Out of your hands – customer engagement

Thursday 13th March 2014


Julian Walker-Palin, Head of Corporate Sustainability at Asda Stores Ltd

Dr Richard Wright, Behavioural Science Director at Unilever

Julian Walker-PalinDr Richard Wright




Julian Walker-Palin is a retail specialist having worked in this sector for nearly 15 years. Since 2007 he has been Head of Corporate Sustainability at Asda, the UK arm of Walmart. In this role he heads up the corporate sustainability team who are responsible for managing Asda’s sustainability activities, strategy and policy formulation as well as external communications and stakeholder engagement. He’s the UK and European sustainability representative for Walmart and runs global projects. Most recently he is running Walmart’s sustainable palm oil project.

Prior to working at Asda, after legal training, he worked for 10 years in a variety of roles at Tesco. His last role before joining Asda was in a senior management position as both Head of Regional Corporate Affairs and Head of Property Communications for Tesco Express UK.

He is a Board member of PEFC International, Steering Group member of the Product Sustainability Forum and a Walmart representative at the Consumer Goods Forum. He is also a guest lecturer at Imperial College and Leeds Universities.

He is married with two children and in his spare time can be found either on his allotment or hill walking, running, climbing and camping.

Dr Richard L. Wright received a PhD in Psychology from Nottingham in 1993 and followed this with post-doctoral studies at Stirling, Simon Fraser (Vancouver) and Glasgow.  His study areas have included unconscious learning and memory, attention and face recognition.

Richard joined Unilever’s R&D function in 1996 to use psychological theories and methods to give Unilever a better understanding of their consumers than is possible using traditional market research approaches alone.

Currently he applies behavioural change theories and leading-edge behavioural measures to further Unilever’s sustainability agenda. He has led a number of major behavioural studies in the UK and worldwide (e.g., India, Indonesia, Ghana, Kenya).


  • Stakeholder communications – Storytelling as engagement
  • Sustainability strategies – Dictated by legislation or by the consumer?
  • Resource efficiency – How can we help customers be more resource efficient
  • Social responsibility – Consumers as agents of change
  • Supply chain – Carbon labelling – how should you approach embedded carbon?
  • Sustainable buildings and technologies – Customer attitudes to green buildings – do they care? Does it matter?

Customer attitudes to green buildings – do they care? Does it matter?