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[Environment] Can Corporate Activism Save the Environment?


Walker outlines other sustainable initiatives he leads through his corporate activism, such as reducing food waste and overall carbon footprint. He also discusses actionable steps businesses—and individuals—can take to make a difference.

Richard Walker—son of Malcolm Walker, the founder and executive chairman of Iceland Foods—was destined to join the family business. After starting out as a shelf-stacker in 2012, he’s now the managing director for the British supermarket chain.

Despite his successful senior leadership role, Richard often grappled with the idea that his personal legacy wouldn’t be sufficient. “The root cause of this crisis of confidence was that as ‘Walker Junior’, I had some pretty large shoes to fill,” he says in his new book, The GreenGrocer: One Man’s Manifesto for Corporate Activism, now available for purchase or download. “Trying to emulate my Dad was sure to end in disaster. So how on earth was I going to make my own mark?”

But in January 2020, he was able to meet with his “all-time favourite hero”—Sir David Attenborough (we can’t argue there). This, coupled with his own love for the natural world, set Walker on the path to making meaningful change for the planet. This Aha! moment also led him to write a book about methods for best disrupting the business sector’s damaging environmental policies.