IBM and BT are to convene with HRH the Prince of Wales to promote and celebrate sustainable living and working at a summit later this year.

The initiative named ‘Start' will be held in September this year at several royal palaces where business leaders will discuss the next steps that should be taken to enable economic, environmental and societal sustainability.

The goal is to help people across the UK take clear, simple, positive and practical steps towards a more sustainable future. Opening on 8th September 2010, the IBM Summit at Start will take place at Lancaster House and will be a series of one-day events running consecutively over nine days. Each of the days at the Summit will focus on a different theme and bring together around 120 business and public sector leaders with subject matter experts to discuss the issues and opportunities for working together to build a sustainable and smarter planet.

Project CEO Sir Tom Shebbeare said at the launch of the event that the plans began in 2007/8 with talk of climate change and that we all needed to adapt our behaviour to live on a better planet.

He said: “The observation that others made was of telling people to slow down and stop using things that they enjoy then people will not catch on to the idea. A message of doom, gloom, stop and avoid is not working.

“There is an opportunity to change behaviour and for businesses and the public sector to make changes that are small but ultimately add up to a great deal.”

IBM chief executive for the UK and Ireland, Stephen Leonard, said: “As we begin the decade of smart, the business imperative for sustainability action is strong, whether from regulatory, stakeholder, or simply cost efficiency pressures.

“IBM will convene the thought leaders and subject matter experts to discuss 'what' business can do and 'how' we can do it together. Right across our client base and from conversations we have with industry peers we've learned that there is enormous hunger to learn how to make the planet smarter and more sustainable.”