About Me

I graduated as a geologist and marine biologist in the late 80s but soon found that counting dead muddy worms was not what I was born to do. So I took a leap of faith and entered the world of retail having guessed (correctly as it turned out) that the eco-thing would one day touch them and that they would need a geological, dead worm counter to help them understand the issues.

After a year of stacking shelves in Hamleys, I had my first lucky break and was invited to join B&Q as its first environment manager. This was one of the first such roles in the UK and it led to me being involved in the creation of the Forest Stewardship Council, the company’s peat dilution strategy, paint labelling and supplier environmental auditing – all while I was at B&Q.

At Kingfisher, B&Q’s parent company, I co-ordinated social and environmental policies and actions throughout the Group and also worked with operating company CEOs to define their own policies and actions. Following a move to brewer SABMiller I produced the Group’s first sustainable development plan, including a group-wide governance system.

In 2006 I founded my own company, Single Planet Living to help businesses develop sustainable development strategies. In April 2012 I became an Advisor to Business in the Community and in June 2013 I was appointed as the first Chair to the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Nature Partnership. In April 2014 I was appointed Corporate Responsibility General Manager at ArcelorMittal.

I work with Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (formally CPSL) on its work on natural resources and I lecture at Plymouth and Exeter Universities. I have sat on and have chaired several think tanks including ACCPE which outlined the failure of a single eco-labelling scheme for all issues and products. My work at the Sustainable Development Commission led to the phrases and policy acceptance of ‘choice editing’ and ‘product roadmapping’.

In 2010, with others I launched the Global Association for Corporate Sustainability Officers (GACSO) because we believe that sustainability should have more resonance with businesses than CSR; because there is a need to codify the role of the sustainability professional; and because a support network would benefit the individuals within the role. GACSO subsequently joined forces with the Institute for Environmental Management and Assessment in March 2014.

In December 2013 I received an Honorary Fellowship from the Society for the Environment.

 

See My Work for more details on my corporate expertise and my not-for-profit and public policy work.