About Richard

Richard Walker OBE

I grew up in a self-made entrepreneurial household, listening to stories around the dinner table of how my Mum and Dad built Iceland into the business it has become today.

The values of our close-knit family are and always have been about hard work. I have inherited from my grandmother the motto:

Never let it rest until your big is bigger and your better best.

My Dad, the son of a colliery electrician, started his retail career sweeping the floor in Woolworths, but followed that family motto to become successful in business together with my Mum, who gave our family company its name.

I was born in Chester in 1980 and grew up in the Cheshire countryside, where I still live with my wife and two children.

Outside family, work and politics, my greatest passions are trail running, skiing, surfing and climbing. We spend most of our family holidays surfing in Cornwall.

The Old Man of Hoy

Richard Walker standing on top of a mountain
Peak Rhianydd, Kyrgyzstan
Surf Snowdonia
Ice climbing in Norway
Everest, 2011

I have been with Richard on some big trips. You always see someone’s character when they are cold, hungry and out of their comfort zone. Richard has always impressed me, showing true grit when needed. Smart as a whippet, but also compassionate to his fellow man. With his business background and worldly common sense, I can think of no one better to represent people. He would be my perfect MP.

Sir David Hempleman-Adams KCVO OBE KstJ DL FRSGS 

Since attempting Everest in 2011 I have become an experienced mountaineer, completing many challenging ascents including the Matterhorn and The Old Man of Hoy. In 2017 I joined an expedition tackling a previously unclimbed peak in Kyrgyzstan, which I was delighted to be able to name Peak Rhianydd in honour of my late Mum, who finally succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease on the eve of her 74th birthday in 2021.

I also enjoy taking part in the traditional country sports of fishing and shooting.

I was greatly honoured to be appointed OBE for services to business and the environment in the late Queen’s Birthday Honours list for 2022. I hold an honorary doctorate in science from the University of Bedfordshire and am an honorary fellow of UCL.

Richard Walker standing in front of Number 10 Downing Street
Richard and Malcolm celebrating
Richard Walker with King Charles

National Profile

Richard Walker on the panel of Question Time

I speak at a wide range of public events on business, political and sustainability issues.

I am also a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.

My extensive broadcast experience includes handling the UK’s toughest media interviewers on programmes including ITV’s Good Morning Britain, BBC Radio 4’s Today and PM, and BBC1’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg. I am also a regular participant in panel debates in programmes including Question Time (BBC1), Politics Live (BBC2) and Any Questions (BBC Radio 4).

I have served as an adviser to DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) as a founding member of their Sustainable Business Council, and to 10 Downing Street as a member of the Prime Minister’s Business Council.

The Green Grocer

My debut book, The Green Grocer, was published in 2021.

It is grounded in my first-hand experience, serving as a manifesto for corporate activism and challenging the idea that profit and purpose can’t exist together.

The Green Grocer is the ultimate guide to helping all businesses, from big corporations to kitchen table start-ups, recognise the value of pursuing ethical policies and how to achieve them.

Richard Walker with Chris Evans on the launch of his book, The Green Grocer
World Economic Forum Logo
Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs Logo
Council for Sustainable Business Logo