Tarmac hosts roundtable to inspire the next generation of sustainability leaders 

November 30, 2021

Earlier this month, Tarmac held a virtual roundtable with young people, and alumni, from Solutions for the Planet’s Big Ideas Programme, to discuss climate change and sustainability issues that mattered to them.

The roundtable built on the existing partnership between Solutions for the Planet, and Tarmac, and gave students the opportunity to learn about the challenges businesses, and industry, face in reaching net zero by 2050.

At the same time, the sustainability team engaged early with future leaders, heard their views and opinions on climate change and sustainability, and promoted careers in sustainability at Tarmac.

The event was attended by pupils from schools in Leeds, London and the West Midlands, Dr Martyn Kenny, sustainability director at Tarmac, Andy Swain, senior manager in sustainability at Tarmac, and Jen Baughan, CEO, Solutions for the Planet, who also chaired the event.

Dr Martyn Kenny, sustainability director at Tarmac, said: “Collaboration and engagement are key to our plans of reaching net zero before 2050. Ten, twenty and thirty years from now, many of the people working in sustainability teams in corporate businesses and government departments will most likely have retired. We want to support young passionate leaders to develop skills and knowledge in the field of sustainability and engage with leaders so they may choose a career with us, or in the industry, and be the future agents of change.”

Jen Baughan, CEO, Solutions for the Planet, said: “I am proud to be in a position where Solutions for the Planet can facilitate inspirational and creative partnerships between young people and businesses, for a stronger and more sustainable future. Our S4TP Youth Insights service works with businesses to bring young people’s perspectives into strategic decision making, including important issues like plans for net zero and the wider sustainability agenda. By bringing people together, from diverse backgrounds, generations, businesses and geographies, we share the knowledge and skills that will shape a more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable future.”

Young people said that they enjoyed the discussion and were surprised at how much Tarmac cared for and considered the environment, and that sustainability was both a difficult but rewarding career.

Payel, 14-years-old and from London, said: “It gave me an insight on how businesses tackle environmental issues.”

Harriet, 13-years-old and from Leeds, added: “It was interesting to see how involved they [Tarmac] were and good to see that they cared about the environment that much.”

The agenda was mixed with group discussions, polls and students’ questions, including how Tarmac will measure the success of its sustainability strategy and how educated and engaged are Tarmac employees with sustainability issues.

The roundtable is part of a series of initiatives that Tarmac is planning to collaborate with key stakeholders to reach net zero, before 2050.

Watch some interesting, and insightful, clips from the round table here.