Industry backs The Sustainability in Licensing Conference as it readies for June debut

Published on: 17th February 2020

BBC Studios, Warner Bros. Consumer Products, and ViacomCBS are just a smattering of the industry big hitter to throw their support behind the Sustainability in Licensing Conference, an initiative aimed at breaking new grounds within the licensing industry’s sustainability efforts.

In a show of support for the concept launched in a joint venture by Max Publishing and Helena Mansell-Stopher, founder of the Products of Change Group, the industry has been quick to back the event, with its roster of partners climbing to 20 within weeks of its announcement.

Already the likes of MDR Brand Management, the Natural History Museum, Hasbro, Character World, TDP Textiles, Brandgenuity, Change Plastics for Good, Smiffys, Dreamtex, Kids Industries, and Amscan have got behind the project as it prepares to debut this year.

This roster has been joined by the likes of GB eye, Global Brands Europe, Those Licensing People, University of Oxford, and Discovery Inc.

To be held at The British Library on Thursday, June 11th 2020, the Sustainability in Licensing Conference 2020 is aimed at everyone in the licensing arena, from retailers to licensors, licensees to trade suppliers.

Its aim is to help the industry future-proof its businesses with insight on how to develop sustainable strategies, taking into consideration how a given organisation operates in today’s ecological, social and economic environment.

The Sustainability in Licensing Conference (SILC 2020) will look to inspire and inform as to how the dynamic licensing sector can continue to innovate and grow commercially while not costing the planet.

“Sustainability is so much more than a buzzword, it is and will continue to be, a vital driver of business decisions,” said Mansell-Stopher, conference director and curator.To drive sustainable growth within the licensing industry over the next few decades will require a radical approach to business practices be it through embracing new materials and production techniques, re-engineering packaging or adopting new marketing methods, all without sacrificing financial growth.

“Our aim with SILC 2020 is to help both future-proof our industry and our world.”

The conference’s agenda will see leading lights and visionaries from outside and within the industry as well as retail experts, sharing their achievements and demonstrating the gains, both environmentally and financially, that can be made.

“The licensing industry is huge and multi-farious – generating US$272 billion at retail at the last count. The brands and properties that feature on all manner of consumer goods across the whole retail spectrum bring so much pleasure to millions of people,” continued Mansell-Stopher.

“I have every confidence that the learnings shared at the Sustainability in Licensing Conference will see some significant gains being made on the environmental front too. We’re all on this journey together, but ensuring we establish a more sustainable footing is no distant wish, it’s very much a necessity.”

Demonstrating its own commitment to the cause, SILC has secured an additional partnership with Offset Earth to ensure the conference is fully carbon offset.

The event’s partnership with Offset Earth will mean that running the conference, along with its attendees, will generate the planting of 720 mangrove trees in Madagascar, an area that houses more than 200,000 species of plants and animals that do not live anywhere else in the world.

However, more than 90 per cent of Madagascar’s original forests have been destroyed, displacing entire animal species and taking away the Malagasy’s ability to farm and live on the land. Entire mangrove estuaries are gone, leaving the bare earth to wash away into the sea.

Funds from SILC 2020 will support the non-profit Eden Reforestation Projects as it continues to reforest the island. Eden is a world leader in responsible reforestation, having already planted 265 million trees and created 2.6 million work days for local communities.

Sustainability in Licensing Conference 2020 – the line-up

Meanwhile, already a content framework for the day has been detailed, highlighting the need for greater change with talks on the following topics:

  • Why change? – 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and what they mean for the industry and the individual
  • How can business contribute towards a sustainable future?
  • Designing out waste – why design plays an important part in the sustainability journey
  • Plastic innovation in packaging and SUPs
  • Collaborations and why these are so important
  • How to unlock sustainable finance and the need to review how we track finance within corporations’ gross domestic product
  • Why we need to move to a circular economy business model
  • Innovation within fashion manufacturing and retail
  • Marketing and communications – both internal and external
  • A panel with leaders from the toy industry, discussing the road ahead and how to manage change collectively
  • What retail requires from the industry
  • A panel with UK retailers, coming together to drive change

Find out how to book your place at this year’s Sustainability in Licensing Conference by clicking here.


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