Green Hero - Katie Critchlow
By Keith Melton & Laura Sykes
Finding practical solutions to environmental issues - and making them happen
Our Liberal Democrat candidate for Swindon North
Katie studied biology, ecology and the environment at Oxford University and then spent 15 years in green corporate strategy and sustainable development. At Marks and Spencer's she led a £200m green business transformation project developing sustainable supply chains and products including wood, palm oil, cotton and fish, and moved the company to 100% Fairtrade across many categories. She introduced the first nationwide carrier bag charging scheme and developed an innovative partnership to encourage customers to recycle old M&S clothes in Oxfam stores.
"Once you understand just how interconnected we are with nature you can't help but
be in awe of the natural world. Then you realise how quickly we are breaking down
the millions of connections that make the world work, and you see we are pulling
the rug out from under our own feet."
Katie was a consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for other big businesses such as Asda and Unilever on sustainable retail strategy before taking her dream job in Indonesia with WWF. Katie worked for two years with teams across the region to develop a new Green Economy plan for Borneo involving government, communities and businesses.
"We wanted to turn the conservation narrative on its head. It wasn't about just telling people to stop
cutting down trees anymore, that wasn't working. Our plan was about finding ways to make those
trees more valuable standing than cut so people wanted to protect rather than cut down the forest."
In 2011 Katie returned to the UK for an MSc in Environmental Economics and Climate Change at the London School of Economics: she then went on to run and advise a number of green start ups in the energy, automotive and bio-tech space.
It is this experience, of finding the right incentives and policy frameworks to make the green economy work for all, that Katie wants to bring to UK Parliament.
"I've made greener lives cheaper and easier introducing countless sustainable products and supply chains
at M&S and I've figured out how to invest in a green economy to the benefit of all. This is what the UK
desperately needs now - a positive vision for a better, greener world. Implemented by people that
really care about making it happen."
Last year she advised Sir Ed Davey and the Lib Dems on sustainable finance policy and helping write our party's policy on the Climate Emergency. Katie is that rare combination: an idealist who believes a better world is possible and a hands-on practitioner with the drive and practical knowledge and drive to make it happen.
If elected, Katie would work to unleash the creativity of business and the power of the finance sector to tackle climate change. She'd do this by forcing them to make a plan to be Net Zero, just like the rest of the UK. This plan would be detailed and costed in their annual report and if it wasn't good enough the business would be declared 'Carbon Insolvent.'
"The days of allowing vested interests like fossil fuel companies to dictate our future must end now. Under a
Net Zero Business and Banking Bill necessity would be the mother of invention - if businesses are forced to
change, they'll change and this will unleash a huge wave of innovation and value creation across our economy.
Seven billion people need products and services which enable them to live healthy, happy lives without destroying the planet. I can't think of a bigger business opportunity for UK plc - it's a green
industrial revolution and I want the UK to lead it. The dinosaur businesses that can't or won't change
will be consigned to the history books where they belong."
You can read more about Katie here: https://www.libdemvoice.org/libdemdivest-can-shift-billions-out-of-risky-fossil-fuels-and-create-climate-smart-pensions-61136.html
18 years' experience in corporate strategy, innovation and partnership development for a green economy. Degrees in science and economics from Oxford and LSE respectively. Developed Plan A in the supply chain at M&S, helped to deliver a Green Economy strategy for Borneo whilst based in Jakarta with WWF, supported the development of sustainability services at PwC and most recently spent three years running green start-ups in the energy and biosciences industries.
She is a Board member of Nature Metrics
Katie Critchlow is a key member of our Green Liberal Democrats team who can make environmental change happen in Parliament, so we'll be doing all we can to help get her elected. Will you join us?
For more Green Heroes go to the Green heroes front page here >>> https://greenlibdems.org.uk/en/page/green-heroes