Our second presentation at our January monthly meeting was given by long-standing member and former Chair of acumen7, John Pilkington
John is currently the Executive Chair of Carbon8 Systems Ltd.

Carbon8 was incorporated back in 2006 by two scientists who were working together at Greenwich University. For the previous 10 years they’d been experimenting on an idea hatched out of a failed experiment for a new method of soil stabilisation. Throughout 27 years from that ‘eureka’ moment, they have been seeking funding across a myriad of opportunities. In the past four years, they have been able to secure funding from external investors.
John spoke to us to give us the story of the ups and downs of the fundraising to date, the preparations for the next big round later this year, and the lessons learned throughout the entire, very long, process!
It was very interesting to hear about the reality of fundraising, how much hard work is involved and how long it really takes!
We wish John and everyone at Carbon8 all the very best for the future and for changing the world.

Carbon8 website


Making UK Nuclear Power Competitive

After Tony Roulstone presented to us last year, a group of acumen7 members got together with him with the objective of promoting and supporting the case for small nuclear reactors, a key element of the UK sustainable provision to enable us to meet our Net Zero carbon targets by 2040.

The Focus Group comprising Tony, Peter DixonRobert Osborne and Simon Murray have met several times and at our first monthly meeting of 2023, they shared the results of their deliberations in terms of formulating a cohesive approach to developing programmes of development for both SMRs and large reactors to standard designs.

The presentation and subsequent discussions demonstrated the depth and strength of our network in one of our key focus areas.

Thanks go to the Focus Group for their work so far (and the work that’s to come), and to all of our members who attended the session.

Technology for a low carbon world

Nova Pangaea’s Strategic Advisor, Barry Hedley, illustrated how the cleantech business has created a revolutionary and proprietary patented process. ‘REFNOVA’ converts discarded plant biomass into natural chemicals and biofuels, and is highly efficient, reliable, clean and adaptable. Making use of plant by-products that are currently going to waste replaces the need for industry to use fossil fuels and create synthetic chemicals. The process enjoys quality and cost advantages over all known competitive technologies, as well as offering dramatic potential returns to users, even at low oil prices.

For more information on Nova Pangaea, visit: Biomass Processing Experts | Nova Pangaea Technologies.


Climate Risk Reporting: What Directors should know, right now

The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TFCD), chaired by Michael Bloomberg, has been quietly working away on recommendations for corporate reporting of climate change risk. Companies will almost immediately need to take action. As the Wall Street Journal reports: “Working out who might be hit next is challenging for investors. The potential impact and costs of climate change are complex to estimate, particularly given the long time horizon and range of pathways the world might take as it tries to decarbonize. By forcing companies to work through different scenarios publicly, the TCFD reporting should bring some much-needed clarity to risks outside of obvious problem sectors like oil and gas. It should also shed light on climate leaders and laggards within sectors.”

Please see the link to an Insight from acumen7 member Peter Dixon, looking at what Directors should know, right now:

201120 Peter Dixon Insight – Climate Risk Reporting – What Directors Should Know Right Now


The climate restoration challenge

The second acumen7 talk at acumen7’s July virtual meeting was led by John Holland, Non-Executive Chairman at KCG Europe Ltd and Debbie Marriott, Owner and Founder of Faithmarriott, who revealed findings from their exploration of the issue of climate restoration/repair. They discussed the fact that leadership is missing in the climate debate – the ambition is there, but not the necessary action, which they hope to address with their leadership programme. Climate change is of course a breath-takingly complicated area, so their efforts to explore and gain learnings from different projects and initiatives are important to try to establish a clear path forward. The hope is to restore the balance and to let the planet go back to what it was doing naturally. They noted that the impetus needs maintenance over time and electoral cycles to be fully effective, and to ensure we leave the planet in a good way for the next generations.

Carbon neutral: What does it mean for all of us?

acumen7 member Peter Dixon gave a comprehensive overview of what carbon neutral actually means for all of us. Peter covered the fact that much work done already in Government bodies, but that it is a monumental project and change process, and we are only at the very start. Peter explained that there is limited business and public understanding of the unintended consequences.  The work done appears to be at the ‘expert’ level so far, although companies are making plans and/or developments in many areas, for example electric vehicles. Peter then led a discussion on what the acumen7 network could do support progress in this important environmental area.