Our speakers play an important part in delivering a successful Green Expo Business Conference and in supporting its legacy.
Green Expo thanks its 2022 speakers below, for their support.
List of Speakers (A-Z)
Chief Executive, Net Zero North West
Net Zero North West unites industry in the region, providing a strong voice and holistic vision for industrial decarbonisation.
The partners that make up NZNW are committed to working together to deliver change that is not only essential in supporting the energy intensive industries that make this region thrive, but critical in reaching the UK’s net zero targets.
The region has a long history of collaboration with business, regional leaders and academia working together to share knowledge and best practice.
Net Zero NW is supported by senior members of the City Regions, Local Enterprise Partnerships, academia and regional industry bodies.
Head of Regional Development North West and West Midlands, Cadent
Helen Boyle is Head of Regional Development for the North West and West Midlands for Cadent, the UK’s largest gas distribution network.
Helen is responsible for supporting the transition away from natural gas to green gases as the UK rises to the net zero challenge as well as working with potential hydrogen producers to increase hydrogen production across the regions.
Working collaboratively with electricity distribution network operators, Helen has developed whole-systems decarbonisation pathways to support local authorities’ accelerated net zero ambitions. Her primary focus is working with regional stakeholders to understand their needs and help to ensure the necessary infrastructure is in place to support the delivery of net zero.
Helen has more than 25 years’ experience in stakeholder engagement and communications roles in a variety of sectors including; electricity distribution and chemical manufacturing in the North West.
Managing Director, Tatton Group
Henry setup Tatton Group to help maximise business diversification. This has evolved, ranging from turning farms into film studios and wedding venues, to a partnership with the Group behind farmshop-led Tebay Motorway Services. The Group’s emerging strategy is to try to maximise social, economic and environmental benefits for the communities it is part of, in particular through net zero, mixed-use placemaking.
He says; “Tatton’s former MP left a real legacy with the Northern Powerhouse concept, which is now “owned” locally and cross party. It is a major part of Levelling Up and a very exciting time to be in the North West.”
Dr Rebecca Collins
Deputy Head of Department, Geography & International Development, University of Chester
Rebecca is a human geographer who has been researching sustainable consumption and production, sustainable communities, and young people’s engagement with sustainability challenges since 2009. She is particularly interested in the roles young adults can and do play in driving meaningful responses to the climate emergency from government, business and civil society. She has received funding from the Royal Geographical Society for two research projects, on how young people ‘grow up green’, and the potential of app-based gamification for driving behaviour change for sustainability. This year she was also awarded a Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) grant for a project entitled ‘Youth as Critical Connectors: Driving forward regional institutional action on the climate and nature emergencies’.
Interviewed for BBC North West Tonight as part of their coverage of COP26 on regional engagement, she was asked to share findings from her research as part of a project called ‘Growing Up Green’.
Cllr Sam Corcoran
Leader of the Council, Cheshire East
Cllr Sam Corcoran is Communities and Environment Spokesman for the County Councils Network in England and Wales. He became Leader of Cheshire East Council in May 2019 and is by profession a chartered accountant and chartered tax adviser.
He was first elected onto Sandbach Town Council in 2007, then onto Cheshire East Council in 2011 as Labour & Co-operative Councillor for Sandbach Heath & East.
Immediately after being elected Leader of the Council, Sam proposed a motion recognising the climate emergency declared by Parliament and setting out steps for Cheshire East to help address climate change.
Cllr Corcoran is also Leader of the Labour Group and Chair of the Corporate Policy Committee at Cheshire East. His ward is Sandbach Heath and East and he chairs the Health and Wellbeing Board and Corporate Policy Committee.
Chief Executive, Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership
Philip joined the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership in 2014. Working closely with the Board, his role is to lead the LEP’s Executive Team to deliver the LEP’s mission to make Cheshire and Warrington the healthiest, most sustainable, inclusive and growing economy in the UK. The role includes overseeing £½ billion of infrastructure and other capital projects; the Cheshire Science Corridor Enterprise Zone which has attracted 50 businesses and 1000 jobs since 2016; the development of Cheshire and Warrington’s Growth and Skills Hub; and ensuring that Marketing Cheshire, a subsidiary of the LEP, is conveying the strength of Cheshire and Warrington as a great place to live, work and invest.
Prior to joining the LEP, Philip was a Civil Servant where his career included serving as the Principal Private Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minster and working on issues such as the delivery of the High Speed 1 rail line to the Channel Tunnel, the sale of the Millennium Dome to create the O2 Arena, the creation of Local Enterprise Partnerships, the establishment of Enterprise Zones and overall responsibility for the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in England.
Managing Director at Encirc
After entering the container glass industry as a project engineer, Adrian has enjoyed more than 20 transformational years as a business leader pioneering positive disruption in the food and beverage sector.
He is a leader within the international glass industry, having previously held the position of President of British Glass. He currently sits on the boards of British Glass, Glass Futures Limited, the WSTA (Wine and Spirits Trade Association) and the NWBLT (North West Business Leadership Team). Adrian recently received a prestigious award as “Cheshire and Warrington outstanding business leader of the year”.
During his time at Encirc, he has grown the business to a position where Encirc now supplies more than 35% of glass containers to the UK market and fills almost 20% of all wine consumed in the UK. Encirc sees revenues in excess of €550m and has manufacturing footprints in the UK and Italy employing more than 1,750 people from the surrounding communities.
Adrian is widely known for being a major advocate for decarbonisation within the Glass and food and drinks industry. He has spearheaded sustainable action at Encirc, overseeing ground-breaking carbon reduction and energy switching projects which have resulted in world first achievements.
Net Zero Consultant, Costain
As a chartered chemical engineer, with 25 years’ experience in the energy sector and process industries, Gareth’s focus is on delivering studies and advising clients on meeting their decarbonisation requirements.
Gareth recently led work to study the future potential for aircraft fuelled by liquid hydrogen and whether acceptable turnaround times could be achieved. This broad study covered technical, economic, regulatory aspects as well as sustainability.
He has also led feasibility studies for large-scale hydrogen production and potential to link to carbon capture and storage (CCS) schemes, including compression and transfer by pipeline and developed pilot scheme designs to trial hydrogen for fuelling rail freight.
He is a member of the IChemE Energy Centre and recently co-authored their framework document on Energy & Resource Efficiency and is currently advising the Environment Agency on production of hydrogen from electrolysis.
Since 2015, he has focused on energy efficiency and carbon capture in the feasibility phase and was an Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme (ESOS) Lead Assessor (to 2020). More recently he has focused is on the potential for the hydrogen economy and electrification to meet Net Zero targets through decarbonisation.
Dr Simon Dowell
Conservation Science and Policy Director, Chester Zoo
Simon leads Chester Zoo’s extensive science and conservation outreach work which spans over 20 countries. He is responsible for ensuring that a scientific approach underpins the zoo’s approach to conservation and provides the evidence base to ensure that it achieves the greatest conservation impact. In 2021, Simon led the development and launch of the Zoo’s ambitious 10 year conservation masterplan which sets out the significant contribution that the Zoo intends to make over the next ten years towards its mission of preventing extinction.
After a DPhil in Zoology at the University of Oxford and subsequent research and teaching in wildlife conservation, Simon worked in senior management positions in Liverpool John Moores and then Oxford Brookes Universities before joining the Zoo in 2016. He has contributed to conservation projects in China and SE Asia and is also currently a Visiting Professor at the University of Chester.
Simon is passionate about finding solutions to the biodiversity crisis and ensuring that the role of nature is properly recognised in discussions about climate change, both as part of the twin crisis of climate and nature facing our planet, and as part of our response through nature-based solutions.
Progressive Energy, North West Regional Lead
Following 25 years’ experience in the chemical industry, John joined Progressive Energy in 2019 as North West Regional Lead based in Cheshire. A Chartered Chemical Engineer with a degree from the University of Cambridge, until joining Progressive Energy he was Operations Director for the Specialty Carbons business of Cabot Corporation, a US blue chip, leading manufacturing operations in the US, China and the Netherlands. Prior to that he was Global Energy Technical Director for Cabot. John initially led stakeholder engagement across all elements of HyNet and beyond in the North West, as well as developing new commercial opportunities.
John is currently the Project Director of the Low Carbon Hydrogen production component of HyNet, being delivered at the Stanlow Manufacturing Complex by Vertex Hydrogen Limited, of which John is a Director.
John is also a Director of Cheshire Heritage and Sustainability Enterprises CIC (CHASE) which is seeking to repurpose the former hydroelectric generating station on the banks of the Dee into a sustainability education and skills centre, the Hydro Hub.
Dr Garry Felgate FEI FRSA
Garry has 30 years business and policy experience in energy, environment and sustainability. He is Chair of Thermify Holding Ltd, an innovative zero carbon domestic heating solution, advisor to Innovate UK & Climax Community and board member of Brighton & Hove Energy Services Co-op. He advises several national governments on low carbon energy.
He was the CEO of the Energy Retail Association representing the big six energy companies in the UK and a director of the Carbon Trust leading on the creation of the Action Energy and Carbon Management programmes.
He has been a non-executive Director of the Energy Saving Trust, The Ombudsman Service and the Fuel Poverty Advisory Group with extensive international experience having worked in the UK, USA, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Poland, Southeast Asia, China and Scandinavia.
Garry will be speaking on Decarbonising and the circular economy: a householder’s perspective
He says: “The climate crisis and the cost of living is high on the UK agenda, and the UK government has plans to deliver net carbon zero by 2050. The domestic householder will see this transition via the electrification of transport and heat. With 6.5 million people in fuel poverty, the challenge will be to see how we can provide affordable heat.” To read one of Dr Felgate’s articles, please click here.
Development Director, Peel L&P Natural Resources Energy and Peel NRE
Jane Gaston joined Peel NRE, part of Peel L&P, in 2012 having spent 10 years working in business development roles to deliver large scale infrastructure and PFI projects.
As Development Director for Protos, Jane has shaped the vision for Protos as a strategic cluster of innovative technologies in energy generation and resource management which promotes the decarbonisation of industry to support the economy, safeguard jobs and help the UK meet its zero carbon goals. Since 2015 she has overseen property transactions on site including a biomass gasification facility and an energy from waste facility as well as the implementation of 2 phases of supporting infrastructure including a major grid reinforcement project. More recently she has been developing the concept of a plastic park at Protos; a UK first to recycle and reprocess up to 367,500 tonnes of mixed recyclables every year, saving over 190,000 tonnes of CO2.
Jane works closely with Cheshire West and Chester Climate Emergency Taskforce, Cheshire Energy Hub, and Net Zero North West; project managing the Net Zero North West Cluster Plan initiative.
Jane sits on the Cheshire and Warrington LEP Business Growth Committee, and the British Property Federation Industrial Committee. Jane has an honours degree in Economic and Social History from the University of Liverpool, and a postgraduate Certificate in Management from Lancaster Business School.
Cllr Louise Gittins
Leader of the Council, Cheshire West and Chester Council
Councillor Louise Gittins was first elected to Cheshire West and Chester Council in 2011, to serve Little Neston and Burton.
A year later, she became the Shadow Spokesperson for Culture and Leisure, and was subsequently appointed as the Shadow Deputy Leader in 2014.
Following the 2015 election, which saw Labour take control of Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cllr Gittins was named Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing. In May 2019, she was elected as Leader of the Council.
She has recently appointed three Leader’s Champions designed to address three ‘extraordinary challenges’ facing the borough – Climate Emergency, Mental Health, and Poverty and Inequality.
Trustee, Worshipful Company of Fuellers’ Charitable Trust Fund
Mike worked in Energy for 42 years, with Shell and Danish company Orsted (marketing, sales and distribution of renewable and carbon-based products). This included strategic planning to operational management – including Chair, MD and directorship posts.
Mike now has a portfolio of consultancy and voluntary work across health, education, energy and local Chester-based initiatives, including director and stakeholder advisory panel roles.
Mike is also a Freeman of the City of London – where he is a Trustee of the Worshipful Company of Fuellers’ Charitable Trust Fund (FCTF). Established in 1983, the FCTF’s primary aims are for the relief of poverty, advancement of education, research and assistance through awards, prizes and donations in areas connected to energy. He is particularly passionate about ensuring the educational and energy sectors work together to build solid foundations for the future of both and the UK.
Business Conference Host/Director, Forest City Projects
An industrial chemist by trade with a Masters degree in Environmental Chemistry, Steve has over 10 years in the polymer, paints, and coatings industry where he has driven the sustainability agenda at numerous companies.
He has an in-depth understanding of key areas of the climate and ecological emergency as Chair of Chester Sustainability Forum, a ‘doing’ forum as opposed to just ‘talking’.
He has also impacted Cheshire’s landscape in delivering award-winning biodiversity-focused urban regeneration projects. As a director of Forest City Projects CIC he leads the award-winning Chester Supertrees Project, now an exemplar project for similar activities UK-wide.
He has “a track record of taking on seemingly impossible challenges and making them happen” and has run 7 marathons in 7 days in 7 countries, which makes him ideal as a host for the business conference.
Justin Madders MP
Shadow Minister for Business and Industrial Strategy/Future of Work & Co-Chair of the Coalition for HyNet North West
Justin Madders MP consistently votes for measures to prevent climate change.
He entered Parliament at the 2015 General Election becoming Shadow Minister for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy from July 2018 to March 2019. In 2020 he was appointed Shadow Minister for Health and in 2021 Shadow Minister for Business and Industrial Strategy (joint with Future of Work).
He has said: “Climate change is already changing the things we love in the UK. It’s also hitting the most vulnerable people. I’m proud to be supporting a net zero future before 2050. I want to be part of leaving a legacy for future generations that we can all be proud of.”
Chris Matheson MP
Member of Parliament for the City of Chester
Chris Matheson was selected as the Labour Party Parliamentary Candidate for the City of Chester in June 2013, gaining the seat in May 2015 with a majority of 93 votes. In July 2015 he became a member of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee. At the 2017 election, Matheson increased his majority from 93 to 9,176, turning Chester from a super-marginal seat into a safe seat and again in the 2019 election.
In 2016 Chris Matheson voted to require a strategy for carbon capture and storage for the energy industry and to set a decarbonisation target for the UK within six months, reviewing it annually thereafter.
In Oct 2019 he called on the Government “to rebuild the economy so that it works in the interest of the many, not just handing out rewards to those at the top” and to bring forward “a green industrial revolution to decarbonise the economy and boost economic growth”.
Rt Hon. Ed Miliband MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Climate Change and Net Zero
Ed Miliband MP was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Doncaster North in May 2005. He served as Minister for the Cabinet Office under Gordon Brown in 2007 and then as the UK’s first Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change from 2008 to 2010. In this role, Ed oversaw the introduction of the Climate Change Act 2008 which made it the Government’s duty to ensure that greenhouse gas emissions reduced by at least 80% by 2050 in order to avoid dangerous climate change. From 2010 to 2015, he served as the Leader of the Labour Party in opposition.
Ed is currently serving as a co-Chair to IPPR’s Environmental Justice Commission and the Chair of Doncaster’s Climate Change Commission. Both Commissions will help to develop ideas and policies to bring about a rapid green transition that is fair and just.
Project Manager, CNG Services Ltd.
Matt is a chartered mechanical engineer working for CNG Services Ltd. and, over the past six years, has been involved in a number of projects in the compressed natural gas (CNG) and biomethane-to-grid sectors.
He acted as the lead project engineer in the 4-year long ‘Highlands CNG Project’ which involved compressing and transporting natural gas by road to off-grid whisky distilleries for use in their boilers, reducing their overall carbon dioxide emissions by circa 30%.
More recently, Matt has been involved in projects looking to combine and implement various industry innovations into proposed and existing biomethane-to-grid sites, aiming to further reduce emissions of methane and carbon dioxide in these projects and facilitate greater productions of biomethane.
Dave A Roberts
Commercial Director and Board Member, EA Technology
Dave is a Board Member of EA Technology having held roles as the company’s Technical Director and Commercial Director.
A Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the IET, Dave has over 21 years of experience in the sector with an active history in innovation, asset management and the decarbonisation agenda. Today he is responsible for the scale-up and delivery of EA Technology’s rapidly growing Low Voltage monitoring and restoration portfolio to a global market.
He has a track record in international business development, and was pivotal in creating, bidding and delivering several key innovation projects including the UK’s largest grid / electric vehicle trials. Dave is a member of the Ofgem/BEIS Smart Systems Forum and IET’s Energy Policy panel.
Regional Director, NatWest Corporate Banking and Climate Lead for NatWest in the North of England
Steve Sankson is Regional Director for NatWest Corporate Banking and Climate Lead for NatWest in the North of England.
As a purpose-led organisation, NatWest has a leading role to play in supporting Enterprise, removing barriers and providing more opportunities for businesses to grow. The Bank is also committed to playing a leading role in how companies, communities and customers respond to the climate challenge and transition to a net zero economy.
Steve is also Chair of Finance & Sustainability at the City of Liverpool College.
Professor Eunice Simmons
Vice-Chancellor, University of Chester
Professor Simmons (Eunice) became Vice-Chancellor of the University of Chester in January 2020. She has led the development of a new strategy for the University entitled the ‘Citizen Student’ which sets a student’s studies firmly in the context of society. Right-sizing and greening the University estate is also a key priority. Previous roles include Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) and Head of the School of Natural Resources in Cumbria; in both roles she promoted the introduction of renewable technologies.
Eunice gained an Honours degree in Biology at the University of Manchester and PGCE at Roehampton Institute. She taught secondary school science before obtaining a scholarship to the University of Kent for an MSc. This was followed by a research post with the University of London and the Forestry Commission, surveying sites throughout England and Wales, leading to a PhD in forest ecology and conservation in 1992. Her Professorship in Sustainable Environments was awarded for environmental teaching, research and civic engagement on conservation of ecosystems ranging from rainforest to downland.
Eunice chairs the Mersey Forest Partnership and the national charity TASO: Transforming Access and Student Outcomes. She is a trustee of the Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges (EAUC) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology.
Arable Manager, Grosvenor Farms
A University of Reading graduate, Charlie is now the arable manager for Grosvenor Farms Ltd., a mixed dairy and arable enterprise. He is responsible for the management of the combinable and forage cropping on the farm, agronomy, staff, machinery and nutrient management; in short, all the farming operations involved in growing combinable crops and at each ‘end’ of the cows on the 3,500 head dairy farm. In addition twelve percent of the farm’s area is now managed for environmental enhancement.
As a 2019 Nuffield farming Scholar, Charlie presented ‘The Circular Farm: Minimising input for maximum output in a mixed farming system‘. He explored world-wide circular economy solutions for agriculture which resulted in the current development of a 60 Million KWh gas to grid AD project at Grosvenor Farms.
The Green Revolution
"We have to work together collaboratively to achieve such a massive shift in our behaviour, on energy use, consumption and waste."
The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new."
The Climate Change Revolution
"If we look after the Earth only then will the Earth be able to look after us. The cost of inaction is far greater than the cost of prevention. Find practical ways of overcoming differences so we can all get down to work together to rescue this precious planet and save the threatened future of our young people." King Charles III
The Net Zero Revolution
"The North West region is a region driving and leading change towards Net Zero and carbon reduction. Its location is ‘investor ready’ for the key technologies needed and can deliver tangible growth, employment opportunities and economic regeneration."