On the 14th of November, the business community will gather at the Chamber of Commerce Gala Dinner, with the keynote speaker for the evening being none other than the esteemed Businesswoman, broadcaster, author and activist Mary Portas OBE. Her dedication to integrating the well-being of people and the planet into the economy aligns perfectly with the Chamber’s mission for 2024. 

Renowned as the ‘Queen of Shops,’ Mary is currently spearheading initiatives that prioritise both people and the planet. Her insights promise to inspire and empower attendees as she shares her vision for a more sustainable and socially conscious approach to business.  

Diane de Garis, President of the Chamber of Commerce, commented, “We’re so pleased to have Mary join us to inspire our community to redefine the boundaries of business and work towards a world where the well-being of our planet and its people takes precedence.” 

Under the theme “People and Planet,” the event aims to highlight the Chamber’s commitment to nurturing talent, closing the skills gap, and steering our businesses toward a sustainable, net-zero future. This aligns with Chambers goal to foster a globally competitive and environmentally conscious business landscape.  

Dame Mary Perkins, co-founder of Specsavers “This year, we’re celebrating 40 years of Specsavers being a high street retailer in 11 countries around the world. The retail landscape has changed a lot over that time, and we continually look for ways to improve our customer offering. We have always had a big focus on sustainability, looking at energy efficiency and reduction, the resources we consume and minimising the waste that we produce. We are therefore pleased to provide our support to Chamber for the Gala Dinner and look forward to an inspiring and thought-provoking evening.” 

“In a world still reeling from the pandemic and facing the stark realities of the climate emergency, the imperative for businesses has never been clearer or more urgent,” said Mary Portas. “It’s essential that companies not only drive positive change by putting people and their value to society first, but also take full responsibility for their environmental impact. The businesses of today that truly get this will not just survive, but thrive.” 

Mary Portas’ pioneering work, as showcased in her books “Rebuild” and “Work Like a Woman,” as well as her role as lead presenter on The Great Climate Fight on Channel 4, underscores the critical importance of refocussing priorities and how this can deliver successful sustainable business that supports the community. 

The Chamber of Commerce Gala Dinner on the 14th November in association with Specsavers promises to be an unforgettable event, uniting business leaders, innovators, and advocates for positive change.  

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