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Environmental campaigner visits House of Lords for ‘Sustainability in the Boardroom’ event

Business leaders, policy makers and representatives from academia met at the House of Lords to find ways to encourage sustainability and diversity in the workplace.

‘Sustainability in the boardroom’ was organised by INSEAD Directors’ Network (IDN) UK in collaboration with the Global Initiative on Ageing (GIA), Recency Recruitment Ltd and with the support of UNITAR (United Nations Institute for training and research).

Naseem Talukdar, founder and managing director of Regency Recruitment Ltd, which supplies seasonal workers for UK horticulture from South-East Asia, said: “This was an insightful event.

“Diverse and sustainable workplaces, which protect workers’ wellbeing, help reduce poverty, protect the environment and drive growth.”

INSEAD is one of the world’s leading and largest graduate business school. GIA’s mission is to support goals set by the UN and improve the inclusion of the world’s ageing population.

Naseem, from Bristol, is also the founder of Projects Against Plastic (PAP), a charity working to reduce the negative impact of single-use plastic.

Naseem, who is also the director for social responsibility and sustainability for UK Curry Connect (UKCC) campaign group, added: “We are looking at holistic approaches to sustainability – from using plastic-free products to reducing our carbon footprint.”

Sustainability in the workplace

Regency, which has aligned with several of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), will create an ethical charter to ensure workers’ rights are protected.

Luis Gallegos, chair of UNITAR’s board of trustee and president of Global Initiative on Ageing (GIA), spoke at the event.

He said: “We need a better planet for our children and our grandchildren. Businesses have a responsibility to be sustainable in all dimensions – from fair pay of any individual to participation in governance.”

Her Excellency Saida Muna Tasneem, the High commissioner for Bangladesh to the UK, also sat on the panel.

Ms. Saida Muna Tasneem, who has guided Regency on how to do business in Bangladesh, talked about the need for more women as board members, including women of colour.

She said: “Research shows women play an important role in the workplace, boosting innovation, marketability and profitability. We have to employ them.”

Naseem said afterwards: “Women play an important role in the workplace and we will work to ensure inclusivity.

“We are committed to providing a safe and sustainable environment for women coming from South East Asia.”

Speaking at the event, GIA Vice President Silvia Neira called for inclusion of the ageing population in the workplace.

The advisor to various NGOs related to education, health and diversity said: “People over 50 have a lot to offer to companies in the managerial level due to their experience and knowledge and it’s important to build multigenerational bridges.”

Climate-affected countries

Regency recruits from commonwealth, climate-affected countries such as Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka.

Naseem, who helped successfully launch a Plastic Free Ramadan campaign nationwide to reduce single-use plastic while breaking fast, said: “We work with those affected by natural disasters, caused by the carbon footprint around the world.

“It’s an opportunity for the workers to invest money back into their children’s education and economy, while ensuring they are treated fairly.

“The UK, which has a labour shortage in the farming industry, benefits from those with an agriculture-rich background. It helps reduce waste and the carbon footprint in production.”

Bangladesh has experienced more than 185 adverse weather events over the past 20 years. Seventy-five percent of the country is technically submerged.

Driving change

Jeff Scott is a board member of INSEAD IDN. He is also chair of NatWest Trustee and Depositary Services (TDS) and co-founder of Rewired Earth, a not-for-profit global coalition set to make financial markets a force for good on the planet.

He called for firms to look to the UN’s SDGs, be aware of their own supply chains and think about their customers’ needs as they drive profitability.

Lord Dick Newby OBE, leader of the Lib Dems in the House of Lords, who hosted the event, added: “Young people care about the environment and do business with this in mind.”

Speaking after the event, Naseem said: “I believe change often starts with education. It’s great to see INSEAD helping so many people around the world to achieve purposeful change.”







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Naseem Talukdar of Projects Against Plastic (PAP) and Regency Recruitment Ltd.

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Notes to editors

References in the article: 1.       Climate affected countries: 2.       The UN sustainability Sustainable Developmental Goals (SDGs) 3.       Boston Consulting Group 4.    Female per centage in boardrooms: 5.       Gender parity Bangladesh, 6.       Ageing brain benefits: 7.   Forbes – older entrepreneurs outperforming younger founders: 8. Regency: 9. PAP: Founded by Naseem Talukdar, Regency Recruitment Ltd was set up to address the UK horticulture labour shortage with seasonal workers from South-East Asia. Regency recruits from commonwealth, climate-affected countries such as Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka. It is licenced by GLLA (Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority License No REGE0004) in UK. Its mission is to establish a prominent global workforce ecosystem grounded in safe, ethical and sustainable recruitment practices. It specialises in recruiting seasonal workers from diverse backgrounds in South East Asia. The team at Regency prioritise the wellbeing and rights of workers -placing their safety and dignity at the core of our operations. The ultimate goal is to create opportunities that significantly contribute to poverty reduction and foster economic growth in the source countries. Guided by the principles of integrity and social responsibility, the team are determined to make a positive impact on the lives of seasonal workers and the development of their communities while effectively meeting the needs of employers across the Horticultural industry. Regency’s mission aligns with several United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including: SDG 1: No poverty SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth SDG 10: Reduced inequalities SDG 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals Overall, the mission at Regency Recruitment Ltd contributes to multiple SDGs by promoting fair labour practices, economic development and social responsibility.

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