Our board of directors is responsible for overseeing our strategy and governance. Chair of the board is Neil Sachdev MBE.
Board of directors
Neil Sachdev MBE
Neil is an experienced chair with a strong track record of corporate governance, strategy and change management. He is also the current chair of BonhillGroup PLC and CakeBox Holdings PLC as well as governor at Nuffield Health.
Previous chair positions include Martin’s Properties Limited, Sirius Real Estate Limited and Market Tech Holdings Limited until 2017, a non-executive director of Intu Properties plc (formerly Capital Shopping Centres) until 2016, after 10 years’ service, and a member of The Green Construction Board.
Prior to this Neil held the post of group property director of J Sainsbury and served for 28 years with Tesco, where he rose to be stores board director, responsible for property and operations for the entire UK business.
Neil was awarded an MBE in 2016 for his work in relation to energy efficiency and sustainability in the retail sector and holds a number of public sector positions. He received an MBA from the University of Stirling and is currently the chair of the Advisory Board of Warwick Business School where he is a member of the Anniversary Council.
Matthew Bell OBE
Matthew is a director of Frontier Economics and joint head of the public policy practice. He is widely recognised as an expert in using economic analysis to design effective policies. He has been helping clients for over 20 years on the design of effective policies, including cost-benefit analysis, impact assessment, policy design, behavioural research and quantitative modelling.
He has worked extensively on healthcare, climate change and environmental issues; as well as on industrial policy, education, housing and criminal justice. His work has focused on the UK but he has offered expert advice to governments in over 20 countries on all continents.
His extensive experience includes his role at the UK Committee on Climate Change where he was chief executive between 2014 and 2017. Matthew oversaw the Committee’s work, including its advice to Parliament where he influenced legislation and policies relating to greenhouse gas reduction and adaptation to climate change. Earlier in his career he worked in the UK Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit.
Louise Kingham OBE
Louise Kingham OBE has spent over 27 years working with energy professionals around the world. She has led the Energy Institute (EI) from 2003, which is the leading professional body for energy promoting excellence by developing knowledge, skills and good practice in the global energy sector. Prior to this appointment, Louise was director general of the Institute of Petroleum and chief executive of the Institute of Energy.
Louise is also a board member of the Powerful Women initiative that works to promote better gender balance among the energy sector’s leadership. She is a board member and former chair of the Energy Industries Club and she volunteers her time to judge several energy industry awards programmes.
Louise was awarded an OBE in 2011 for her work in relation to services to the energy industry and is a Fellow of the Energy Institute (FEI). In 2017, she received an Honorary Science Doctorate from the University of Bath.
Jim Metcalfe is the chief executive of College Development Network (CDN), a Scotland-based charitable company supporting innovation and performance improvement in vocational education.
Prior to joining CDN, Jim worked for five years as head of projects and development for nationwide philanthropic foundation the Carnegie UK Trust. Before that, he was an aide to MPs Gordon Brown and John Healey and a director of the charity Age Concern. With Carnegie UK, Jim designed and grew TestTown, the UK’s biggest retail business skills programme for young people, and the Community Shares Scotland social finance initiative. He also supported environmental projects like the Lost Effra community water pilot and the Growing Livelihoods food production scheme.
Jim lives in Glasgow with his wife and two children. He served on the Energy Saving Trust Foundation board from 2015-16 before joining the main Energy Saving Trust board. He is currently a non-executive director of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework Partnership, a regional committee member with the IoD, and a Fellow of the RSA.
Belinda Mindell is the chief financial officer of Fred. Olsen Ltd. Prior to that, she was the finance director of Fred. Olsen Renewables Ltd. She has worked in the field of renewable energy for nearly two decades, helping to set up Fred. Olsen Renewables Ltd and grow it into the largest Independent generator of wind power in the UK.
Belinda qualified with KPMG and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. She is also the honorary treasurer of the Energy Institute and chair of its Finance and Audit Committee.
Senior leadership team
Chief executive Mike Thornton leads our senior team, who are responsible for developing and implementing our strategy to deliver on our mission.
Mike Thornton OBE
Mike Thornton assumed the role of chief executive in April 2020. He joined Energy Saving Trust in 2002 as head of the Scottish team, going on to become group director of operations and now leading the organisation.
Before Energy Saving Trust, Mike worked for Friends of the Earth Scotland and then Lothian and Edinburgh Environmental Partnership (now Changeworks). He has over 30 years’ experience in the environmental, energy efficiency, transport and recycling sectors. An expert in climate change mitigation, Mike is helping drive forward this agenda across the UK and internationally.
Mike is a member of the Climate Emergency Response Group (CERG), the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) Clean Growth Leadership Group and has served on several government clean energy working groups. Additionally, he is chair of the Scottish Power Foundation.
Living by the coast, Mike enjoys the great outdoors, including wild swimming. Indoors he is a keen vegetarian cook.
Group Director of HR and Organisation Development
Russell Newham is a human resources professional and member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) with 25 years’ experience in retail (Marks and Spencer, Home Retail Group and most recently at Post Office) in commercial operations, HR and change management roles.
Russell’s key areas of expertise include performance, talent management, leadership development and organisational transformation.
Group Director of Marketing and Communications
Angela Howarth leads our marketing communications activities including brand, reputation management, digital, PR and campaigns as well as stakeholder relations. Angela brings a wealth of experience and know-how from her prior international leadership roles at the World Green Building Council, the UK Government’s Future Cities Catapult and the EU-funded public private partnership EIT Climate-KIC: all with a focus on creating a worldwide shift to a zero carbon economy.
Angela is a board member of the European Association of Communications Directors and has also worked in consultancy positions at UNICEF, the British Council, UK Sport and Mind, the mental health charity.
Angela loves cycling, whether its navigating the city streets or exploring off road trails in the countryside.
Group Head of Energy
Laura McGadie leads and develops our energy advice and renewables services across the UK and has more than 25 years’ experience as a manager in the domestic energy field. Laura joined us in 2009 to establish the advice service for the Scottish Government’s fuel poverty programme and went on to lead the Scottish home energy advice network. Our advice services have expanded across the UK and include the Welsh Government’s Nest fuel poverty scheme and work in Northern Ireland.
In addition to sustainable development, Laura has a particular passion for great customer service and high-quality advice delivery driving ongoing improvements to achieve customer satisfaction levels of over 97%.
A keen gardener, Laura has her own allotment in which she grows her own fruit and vegetables.
Group Head of Transport
Tim Anderson joined us 2007 and leads our low carbon transport portfolio. Previously, he was in management roles in the automotive sector including daily rental and managing fleets. Tim is leading our work to address poor air quality through delivering our government funded programmes and commercial projects in the sustainable transport sector.
Tim has successfully developed many new partnerships to deliver greater impact to decarbonise transport and deliver cleaner air. His role involves working with the Department for Transport and Transport Scotland along with other key stakeholders in the sustainable travel industry.
Outside of his day job, Tim has a passion for low carbon travel and enjoys walking in the outdoors as well as tinkering with old cars to keep them roadworthy.
Head of IT
Bob Buckley is an information technologist with over 22 years’ experience gained across the public and private sectors including government, finance, medical, communications and advertising. Since joining us in 2018, Bob leads and oversees all our IT services including infrastructure, cloud platform solutions and our compliance function.
With a passion for digital development, Bob collaborates across the business, especially with our marketing and customer service functions to ensure people have easy access to our information and advice. With a keen interest in green IT and sustainability, Bob is currently exploring low powered energy efficient solutions for home automation.
Group Head of Business Development
Inga Jirgensone leads our business development activities, as well as our insights and analytics, evaluation, digital products and services and international teams. Inga’s main objective is to grow our reach and impact by capturing new business opportunities, establishing new relationships and delivering exceptional service to our existing clients – all to help us achieve our mission of addressing the climate emergency.
Inga’s background is in energy, including energy efficiency, retail energy governance and regulation, and smart metering. Before joining Energy Saving Trust in late 2020, Inga worked at Gemserv, where she held various management roles across client delivery, consultancy and business development.
Inga is based on London and is a keen cyclist. In her free time, she also plays chess and is a secretary for a central London chess club.