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Executive Directors

The Board of Directors is responsible for overseeing the strategy and governance of the Energy Saving Trust. The Chair of the Board is Neil Sachdev MBE.

The Executive Directors are responsible for day-to-day management of the Energy Saving Trust. Chief Executive Philip Sellwood leads a team of directors each of whom have extensive expertise and experience in their areas of responsibility

Mike Thornton OBE, Chief Executive

Mike Thornton, Group Director of Operations, Energy Saving Trust

Mike Thornton assumed the role of Chief Executive in April 2020. Mike holds a First Class Honours degree in genetics and started out as an academic undertaking research as a PhD student. He went on to work for seven years in the private sector in software development management with what is now Nestle in York, before joining Friends of the Earth Scotland for three years as their Development Co-ordinator.  He then became the first Director at LEEP (now Changeworks), a regional NGO working on energy efficiency, transport and recycling.

Mike joined EST as head of the Scottish team in 2002, he worked for many years as Group Director of Operations, leading the delivery of all Energy Saving Trust programmes.

Roger Ponting, Chief Financial Officer

Roger Ponting, Chief Financial Officer, Energy Saving Trust

Roger Ponting joined the Energy Saving Trust in 2010. His career began in practice providing accounting, tax and commercial support services to the SME sector.

During 2000 Roger moved into commerce with Aim listed FFastFill plc and has since continued to apply his commercial and financial skills to private and public businesses in the role of Finance Director. Roger retains non-executive Director positions within the software development and pubs sectors. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales.


Russell Newham, Group Director of HR and Organisation Development

Russell Newham

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.


Angela Howarth, Group Director of Marketing and Communications

Angela Howarth

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.


Non-Executive Directors

The role of the Non-Executive Directors is to ensure that the Energy Saving Trust complies at all times with its governing document and all relevant legislation or regulations. This includes the responsibility to ensure proper financial controls are maintained and that the organisation is administered effectively and efficiently while adhering to internal policies, procedures and values, holding the CEO and the executive directors accountable for their actions.

Neil Sachdev MBE (Chair)

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 ten 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 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. 

Tom Flood CBE

Tom Flood joined the Board of the Energy Saving Trust in July 2012 and became Chair of the Energy Saving Trust Foundation in 2014. He spent 11 years as Group Chief Executive of the Conservation Volunteers (formerly known as the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers). Before joining the charity sector, Tom worked with 3M UK, A E Herbert, and W S Atkins and Partners. He is also Director of the UK Water Partnership, Chair of Defra Civil Society Partnership, Vice President of the Council for Protection of Rural England. He is a companion of the Chartered Management Institute, a Fellow of the RSA, and was awarded a CBE for services to conservation in 2004. He is a Freeman of the City of London and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Water Conservators and a regular speaker on social and environmental issues.

Louise Kingham OBE

Louise Kingham OBE has spent over 25 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

Jim Metcalfe is the Chief Executive of College Development Network, 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 EST Foundation Board from 2015-16 before joining the main EST 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

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.