Honorary Doctorate of Laws for Jonathan

Congratulations to my fellow trustee, Jonathan Wild, who recently received an honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Leeds in recognition of his outstanding achievements.

Former chairman and chief executive of one of Yorkshire’s best-known businesses, Bettys & Taylors of Harrogate, Jonathan enjoyed a 30 year career with the company, putting green issues on the business agenda long before it became fashionable to do so.

 A passionate conservationist, over the last 20 years Jonathan spearheaded the company’s initiative to plant three million trees in tea and coffee growing countries around the world through the ‘Trees for Life’ scheme which inspired staff and customers alike.  The business has now moved from planting trees to preventing their destruction by supporting a UBoC project that is working to save a rainforest in Peru which is the size of the Yorkshire Dales.

The Bettys & Taylors name has become synonymous with global environmental work and ethical trading and there’s little doubt that this has been instrumental to its success.  During Jonathan’s time with the company, it was regularly featured in the Sunday Times ‘Best 100 Companies to work for’ list and in 2007 it was honoured at the highest level when it received its second Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development, only awarded to companies with the highest social and ethical values.

It is always a pleasure to work with Jonathan because of his enthusiasm and unshakeable belief in the power of collaboration.  As well as being the inspiration for the United Bank of Carbon, he is continuing to play a key role in bringing together established, responsible businesses with rainforest projects around the world.

Piers Forster, Professor of physical climate change in the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds, and Trustee of UBoC