Building sustainable workplaces after the pandemic – the contribution and challenges of carbon zero for business

The Exchange
Tuesday 4 October 2022 (08:00-09:00)

Elizabeth Kirsch
Public Affairs Manager
College of Social Sciences
University of Birmingham


The future of work review commissioned May 2022, led by Matt Warman MP, confronts key strategic, policy, and economic issues.

About this event

The primary focus of the review is the labour market, but of course policy in this area overlaps with many other social, cultural, and economic issues. Crucially, all possible futures will involve a clear position on and engagement with sustainability, specifically emerging expectations for businesses to move towards carbon zero. It is however notoriously difficult to formulate policy in this area that government, voters, and business leaders all find convincing or acceptable. So what to do? Key questions this event will address include:

  • Why is carbon zero so central to the future of work and business?
  • What futures does automation suggest? And are they socially and economically sustainable?
  • What are the barriers to, and dangers of, carbon zero for business?
  • What policy levers are available to government? And how acceptable will they be to business leaders in this country and globally?


  • Ed Cox, Director for Strategy, Integration and Net Zero at the West Midlands Combined Authority (Chair) 
  • Andy Street, West Midlands Mayor 
  • Emily Stubbs, Senior Policy & Projects Manager, Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce 
  • Professor Ian Thomson, University of Birmingham 
  • Hollie Whittles, Federation for Small Business 

The event will take place in The Exchange's Assembly Room (3 Centenary Square, Birmingham B1 2DR). Breakfast will be served from 07:30.

The University of Birmingham is hosting a number of party conference events. Join us at our fringe events to discuss the policy-relations questions of the moment and discover how our research is shaping policy decisions.