Dr. Richard Nicholson

Dr. Richard Nicholson

A Physicist / Astrophysicist married with 3 adult daughters I’ve been a concerned Environmentalist for as long as I can remember. Due to a career change from Research into IT systems engineering – I moved from Manchester to Haywards Heath in 1995. In 2019 I was approach by the local Green Party to stand as a Town Councillor for Haywards Heath. Having – to my surprise – being elected I started to define the Haywards Heath Town Council Environment Matrix to prioritise local actions in response to the Climate Crisis – see https://www.haywardsheath.gov.uk/Environment_30439.aspx. As a direct result of these initiatives Haywards Heath Town Council signed the Plant Based Treaty in 2022 – becoming the first town in Europe to do so.


R2: The role of cities in the plant-based transition

Join us for an insightful panel discussion on the importance of making sustainable food a priority in council strategies, as highlighted by the Edinburgh City Council’s groundbreaking impact assessment report on the Plant Based Treaty.

Learn how cities and urban consumers contribute to escalating greenhouse emissions beyond their own borders, with nearly 80% of the world’s food consumed in urban areas and food systems accounting for one-third of greenhouse gas emissions.

Without focusing on consumption-based emissions, city councils will continue to widely underestimate the environmental and climate impacts of food consumption in their cities and overestimate the importance of local foods. Food consumption needs to be prioritized as highly as buildings, transportation and waste. 

Explore the underestimation of environmental and climate impacts of food consumption in cities and the need to prioritize plant-based food consumption alongside buildings, transportation, and waste management. Many cities and towns have jurisdiction over community education, food served in schools, hospitals, prisons and care facilities, as well as street festivals, and city-catered events, meetings and functions. 

Hear success stories from the 21 cities that have endorsed the Plant Based Treaty, including Hayward’s Heath, Edinburgh, Norwich and Los Angeles. Be inspired by Edinburgh’s comprehensive 18-page impact assessment and learn how your city can take meaningful steps towards a more sustainable and plant-based future.

Plant Based Treaty (Saturday) full timetable