight into connecting industry with educators to ensure a bright future for employees and businesses.

Business leaders from across the Central South joined together at the Business South Annual Conference. Inspiring and motivating with its future focused theme, the event took place on October 1, at Hilton at The Ageas Bowl near Southampton with 200 businesses from across the region in attendance.

Eminent industry professionals gave professional insight into their ambitions for sustainable growth, and how those best practices can be applied into the business strategies of other organisations.

Aldred Drummond, chief executive of Fawley Waterside, shared the plans for the innovative regeneration project between the Southampton water and the New Forest National Park.

Current thought leadership was provided at the event by Joy Aloor, head of Energy Business Advisory at Siemens who shared his expertise in the energy industry and smart infrastructure sectors.

Rob Bryant from Toyota, gave insight into future fuel technologies and the environmental responsibility of the transport sector in powering the future sustainably. “Toyota has 90 million vehicles on the road worldwide and we plan to make all of our new vehicles fully electrified with zero emissions by 2050” said Bryant. “As a world player we need to recognise our role and responsibility towards energy and climate change. All businesses and individuals can broaden their knowledge of technologies to help make informed decisions about their future growth.”

Mark Round, client technical leader at IBM, shared how its specialists, from the home of IBM research in Hursley, Hampshire, are inventing and innovating technologies that can be applied in business to help achieve practical solutions to assist in growth.

Becky Coffin, head of sustainability at Heathrow Airport, addressed delegates as the keynote speaker and spoke about the airport’s plans for sustainable growth through its strategy Heathrow 2.0. “Aviation is a force for good in the world, connecting markets and underpinning the global economy” explained Coffin. “With demand for flying rising, the UK needs to ensure that we secure this share in growth for our businesses, families and future generations – but not at a cost to the environment. Using our sustainability strategy – Heathrow 2.0 – we can balance our expansion needs with our responsibility to our employees, the local community, our suppliers and our important role in tackling climate change. We will continue to seek new opportunities to become sustainable champions and look forward to working with more businesses up and down the UK to help transform the industry.”

Compered by David Allard from BBC South Today, the conference also included an interactive panel discussion giving professional insight into connecting industry with educators to ensure a bright future for employees and businesses.

Independent construction company Brymor sponsored the event and exhibited on the day.