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About Ben

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Ben Wood phd

bw@systems7.co / +44 7824 479785

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My ambition is to help leaders and companies that have a net positive impact on people and the planet to thrive and outperform those that don’t. I joined the Systems7 team in March 2023 in service of that ambition.

 

My strengths lie in making sense of complex information and communicating about it with clarity; managing programme design, governance and delivery; stakeholder engagement; and catalysing organisational change.

 

Before joining S7, I was UK Head of Sustainability at Arla Foods, a farmer-owned cooperative, one of the world’s largest dairy companies and a leader in dairy sustainability. At Arla, I led the design, governance and delivery of its UK sustainability strategy. Highlights included developing and launching Arla’s UK climate action roadmap, as well as appearing on children’s BBC TV show Newsround (a favourite show growing up!) to share the recycling journey of milk bottles and encourage children to recycle.

 

I’m very proud to have left Arla having overseen significant increases in both KPIs measuring colleagues’ capabilities to take action on sustainability and those measuring Arla’s reputation as a sustainable business with customers and consumers.

 

Before joining Arla, I spent four years at an Anglo-Nordic business advisory firm that works with multi-national companies to help them to grow and make profit in ways that also benefit people and the planet. Most of my time at was spent scoping, designing and delivering business-led social and environmental impact programmes, including Build AheadEurope Delivers and Vikaasa.

 

I have also worked in academia and public affairs, as well as leading research projects aimed at strengthening international development and climate programming. In 2016, I completed a PhD which explored the impact of climate resilience projects in sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on unpacking local peoples’ experiences. I have authored several academic publications focussed on accelerating inclusive climate action – five of which were cited in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2018 special report on the impacts of a 1.5⁰C global warming scenario – and also hold an MSc in Climate Change (University of Leeds) as well as a BA in Politics (Durham University).

 

Outside of work, the way I spend my time largely revolves around family, friends, food and being active. After an ill-timed achilles injury, I recently called time on a life-long amateur football career but I continue to enjoy long-distance running and I spend as much time as I can trying to improve my skiing capability. I also love to cook and I am currently renovating a new home with my wife, Holly.

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