The latest sustainable business appointments

Appointment of the month

The UK prime minister, David Cameron, has approved the appointment of Stephen Lovegrove as the new permanent secretary – the top appointed official – at the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Lovegrove, takes up his post in February, replacing Moira Wallace, who left the department at the end of October 2012.

Lovegrove was previously chief executive at the Shareholder Executive, a role he has held since June 2007. Prior to that, he spent 10 years at Deutsche Bank, where he was the head of the European media team. He was actively involved in the London 2012 Olympics, having been a board member of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, and is a trustee of the Charities Aid Foundation.

The UK energy and climate change secretary, Edward Davey, says: “Stephen’s proven commercial experience will be an invaluable addition to the department’s capability. We need to attract billions in private sector investment to build new power stations and to upgrade the energy efficiency of the nation’s homes.”

The Food Ethics Council has appointed Dan Crossley as its new executive director. He was previously principal sustainability adviser and acting head of food at Forum for the Future.

Crossley began his career at KPMG, where he qualified as a chartered accountant before moving into food – first in manufacturing.

“I worked for Kerry Foods in strategy and finance roles, before doing a masters in environmental technology (specialising in business and sustainability) at Imperial College London,” he explains. After that followed a six-year stint at Forum for the Future, where he led their work on sustainable food.

“I’ve always loved food,” says Crossley. “My undergraduate geography degree got me into the world of sustainability – and I eventually managed to combine my two passions in my work at Forum for the Future.”

He has also advised government, in roles on the UK Defra’s green claims steering group and green food project. He was a member of the Carbon Trust reduction and communications steering group, which developed a code of good practice for product greenhouse gas emissions and reduction claims in the UK.

In his new role at the Food Ethics Council, Crossley intends to grow its influence and reach, and develop the council’s work helping companies take a more ethics-based approach to their business.

Social investor and worldwide cooperative Oikocredit has hired David Woods as its new managing director. Before joining Oikocredit, Woods held leadership positions in various financial organisations in the United Arab Emirates, including CEO of a regional investment bank.

Woods started out in banking. “After I graduated, I got a job with Royal Bank of Canada in Amsterdam,” he says. “After 11 years at RBC, I joined ABN Amro as country manager in Ireland. I stayed with them for 20 years, moving to management roles in Holland, New York, London, Stockholm and finally Dubai. After the RBS merger I joined a local government-owned conglomerate, and then a local investment bank.”

After five years in the Middle East, Woods returned to Europe. “I didn’t want to go back to mainstream banking,” he explains. He wanted a role where he could use the skills he’d learned in finance. “I found social investment an interesting sector, and thought working in a cooperative would be a new experience.”

In his new role, Woods will be working in a business environment that is changing rapidly, with growth in developing markets, competition and regulation. “Oikocredit has already made a big impact on the lives of many and I want to take this further and help the organisation grow,” he explains.

Lacey Raak has been appointed director of sustainability at the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC), having served as interim director since 2012. Prior to her appointment, she was the climate action manager for the campus, working on UCSC’s climate action plan.

“My first sustainability-related job was an intern at the US state department, in the bureau of oceans, international environmental and scientific affairs.” After that, she worked for a small marketing firm in Minneapolis that supported natural and organic products, then moved to California for graduate school and worked for the City of Monterey before joining UCSC. At UCSC, she hopes to deepen the level of commitment, action and engagement with sustainability issues.

“Much of my career was influenced by living and working on research projects overseas,” she explains. “In England and Mexico during my undergraduate years and Jordan and Indonesia during my graduate studies.”

Davide Stronati is Mott MacDonald’s new group sustainability champion. He was formerly a senior environmental adviser to the government of the Friuli Venezia Giuliaregion in Italy.

Stronati’s very first job was as the deputy director of the municipal solid waste incinerator of his home town, Trieste in Italy. Since then he has held a number of positions in a mixture of public and private sector organisations.

“I spent five years in public administration in the Friuli Venezia Giulia government and then moved to work with the Italian ministry of environment,” he recalls. As a member of the Italian governmental task force, he worked on European infringement procedures, liaising with the Italian regions, the central ministry of environment and the European commission.

Stronati chose this field as he was attracted by “the constantly changing environment, the sheer complexity of topics and stakeholders involved in sustainability and the opportunity to do good”. In his new position, he would like to challenge the notion that sustainability is an added cost. “It is an approach to achieve efficiencies, growth and unleash innovation in private and public sector organisations,” he explains.

The membership of the Sustainability Consortium (TSC) has elected four new board members, representing the corporate members of TSC: Charlene Wall-Warren of BASF, Karen Hamilton of Unilever, Kim Marotta of MillerCoors, and Kevin Rabinovitch of Mars. Andrea Thomas, senior vice-president of sustainability at Wal-Mart was re-elected for another term.

The European Wind Energy Association has appointed Thomas Becker as its new chief executive officer. A former Danish civil servant, Becker has, since 2010, been CEO of Genan – a company that recycles used tyres on a global scale. Prior to that, he was deputy permanent secretary at the Danish ministry of climate and energy.

Robert Mansley has been appointed managing director of capital markets at the UK’s Green Investment Bank (GIB). Mansley was previously a managing director at Morgan Stanley, where he headed up its European renewables London-based investment team.

Professor Leon Lefferts is the new research director of the Green Energy Initiative, an initiative to coordinate the various activities concerning sustainability at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. The post of research director will run for five years and Lefferts will carry out this task on a part-time basis, alongside his appointments as professor of catalytic processes and materials at the faculty of science and technology and as professor at Helsinki’s Aalto University.

Environmental thinktank World Resources Institute (WRI) has announced the appointment of Dr Lailai Li as the new country director of WRI China. Previously, Dr Li served as deputy director of the China Urban Sustainable Transport Research Centre at the ministry of transport and as the director of the Asia Region for the Stockholm Environment Institute. 

Environmental consultancy Atmos Consulting has hired Emma Keon to its acoustics and noise team. Her previous role was as secretary for the Institute of Acoustics’ young members committee.

The European Union Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law has appointed John Seager as its new chair. Seager was previously head of environment strategy at the Environment Agency (England and Wales). Chris Dijkens, director of international enforcement cooperation at the ministry of environment and infrastructure in the Netherlands, has been appointed as vice chair.

The Right Reverend Michael Doe, honorary assistant bishop in Southwark, is the new chair of the Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility (ECCR), the church-based investor coalition and membership organisation. Doe takes over from Lee Coates, founder-director of Ethical Investors Group.

Oliver Yates has been appointed as chief executive officer of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC). The CEFC is part of the Australian government’s clean energy future plan. Yates previously worked for Macquarie Bank, where he was involved in leading the bank’s initiatives in wind, solar, biofuels, carbon credits and other renewable businesses.

Johan Cilliers has joined First Solar as regional director of business development for sub-Saharan Africa and managing director of its new South Africa operating subsidiary. Cilliers joins from Suzlon, where he was vice-president of sales and marketing in South Africa. The firm has also hired Tim Rebhorn as senior vice-president, project development. Rebhorn was most recently CEO of Quail Nuclear Specialty Services, an industrial construction company primarily supporting the nuclear power industry.

Bacardi has announced the appointment of Eric Kraus to the newly created role of senior vice-president, chief communications and corporate affairs officer, responsible for the company’s corporate communications, external affairs, and corporate responsibility functions globally. Kraus most recently served as senior vice-president of corporate communications and public affairs at Covidien (formerly Tyco Healthcare).

With thanks to Miriam Heale, Allen & York

Related Reads

comments powered by Disqus