The latest sustainable business appointments

Appointment of the month

Brice Lalonde has been appointed special adviser on sustainable development to the UN Global Compact. Prior to his recent position of UN assistant secretary-general, executive coordinator of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Lalonde served as French ambassador for climate change, French minister for the environment, chairman of the round table for sustainable development at the OECD and senior adviser for the environment to the French government. In addition, Lalonde held the position of director of the Paris office of the Institute for a European Environment Policy and has worked for non-governmental organisations, such as Friends of the Earth.

Lalonde will work with the Global Compact to develop close relationships and opportunities for collaboration with governments and other stakeholders on sustainable development and follow-up to the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). 

The Southern Co-operative, a regional co-op based in the south of England with 170 stores, has appointed industry expert Gemma Lacey as head of sustainability. This is a new role, which focuses specifically on reducing the environmental footprint of the business.

A biology degree fuelled her passion and interest in wildlife and the natural environment. “Helping businesses to be sustainable was where I felt I could make the biggest impact,” she explains. After a short spell working on Body Shop campaigns, such as ‘Against Animal Testing’, Lacey worked for two years as the company’s ethical audit co-ordinator, responsible for co-ordinating its ethical trade programme. “I then spent six years with KPMG, providing sustainability advisory and assurance services to a range of businesses,” she says. “Joining the John Lewis Partnership in 2005, I progressed to the head of CSR role, which I held for five years.”

While at John Lewis, she did a secondment with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, before joining the Southern Co-operative. “This is an exciting opportunity to develop a tailored sustainability strategy and to be hands on in implementing it,” says Lacey, who is looking forward to developing and delivering a tailored ethical operating plan for the business in its food stores and funeral homes located across the south of England.

PR firm Grayling is expanding its sustainability practice, Future Planet, with the appointment of Michael Saxton. Saxton is founder and CEO of the PR and marketing communications agencies Grappa and Greenpoint. He will join Grayling as a managing director on the agency’s UK and Ireland executive board, with a specific remit to work with Grayling’s specialist energy and industry team to build its clean-tech portfolio.

“My first job was as a graduate trainee on a leading national commercial property magazine, which led me to be hired by a PR agency focused on that sector and on IT  – just as Windows was launching, which was very exciting,” says Saxton. He spent much of his career working for US clients looking to enter the European IT market as well as working with clients in commercial property.

“The convergence between technology and the built environment developed my interest in the environment, sustainability and the cleantech space,” he explains. Future Planet acts as the official communications partner of 2degrees, the global online community for sustainable business and currently chairs the Public Relations Consultants Association CSR and sustainability working group.

Prof Chris Rapley CBE has been appointed as the chair of the London Climate Change Partnership. He is professor of climate science at University College London, where he is currently researching the psychology of climate change dismissal.

“I started out as a rocket scientist, carrying out space astronomy, solar physics and Earth observation research using rockets and satellites,” he recalls.

He established the Earth Observation research group at University College London's Mullard Space Science Laboratory, moved on to run the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (coordinating the global change research efforts of several thousand scientists in over 70 countries).

“I was then director of the British Antarctic Survey for 10 years, followed by director of the Science Museum in London.”

He chose to work in this sector in order to understand how the planet works and how it is being affected by human actions. In his new role he is looking to “catalyse tailored adaptation to climate change in London to make the city an attractive place for its citizens and for inward investment of funds and jobs”.

The London Climate Change Partnership is the centre for expertise on climate change adaptation and resilience to extreme weather in London. It is working to drive forward adaptation to extreme weather and climate change in the capital.

Australian Ethical Investment Limited has appointed Kate Greenhill to its board as a non-executive director. A former partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Greenhill has extensive knowledge of finance and risk and has provided assurance and advisory services to clients in the financial services industries in both Australia and the UK.  

Andrew Garrad is the new president of the European Wind Energy Association. Garrad joined the wind energy industry in 1979 and was president and later chairman of GL Garrad Hassan, the world's largest independent renewable energy consultancy. He built his first wind turbine when he was 18 and in 2006 was awarded the Poul la Cour Prize for his outstanding contribution to wind energy. [image]  

Elsbeth Quispel has joined the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) as head of sustainability. She will be responsible for developing and managing the content of the annual GRESB survey and other products and services, as well as the strategic development of GRESB’s benchmarking services. Quispel was previously head of sustainability at Jones Lang LaSalle. [image]

The Climate Markets & Investment Association has held its 2013 presidential and board elections. The new president, who starts a two-year term, is Anthony Hobley, partner, global head, climate change and carbon finance at Norton Rose. Four board directors were also elected: Fenella Aouane, senior manager carbon trading, Standard Bank; Rachel Child, international qualification director, Camco Clean Energy; Steven Gray, head of international policy, Climate Change Capital; and Cameron Prell, senior counsel, McGuireWoods LLP.

Michael Bolingbroke, chief operating officer at Manchester United, has been appointed to the main board and will become chairman of the MU Foundation. His new position will see him take responsibility for the club’s local, national and global corporate responsibility projects.

British music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins has hired Marcus Stephan as CEO. Stephan has held a number of different CEO roles, including at the British Society of Immunology, Body Positive and, most recently, the British Obesity Society.

Swedish construction and property development company NCC has appointed Christina Lindbäck as its new senior vice-president for corporate sustainability. Lindbäck is currently VP environmental affairs for NCC Group. [image]

Rebecca Walton has been appointed to the newly created role of head of brand at children’s charity Unicef UK. She was formerly senior brand and marketing manager at Save the Children.

Gardiner & Theobald’s director of environment and sustainability, Richard Francis, has been appointed as chair of the British Council of Shopping Centres (BCSC) Low Carbon Working Group. The group works directly with the UK government to develop national carbon policies and leads efforts on energy efficiency and zero/low carbon initiatives. Francis chairs the sustainability committee of the British Council for Offices and sits on the sustainability committees of the British Council for Shopping Centres, Green Property Alliance and Better Buildings Partnerships. [image]

Marc Bosmans has joined the European Mineral Wool Manufacturers Association as sustainable construction manager. He was previously head of the sustainable construction department and member of the management team at Intertek RDC.

Charity and independent think tank Green Alliance has announced the appointment of Julian Morgan as its chief economist. Morgan, who starts in April, is former economic adviser to the European Central Bank.

Montreal’s Concordia University has appointed Pietro Gasparrini as director, environmental health, safety and sustainability. Gasparrini joined Concordia in 2012 as manager of the environmental health and safety team. 

Katherine Rusack is now corporate responsibility officer at Williams Lea. She was previously junior partner at specialist environmental and sustainability consultancy Good Measures.

The National Geographic Society has hired Joakim Mörnefält as executive director of its global exploration fund in northern Europe, the first of its new regional centres to fund research, conservation and exploration projects. Prior to this, Mörnefält worked at ManpowerGroup Sweden as its marketing and communications director. 

With thanks to Miriam Heale, Allen & York

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