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Lord Deben addresses business leaders in Suffolk

Members of the Ipswich and Suffolk Business Club welcomed Lord Deben for their latest event at Milsoms Kesgrave Hall.

The Rt. Hon John Gummer, Lord Deben, is the founder and Chairman of Sancroft International, a consultancy that advises both businesses and investors on all areas of Sustainability and ESG. Between 2012 and 2023 he was Chairman of the UK’s Independent Climate Change Committee.

Lord Deben was also the UK’s longest serving Secretary of State for the Environment (1993-97) having previously been Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food. His sixteen years of top-level ministerial experience also include Minister for London, Employment Minister, and Paymaster General in HM Treasury. Lord Deben is currently Chairman of Valpak Ltd and of PIMFA, the trade body representing financial advisers and wealth managers.

Throughout his political, business, and personal life, Lord Deben has consistently championed an accord between sustainability and business sense.

Lord Deben said, “To address climate change, you need to have a detailed programme to deliver. If you’re a business and have to deliver something, you have a proper programme so everyone can join in. This government hasn’t got a programme at all. It’s got great gaps where it hasn’t actually worked out what to do. One would be critical of any government; this is not a party-political thing.”

Addressing what businesses can do to overcome what Lord Deben calls ‘climate disruption’, he said, “Look at everything you do, every decision you make through the lens of climate change. If you’re building a building, ask how we can make this as sustainable as possible. If there is a roof which could have solar panels, do that. If we are selling products with lots of packaging, reduce the packaging. If we look at every decision, we make through the eyes of climate change then two things happen; first we make more money, secondly, we discover ways we can make a contribution.  Sustainability is about doing more for less. That is what profitability is too so you can make more money that way. The fact is you need to plan better, look forward better, do all those things better but in the end, it produces a better financial result. That is good for business. What the government has to do is to help people to make those transitions. Help people do the things that need to be done.”

The event was sponsored by award-winning PR and digital agency PLMR Genesis, Milsoms and Adnams.

Members of Ipswich Suffolk Business Club are local business owners, leaders and decision-makers who share the Club’s vision in promoting business growth and accelerating Suffolk’s business reputation in the UK.

The Club attracts high-quality speakers, giving members the opportunity to hear from and question exceptional business entrepreneurs and political influencers. For more information, please see

To become a member and gain access to these exclusive member events, contact Liz Harsant by emailing

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Toby Kramers

Committee Chair

Toby was brought up in Suffolk and, after a brief spell at University and working in London, returned to Ipswich to work in a legal practice in Ipswich in the 1990s where he has worked ever since as a solicitor specialising in Commercial Property.

Outside of work, Toby enjoys politics (he was Chairman of and remains involved in the South Suffolk Conservative Association), singing (he has performed with the Essex University Choir) and country sports. He is involved in a number of local charities.