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Mike Thornton appointed Energy Saving Trust’s new CEO

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Mike Thornton has taken over the reins of the Energy Saving Trust Chief, replacing Philip Sellwood as chief executive officer (CEO).

Thornton joined Energy Saving Trust’s Scotland team, based in Edinburgh, in 2002, and prior to accepting the role of CEO was the group director of operations, responsible for the delivery of all UK programmes operations.

He said: “With long experience in the sector and having worked at Energy Saving Trust for almost twenty years, I’ve seen the climate emergency build. 

“It’s a great privilege to now lead one of the UK’s leading organisations addressing this emergency.

“I look forward to continuing to work with our partners and clients as well the Board, management team and our enthusiastic and talented staff to as the UK follows its path to net zero.”

Thornton started out as an academic undertaking research as a PhD student in ecological genetics and holds a first-class honours degree in genetics from the University of Nottingham. 

He spent three years as development co-ordinator for Friends of the Earth (Scotland) after periods as a systems analyst and software research engineer, with what is now Joseph Rowntree Foundation in York. Whilst in York, he was the chair of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Conservation Committee.

For more than 10 years he was the first director of Lothian and Edinburgh Environmental Project (LEEP now Changeworks), a regional non-government organisation working on energy efficiency, transport and recycling.

In 2015 Mr Thornton was awarded an OBE for services to energy efficiency.

A spokesperson for the Climate Emergency Response Group (CERG), Thornton works with like-minded leaders spanning Scotland’s private, public and third sectors, delivery organisations and membership bodies to address the climate emergency.

August 2019 saw CERG’s 12-point plan for action acknowledged by the Scottish Government as part of its 2019 Programme for Government

Neil Sachdev, chair of Energy Saving Trust, said: “As we enter uncertain times, having a CEO who understands the business and DNA of our organisation, we will ensure we continue to serve our purpose fully.

“Ensuring we continue to advice, support and help people reduce the amount of energy we consume and move closer to the national target of net zero.

“We were delighted that Mike has agreed to take the over role from Philip and the Board look forward to working with him to drive a diverse and innovative agenda in the coming years.”

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