Yorkshire-headquartered green initiative In the Circle has announced that musicMagpie and Squire Patton Boggs will be among the headline sponsors for its physical and virtual sustainability conferences next spring.

The series of regional events aim to put sustainability on the agenda for businesses by showing companies of all sizes how they can move towards becoming part of the circular economy and the business benefits this will deliver.

After re-scheduling following the COVID-19 outbreak, the inaugural conference is now set to take place on Wednesday 24th February 2021 in Leeds, a city that has already declared a climate emergency. Delegates will be able to attend the conference at the Royal Armouries, New Dock Hall, either in person or via live streaming. The events are being supported by refurbished electronics re-seller Stockport-based musicMagpie and by global law firm Squire Patton Boggs.

Steve Oliver, CEO of musicMagpie, said: “Sustainability is inherent in what we do – our circular economy business model is based on buying, refurbishing and reselling used tech and we want to be able to help other businesses to embrace sustainable practices too.

“We are currently the consumer market leader in the tech recommerce field and now musicMagpie is launching a similar initiative aimed at promoting the resale and reuse of old tech in the business environment. This will allow businesses to securely sell their used mobile phones, tablets and Macbooks to us for cash, with the opportunity to buy refurbished tech for their employees in the future. These conferences are a great opportunity to educate companies on a range of ways they can make their set up more sustainable, and to learn from what other businesses are doing to help save the planet.”

John Alderton, managing partner of Squire Patton Boggs in Leeds, said: “We are committed to sustainability across our own business and are delighted to be supporting In the Circle events across the Northern Powerhouse. The debate about climate and environmental issues, such as clean energy, de-carbonisation, sustainability and the circular economy, has intensified and reflects shifting attitudes among government, business, and society at large. The COVID-19 recovery now provides an opportunity to capitalise on the efforts to date, to make business decision-making even more informed by sustainability and to advance more broadly the environmental, social and governance agenda.”

The events will bring together more than 30 speakers and 50 exhibitors, featuring many leaders in the field, to showcase best practice plans and initiatives to help all businesses build and develop their own sustainability policies and programmes. With conferences scheduled at the NEC in Birmingham on Tuesday 9th March 2021, and at Manchester Central on Thursday 22nd April 2021, hundreds of business leaders, directors, managers and sustainability experts from across the UK are expected to take part.

Alec Walton, chief executive of In the Circle, said: "The sustainability issue was already rapidly rising up the corporate agenda, with businesses of all sizes starting to appreciate not only their moral duty to play a part in creating a circular economy, but also the commercial benefits of doing so, as demand grows from customers wanting to buy from ethical and sustainable businesses.

“In fact, the COVID-19 outbreak has proved to be a catalyst for companies to hit the re-set button and re-think their business models and priorities. It has highlighted the need for a green and sustainable recovery, and we believe that our events will help businesses to develop a clear plan of action for implementing a strategy of positive change.”