Table of Contents
Whether you are a startup founder, small business owner, management executive, or investor, if your interest is in sustainability, attending conferences is the best way to accelerate growth. But there are almost too many opportunities as more organizations pursue climate conscious strategies.
Bhuva's Impact Global offers Fractional COO services, with our founder Bhuva Shakti being an experienced speaker on all things DEI and Sustainability.
That’s why we’ve narrowed down a list of the best sustainability conferences to date. These options offer significant exposure to experts across industries. Policymakers, CEOs, COOs, climate advocates, investors, researchers, and entrepreneurs all attend these high-impact conferences. Conference costs range from free to a few thousand dollars, but all of them provide significant value to attendees.
15 Top Sustainability Conferences Recommended by a Sustainability & DEI Speaker
Organized by Wallet Max, Emerald Summit is a bi-annual conference based around Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Panels, interactive workshops, financial wellness coaching, and networking events cater to small businesses and startups. Once a year, three climate impact startups are celebrated with Sustainable Impact Awards, which include funding and non-monetary resources.
Climate Week NYC
As the name suggests, Climate Week NYC is a 7-day event. There are in-person, virtual, and hybrid events for all climate-conscious individuals—from businesses and investors to consumers. In addition to in-depth panels on renewable energy and meeting ESG goals, there are events based around environmental justice such as climate change litigation and how today’s youth can get involved.
Cleantech Forum Europe
The Cleantech Forum Europe conference brings together innovators, government members, non-profits, academics, investors, and businesses to award early-stage sustainable startups and share insights in green topics.Past topics include green steel, resiliency planning, and alternative heating solutions.
ESG Fintech Summit
The ESG Fintech Summit aims to support senior financial professionals and fintech founders in exploring strategies to achieve zero carbon and ESG goals. This is a one-day, annual event hosted by Fintech Global, an organizatoin that serves over 300,000 fintech professionals.
Innovation Zero Congress
Innovation Zero Congress conference and global network of senior policymakers and business leaders designing solutions for a low carbon economy. A free-to-attend event supported by the UK government, this conference enables participants to network and learn from international experts across industries.
Future Food Tech
This San Francisco-based conference is organized entirely around sustainable food solutions. Future Food Tech offers numerous panels on enhancing nutrition and creating stronger food systems as well as cooking demos, food tastings, networking events, and pitching sessions.
Responsible Business USA
Reuters showcases sustainability innovations and solutions from top organizations like Apple, Verizon, and Intel in their Responsible Business USA conference. This event takes place in March and explores the green economy through various lenses, including national policy, political sentiment towards sustainable initiatives, social reporting, and aligning sustainability with business interests.
MIT Sustainability Conference
One of the most well-known green conferences in the MIT Sustainability Conference. This two-day conference showcases the expertise of MIT professors, researchers, and startup founders in topics such as digital sustainability, designing green infrastructure, and engineering stronger and better biomaterials.
As one of the top sustainability technology conferences in the United States, Verge 23 has featured speakers from Google, Audi, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), WWF, and more. During the two day period, professionals can learn more about achieving a positive climate impact through workshops and sessions on policy, hard technology, Scope 3, circular economies, finance, strategic partnerships, and more.
Fortune Global Sustainability Forum
The Fortune Global Sustainability Forum is a one-day virtual summit caters to investors, regulators, and organizations discussing how capital affects carbon zero innovation. From ESG reporting to green tech and electronic vehicle (EV) legislation, this conference looks into the nuts-and-bolts of environmental policy and governance.
Sustainable Finance Summit
The Institute of International Finance organizes a Sustainable Finance Summit every year in a different locale, with the 2023 conference taking place in Tokyo, Japan. This conference focuses on climate business policy, regulation, finance, and risk management. Past speakers have included executives from Fidelity International, Amazon Web Services, Bank of America, International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), and the Financial Services Agency (FSA).
Climate Transformation Summit
This online conference leaders in business, diversity, and science to discuss climate change solutions and technology. Past workshops at the Climate Transformation Summit have included speakers from across Europe and handled complex topics such as structuring climate management, supply chain decarbonization, and leveraging communities for a stronger, more responsible impact.
Carbon Unbound Europe
Carbon Unbound Europe is a two-day event hyper focused on carbon dioxide removal (CDR). The 2023 conference included sessions on venture funding for CDR startups, the role of the Global South in achieving carbon reversal, defining high-quality carbon removal, and building an inclusive team.
As one of the UK’s top climate impact events, Reset Connect brings together 400 speakers, 500 exhibitors, and thousands of attendees to support net-zero initiatives through business and investment. This event makes it possible for startups and businesses of all sizes to network not only with each other, but also national and local government officials, climate advocates, venture capitalists, sustainability marketers, and other key stakeholders in creating a net-zero world.
This Berlin-based conference offers a laid back networking opportunity combined with informative sessions and on-stage pitch sessions for startups. EcoSummit lasts for two days every June and aims to help climate impact startups accelerate growth and obtain funding.
Bonus: 8 DEI-specific Conferences Recommended by a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Champion
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is vital to a sustainable future. Including individuals from all walks of life in your business offers unique perspective to create more ethical operations. This approach enables businesses to contribute and strengthen their local community. As a result of this social impact, it’s possible to explore more sustainable options that benefit everyone.
The following conferences are specific to DEI initiatives:
National Diversity and Leadership Conference
The largest and one of the most prestigious DEI conferences in the United States is the National Diversity and Leadership Conference. Past speakers have included CEO of Hewlett Packard (HP) Enterprise Carly Fiorina and former President Barack Obama. During this four-day conference, professionals and company executives can learn about DEI best practices, emotional intelligence, ERG initiatives, allyship, and creating high-performance environments through training workshops and sessions. The 2023 conference sported awards such as the Top 50 Corporate Social Responsibility and Top 100 Diversity Officers.
In addition, there is a Diversity Training Week prior to the conference for those looking to maximize their learning experience.
Forum on Workplace Inclusion Conference
For over 35 years, the Forum on Workplace Inclusion Conference at Augsburg University in Minneapolis has been a leading networking and educational event for leaders across industries. This DEI conference includes sessions, awards, training, and DEI coaching programs to help business leaders develop their inclusion strategy.
However, you don’t have to wait for the multi-day conference to engage with the Forum’s DEI offerings. You can tap into their podcasts, webinars, professional development labs, and online articles for up-to-date information on DEI initiatives.
Women of Color Leadership Conference
The University of Missouri at Kansas City hosts a one-day Woman of Color Leadership Conference every year in the spring. This conference seeks to celebrate the achievements of BIPOC women, examine inequalities, and provide educational opportunities to both business leaders and high school students.
Diversity Reboot Series
PowertoFly connects companies with diverse talent—and offers regular free summits to educate business leaders on their Diversity Reboot series. These virtual two-day conferences ensure that everyone can access the expertise of their two-dozen speakers.
Asian Women in Leadership Summit
The annual Asian Women in Leadership Summit is an international conference with the objective of empowering women in the corporate world. Attendees can network with hundreds of company executives, government representatives, and business leaders and develop strategies to reduce gender parity.
World Diversity in Leadership Conference
The World Diversity in Leadership Conference (WODIL) is an annual Canadian event organized by the Centre for Intellectual Intelligence. Business leaders, policymakers, and researchers come together to discuss diversity, equity, and inclusion—as well as other related topics such as climate change and mental health.
While Disability:IN is a three day in-person and virtual conference centered around disability inclusion, there are often additional sessions on ESG goals and supplier diversity. The physical event takes place in the US, but the conference’s reach extends to participation across the globe.
NGLCC International Business and Leadership Conference
The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce hosts an annual International Business and Leadership Conference meant to support LGBTQA+ professionals, business leaders, and allies in creating an inclusive workplace. This in-person, intersectional event offers a number of diversity and management sessions, such as pitching to corporations, strategizing for small business growth, and building a diverse ecosystem.
Organizing an Event all about DEI and ESG?
A key feature in the success of any professional conference is the caliber of its speakers. Their expertise in business and sustainability initiatives provides both insight and specific, actionable advice for attendees.
If you are looking for a speaker experienced in ESG, SDG, DEI, and technology, we have you covered. Founder of Bhuva’s Impact Global (BIG) and Wallet Max, Bhuva Shakti, has dedicated over 25 years to helping organizations transform their operations with digital technology, AI, sustainability compliance, and DEI initiatives.