HAMPSHIRE is to host the biggest event dedicated to corporate sustainability outside London and Birmingham.

Organisers of the Big Sustainability Expo say having a sustainability strategy not only helps the planet but is also the most effective way for businesses to bounce back from the past 18 months.

Sustainability strategies help businesses streamline their processes, reduce their running costs and secure their place in the supply chains of firms which have their own sustainability strategies, organisers say.

The expo will take place on Thursday, October 28, at St Mary’s Stadium.

It is organised by the Southern Sustainability Partnership, run by Hampshire and Isle of Wight businesswoman Anita Potten and Poole-based Lynda Daniels.

Highlights will include an electric vehicle showcase that will include vehicles from Porsche Bournemouth, Tesla and Ford.

Hampshire exhibitors include GHS Group; Meachers Logistics’ Sustainable Distribution Centre; the energy management consultancy GEP Environmental; Southampton City Council; Hampshire Chamber of Commerce; the Federation of Small Businesses; and the SME support project Low Carbon Solent.

A keynote speaker theatre will showcase talks by a host of experts including Adrian Hooper from Dorset business Creative Discipline; Martin Baxter, director of policy and external affairs at the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA); Dr Toby Wilson, director of environment and corporate affairs at Southern Water; and James Dyke, author of this year’s book Fire, Storm and Flood: The Violence of Climate Change. A LearnZone will host sessions about a range of sustainability topics.

The event will include the Hampshire Business Leaders Climate Summit, the first of six such summits, sponsored by Southampton City Council after the launch of its Green City Charter, and by GreenTech South.

The same evening will see the Big Sustainability Awards and Gala Dinner, hosted by Dee Caffari, the first woman to sail single-handed and non-stop around the world in both directions. She is now a big advocate for taking plastic out of the ocean.

Mike Rowe, chief operating officer of exhibitor Blackmore Ricotech of Dorset, said: “We urge businesses to attend the event because as we emerge from the pandemic, sustainability will be key to the long-term effectiveness of recovery strategies and your clients will increasingly expect sustainability to be at the heart of your culture.”

Judith Ward, director of Worldwide Waste Wise in Dorset, said: “The expo provides an opportunity to acquire practical information from knowledgeable people at the coalface of the circular economy. For us, it provides a great platform through which to promote sustainability training to interested delegates.”

The expo’s headline sponsor will be energy management technology company AyMa IoT, and also sponsoring will be Royal warrant holder Gather and Gather, which manages non-sporting events at St Mary’s Stadium and other football stadiums as well as the Queen’s garden parties, Royal Ascot and the Chelsea Flower Show.