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Climate Northern Ireland
Climate Change: Business Risk and Reward Conference

Thu 7th March 2013, The Mac, Belfast

During Climate Week 2013, Climate NI hosted a fantastic event on Thursday 7th March at The Mac Belfast, entitled ‘Climate Change: Business Risk and Reward.’

The event brought together small and large businesses to explore the impacts of a changing climate on the private and public sectors, to help businesses identify the benefits of addressing climate change within their management framework. 

Business Conf

The conference was well attended and featured a range of speakers from across the public and private sectors, addressing issues that arise from a changing climate, such as resilient supply chains, adapting  procurement, life cycle costing, impacts on construction, and sustainability in corporate policy.



To help support businesses in addressing climate change and increasing their resilience, Climate Northern Ireland have developed a Resource Guide which is concise and easy to read. It provides a one–stop shop for practical adaptation information tailored for businesses, but is also relevant to local authorities and for general use.

For a full run–down on what took place on the day, including summaries of the speakers presentations, open discussions and delegates, see the Conference Proceedings

Also for reference please see the Delegate Guide which was given to attendees on the day, and features speaker profiles.

Delgates at Conference


(click on the speaker’s names for link to their presentation)

Sue Christie

The conference was opened with a warm introduction from Professor Sue Christie who gave an overview of the impacts of climate change, and the risks and rewards that must be considered within the Northern Ireland business sector.

  Sue Christie

Alex Hill

Alex, Chief Met Office Advisor to Scotland and Northern Ireland and former ITV weather man, bestowed his knowledge on climate change in a Northern Ireland context in a fantastically engaging and entertaining manner.

Alex Hill

Keynote Speech: Paul Taylor

Head of Sustainability at the multi–national Camira Fabrics in Huddersfield, Paul delivered an eloquent and charming keynote address on behalf of a business that puts sustainability at its core and have developed “a good business model” upon it.

Paul Taylor

Liam McEvoy

Liam presented a great case for adapting to the impacts of climate change within the construction industry, bringing his personal and professional experience from site to present a very convincing case.

Liam McEvoy

Alex Attwood MLA

As Minister of the Environment, Alex Attwood stressed the need to address climate change and take the opportunity to make Northern Ireland an epicentre for e–cars. See the Conference Proceedings for further information on his talk.

Alex Attwood

David Gavaghan

David as Chief Executive of Titanic Quarter Ltd questioned how well we are presently adapting to the task at hand in Northern Ireland, speaking to the delegates about how ‘being daring’ will take us forward as a region.

David Gavaghan 

Seamus McGovern

Seamus works at Greiner Packaging Ltd in Dungannon, who have recently undertaken Project Cool, a process of reusing heat lost in the manufacturing process. The sister project, Project SCool, transports a portion of this waste heat to the local integrated college reducing its annual energy costs. This is the first project of its kind in the UK.

  Seamus Mcgovern

Billy Black

Billy is a Principal Engineer within the Department Finance and Personnel, Central Procurement Directorate (CPD) who spoke about adaptation and mitigation in the procurement sector, particularly in relation to the Property Division and building standards.

Billy Black

John Witchell

John spoke passionately about his work on resilience and adaptation within Clandeboye Estate,  relating to both the yoghurt and dairy business and the impacts of climate change on golf course management on the Estate.

John Witchell 

The final activity of the day involved a Q&A panel session with the full line–up of conference speakers. Details and key points of this session can be found in the Conference Proceedings.



08.30 – 13.30