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The Prince of Wales

25th February 2015

The Prince of Wales, President of The Prince's Trust and Business in the Community is presented with a Burnley Football Club shirt by Chairman Barry Kilby (left) at Burnley Football Club, Turf Moor, Burnley, Lancashire.

The Prince of Wales, President of The Prince's Trust and Business in the Community is presented with a Burnley Football Club shirt by Chairman Barry Kilby (left) at Burnley Football Club, Turf Moor, Burnley, Lancashire.

The Prince of Wales spoke of the need for a "sensitive transition from old to new" in business as he marked three decades as a charity patron.

Speaking at the Business In The Community (BITC) organisation's responsible leadership summit at north London's Roundhouse, His Royal Highness said the future presented many great challenges but that environmental considerations should be at the heart of the corporate world.

In a speech marking his 30th year as BITC President, The Prince, whose interest in the environment is well known, said: "Looking forward to the future - enormous forces of change are challenging established business models and ways of operating.

"Working within nature's limitations and recognising that on a finite planet our resources have to be used and reused responsibly is now becoming an urgent imperative.

"We are going to be hearing a lot more about a circular economy, which is less to do with economics and more to do with common sense.

"It means putting real sustained emphasis on resource efficiency and moving away from the 'take, make, dispose' approach adopted in the past to the much more sensible approach of 'make, use, recover'."

The Prince said the "transition from old to new" would have to be taken with "great sensitivity", but that the "fundamentals of human nature in society do not change".

His Royal Highness, a frequent visitor to embattled communities during natural disasters such as the winter floods in 2012, provoked ripples of laughter from the business leaders present when he thanked outgoing BITC chairman Mark Price for broadcasting what The Prince described as a short "filmed obituary" of talking heads marking the royal's three decades with the organisation.

The Prince joked: "There was not enough film of me in 1985 ... I was young once."

Stephen Howard, BITC Chief Executive, said: "At the heart of The Prince's responsible business network are strong leaders willing to take practical action to drive real change in our communities and businesses.

"Over the past 30 years, The Prince of Wales has created a fundamental change in how business operated at all levels."

Videos

Celebrating 30 years of HRH The Prince of Wales's Vision and Leadership

The Prince of Wales speaks at a Business in the Community event held at St James' Palace in central London.

The Prince of Wales speaks at a Business in the Community event held at St James' Palace in central London in 2009.