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Steve Howard      

Former Chief Sustainability Officer of IKEA Group

Steve Howard is the former Chief Sustainability Officer at international design and home furnishing company IKEA and a member of its Executive Management Committee, a role he has held since January 2011. He was responsible for the company's sustainability strategy, environmental and social performance, the impact of its products.

Steve believes that sustainability will be one of the mega-trends that shape society and the business landscape this century is committed to developing innovative ways to make sustainability attractive and affordable for everyone.

Prior to IKEA, Steve Howard was founder and former CEO of The Climate Group, an independent non-profit organisation working internationally with government and business leaders to cut global emissions and build a low carbon economy, and now sits on the organization's Board of Trustees. He is a member of Vantage Point Venture Partners Advisory Board, an Advisor to the Planetary Skin Institute and also, until recently, was Chair of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Climate Change and a judge of the Virgin Earth Challenge.

Prior to The Climate Group, Steve spent 15 years advising major corporations, NGOs and UN bodies on the environment. He was a Partner in ERM where he led on Corporate Social Responsibility. Previously, Steve was the founding Director of the Global Forest and Trade Network for WWF International, where he led an international team involved in advising 700 companies on forest and supply chain issues. He is also former chair of the UK Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) where he helped achieve far-reaching consensus on a national forest certification standard and was also founding chair of the Tropical Forest Trust.

Describing himself as a "professional optimist," Steve is a leading authority on sustainability and climate change and believes politicians and business leaders must tackle urgent environmental and economic challenges together to create new jobs and build a prosperous, clean, green economy.

Steve has a first-class honors degree in ecology and a PhD in environmental physics. Steve's achievements have been endorsed by Time Magazine and Scientific American. He was listed in the Independent on Sunday's top 100 UK environmentalists in 2008 and won Social Entrepreneur UK at the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards in 2009. He is married with a son and is an occasional tri-athlete.

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