Meet the Board

Francis joined SBP as its first independent, non-executive chair in July 2018.

With a background in environmental science, specialising in forestry and land use, Francis spent the first 16 years of his career with WWF, the conservation organisation, in various leadership roles within WWF-UK, WWF International and WWF Netherlands. During his time with WWF, Francis played a major role in establishing the Forest Stewardship Council.

Moving to HSBC, the multinational bank, Francis spent 14 years as a Senior Adviser leading the bank’s work on integrating sustainability and climate change mitigation perspectives into the business.

Francis holds a BA (Hons) in Agriculture and Forest Sciences and an MSc in Forestry and its Relation to Land Use from St John’s College, University of Oxford, UK.

The nominated, new members of the SBP Board took up their positions in January 2019:

Representing civil society

Arnie is recently retired from his position as President of the Public and Private Workers of Canada, a British Columbia based pulp and forestry union. He has worked with indigenous communities and environmental organisations to promote sustainable forestry and environmental stewardship to save old growth forests on Vancouver Island.

Winner of a 2019 Delta Clean 50 Award, which recognises clean capitalism and sustainability of industrial output in Canada. He has been involved for most of the last 20 years promoting the Forest Stewardship Council of Canada. Much of that time was spent as a sitting board member of the Social Chamber.

Martin is the Executive Chair of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL). Martin joined CISL from the European Climate Foundation, where he was working as Europe Group Co-ordinator from 2015, and also led their Industry and Innovation programme.

Martin has a long track record of working on industry, environment and sustainability issues. He is also an expert advisor to the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 on climate and resource issues, a representative on the Economic and Social Committee’s Commission on Industrial Change, and a member of UCL’s European Institute Advisory Board.

Kathy is a Professor of Biodiversity in the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford. Until recently she was the Director of Science at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

She is also a member of the UK Government’s Natural Capital Committee. Kathy has over 30 years’ research experience focusing on modelling and remotely determining important landscapes for biodiversity and ecosystem services across the world.

Kathy is familiar with the work of SBP, serving as a member of the independent Advisory Board to SBP from 2015 to 2018.

Kathy holds a BSc in Geography and Environmental Science from the University of Southampton and a PhD in Plant Sciences from the University of Cambridge, both located in the UK.

Representing biomass producers

Vaughan Bassett has over 25 years’ experience in international business, particularly in the forest products industry. He joined Pinnacle Renewable Energy in May 2011 and is responsible for the pellet marketing, sales, sustainability, logistics and trading activities of the company.

He has deep connections to other biomass producers in Canada and is an active Director of the Wood Pellet Association of Canada, where he is serving as its President. Vaughan is also a Director of the Advisory Board of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (BC) and is currently serving as its Chairman.

Previously, Vaughan spent almost 20 years with Sappi, a global pulp and paper company, as the executive in charge of their world-wide pulp sales.

As a keen proponent of sustainability principles, Vaughan contributed to the establishment of SBP standards in its start-up phase.

Vaughan holds a BSc from the University of Natal and an MBA from the University of the Witwatersrand, both located in South Africa.

Arnold has been the Vice President Bioenergy with Ekman & Co in Sweden for the past nine years. Ekman & Co is one of the World’s leading sales and marketing organisations focusing on the global forestry industry. He is responsible for the sales and marketing of wood pellets from a variety of biomass producers in Russia, Canada, Israel, Europe and the USA.

Prior to joining Ekman & Co, Arnold was the Sales Director with the Swedish wood pellet producer, Latgran, based in Latvia. During his time with Latgran, Arnold was intricately involved with the new build of several large wood pellet plants across Latvia.

Arnold has witnessed the growth in the wood pellet industry first-hand and has been instrumental in the development of industrial wood pellet standards.

During 2013, Arnold was the elected Chairman of EIPS (European Industry of Pellet Suppliers) and he continued in this role until 2015. During his tenure, EIPS was an active participant and promoter of the SBP sustainability agenda.

John is a co-founder and the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Enviva, the World’s largest producer of woody biomass fuels. The company’s portfolio of facilities includes approximately 3.5 million metric tons of production capacity with more under construction and ships its product to customers around the world from purpose-built and third-party marine terminals in the US Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.  In April 2015, John led Enviva Partners, LP (NYSE: EVA) to its initial public offering on the NYSE, making it the first publicly-traded company in the industry.

John understands sustainability’s place at the core of Enviva’s business and the industry at large. In 2016, Enviva introduced its Track & Trace TM program, a state of the art tool that identifies the source of every ton of purchased wood. He also led the creation of Enviva’s Forest Conservation Fund, a program dedicating $5 million over 10 years to the protection and conservation of critical bottomland forests in the Southeastern US.

John holds a BA in Political Economy from the University of California, Berkeley and a MBA from the University of Virginia, both located in the US. He is frequently sought out as a speaker and thought leader at industry and financial conferences.

Representing biomass end-users

Thomas is the Director and Head of the Fuel and Logistics teams in Ørsted Bioenergy. He has more than 15 years’ experience from different commercial and management roles in Ørsted (formerly known as DONG Energy).

Previously, Thomas worked as a consultant to the energy sector at PwC and Deloitte.

Thomas is a trained economist from the University of Aarhus, Denmark.

Peter-Paul is the Head of Environment, New Energy, Regulatory Affairs and Stakeholder Management at RWE, and has been responsible for the company’s bio-based economy project since 2010.

Prior to that Peter-Paul spent over ten years as Vice-President Biofuels & Development within Essent Trading International SA in Geneva, with responsibility for sourcing, trading and the development of biomass materials (solids and liquids) for electricity production on a global scale.

Peter-Paul holds a number of positions on bodies leading on biomass and sustainability and is currently a Director of TKI Bio-based Economy in the Netherlands, a consortium for knowledge and innovation directed at the production of bio-based innovation across the entire biomass value chain.

Peter-Paul has a legal and business administration background.

Will is the Chief Executive Officer of Drax Group, the UK’s largest renewable power generation company and Europe’s largest decarbonisation project. Drax meets around 7% of the UK’s overall power demand while supplying its 350,000 business customers with 100% renewable power.

Will joined Drax Group in 2015 as its Chief Financial Officer and since then has been instrumental in driving significant change across the business, including reformulating the company’s long-term vision to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future for all.

Stepping up to the role of Chief Executive Officer at the beginning of 2018, Will now has responsibility for all aspects of the Group’s stewardship and its business. This includes plans to provide more highly flexible, lower carbon generation to support the UK power system and an emphasis on helping Drax Group’s retail customers reduce their own carbon footprints through efficiency and renewable electricity.

Previously Will was the Chief Financial Officer of CSR plc, a leading global semiconductor company, with responsibility for finance and strategy, as well as investor relations, M&A, IT and facilities.

Will holds a BA in Russian and Soviet Studies from Harvard College, and an MA in International Relations and Economics from Johns Hopkins University, both located in the US.