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Non-executive directors can play a key role in sustainability



As more companies begin to consider sustainability and the impact of their operations, non-executives could play a key role in ensuring commitments are successful, according to Ian Wright, founder and chief executive of launched in June 2013 and has quickly become a key part of the industry. The site allows employers to engage with non-executive directors and recruit from its members without having to pay a recruitment fee. In just over a year, the network has had over 1 million views, with members’ profiles being searched on average 4,000 times every day.

Wright explained that his background is in head hunting, and he has built and sold several businesses outside the head hunting space. brings the two together.

The site covers a wide range of industries, including renewable energy, cleantech, life sciences, charity and not-for-profit. Each month an average of 20 to 30 appointments are made via the platform. Wright notes that sustainability is becoming increasingly important among UK businesses and this is reflected in the success of

He said, “Sustainability is no longer a term reserved for the huge PLCs; it is fundamental commitment adopted by more UK businesses than ever before and I believe that the non-executive community can play a key part in ensuring its success in UK boardrooms.”

The renewable industry is growing fast in the UK and the pace is shown in the roles posted on Over the past 12 months, more than 70 roles from the sector have been filled via the platform.

Earlier this year, Earthmill, the largest 50-250 kilowatt (KW) wind turbine supplier and installer in the UK, appointed industry expert Trevor Murch, an Oxford and Harvard MBA graduate, through the site. Murch brought extensive non-executive experience to the firm, including experience with the National Renewable Energy Centre.

Chief executive of Earthmill Mark Woodward had identified the need to recruit a top-level chairman who could play a pivotal role in helping the company achieve its vision. Through the company received a focused shortlist of people that fit the experience and expertise that was required. Woodward has praised the “easy and fast” process of the service, as well as the calibre of the appointment. created an online private network but its key selling point is that it is free for companies to use, removing recruitment fees that businesses typically face when hiring a new non-executive director.

Wright explains, “One of the big issues I’ve always has in the head hunting space is that if I’m working with owner managers, this could be private companies or listed businesses, very often the head hunting fee associated with recruiting non-executives is just too high, especially for smaller businesses.

“Unlike the executive recruitment space, companies recruiting non-executive director tend to work on a different approach, they don’t work along the usual percentage of salary because a non-executive doesn’t earn a six-figure salary. Ultimately the market has tended to work on a fixed fee basis but the fees are much higher than you would expect for someone earning such a low salary.”

Wright noted that non-executives can have a hugely positive impact on a business, particularly small or young businesses, but it is often these firms cannot afford to pay a high recruitment fee.

The absence of fees makes the site an attractive place for government, public sector bodies and the third sector to find the talent they require. The Cabinet Office, NHS, DVLA, Whitehall Industry Group, housing associations, education bodies and private SME businesses have all chosen to appoint experienced and established non-executive directors and chairs through the service.

Saving money when appointing non-executive directors ensures that the organisations, and, in the case of public bodies, taxpayers, reap the benefit. Public sector bodies face close scrutiny on how they offer value for money and personnel are often one of their greatest resources.

Kath Taylor, board and governance officer for housing association Helena Partnerships, has also praised the process, the mechanisms for searching for candidates and the response they received from their vacancies, which enabled them to “successfully recruit two high calibre candidates”.

Speaking about the future, Wright said, “We want to become the only place to find non-executive directors, and on the flip side we want it to be the only place non-executive directors to find opportunities.”

Blue & Green Tomorrow readers who are looking to develop a non-executive career or further expand their own portfolio may use the promotional code ‘bluegreen’ to receive a 20% discount on an annual or 3 year membership fee for  Simply go to the site and to the ‘Register as a Non-Exec’ tab on the home page. 

Take our 2014 reader survey and you could win an iPad, Kindle or donation to a charity of your choice.

Further reading:

Lord Myners quits troubles Co-operative Group

Glencore becomes last FTSE 100 board to appoint female director

Co-op Group reforms remove ‘effective member control’, says former chairman

Women-only shortlists for boards deemed unlawful


How to be More eco-Responsible in 2018



Shutterstock / By KENG MERRY Paper Art |

Nowadays, more and more people are talking about being more eco-responsible. There is a constant growth of information regarding the importance of being aware of ecological issues and the methods of using eco-friendly necessities on daily basis.

Have you been considering becoming more eco-responsible after the New Year? If so, here are some useful tips that could help you make the difference in the following year:

1. Energy – produce it, save it

If you’re building a house or planning to expand your living space, think before deciding on the final square footage. Maybe you don’t really need that much space. Unnecessary square footage will force you to spend more building materials, but it will also result in having to use extra heating, air-conditioning, and electricity in it.

It’s even better if you seek professional help to reduce energy consumption. An energy audit can provide you some great piece of advice on how to save on your energy bills.

While buying appliances such as a refrigerator or a dishwasher, make sure they have “Energy Star” label on, as it means they are energy-efficient.

energy efficient

Shutterstock Licensed Photo – By My Life Graphic

Regarding the production of energy, you can power your home with renewable energy. The most common way is to install rooftop solar panels. They can be used for producing electricity, as well as heat for the house. If powering the whole home is a big step for you, try with solar oven then – they trap the sunlight in order to heat food! Solar air conditioning is another interesting thing to try out – instead of providing you with heat, it cools your house!

2. Don’t be just another tourist

Think about the environment, as well your own enjoyment – try not to travel too far, as most forms of transport contribute to the climate change. Choose the most environmentally friendly means of transport that you can, as well as environmentally friendly accommodation. If you can go to a destination that is being recommended as an eco-travel destination – even better! Interesting countries such as Zambia, Vietnam or Nicaragua are among these destinations that are famous for its sustainability efforts.

3. Let your beauty be also eco-friendly


Shutterstock / By Khakimullin Aleksandr

We all want to look beautiful. Unfortunately, sometimes (or very often) it comes with a price. Cruelty-free cosmetics are making its way on the world market but be careful with the labels – just because it says a product hasn’t been tested on animals, it doesn’t  mean that some of the product’s ingredients haven’t been tested on some poor animal.

To be sure which companies definitely stay away from the cruel testing on animals, check PETA Bunny list of cosmetic companies just to make sure which ones are truly and completely cruelty-free.

It’s also important if a brand uses toxic ingredients. Brands such as Tata Harper Skincare or Dr Bronner’s use only organic ingredients and biodegradable packaging, as well as being cruelty-free. Of course, this list is longer, so you’ll have to do some online research.

4. Know thy recycling

People often make mistakes while wanting to do something good for the environment. For example, plastic grocery bags, take-out containers, paper coffee cups and shredded paper cannot be recycled in your curb for many reasons, so don’t throw them into recycling bins. The same applies to pizza boxes, household glass, ceramics, and pottery – whether they are contaminated by grease or difficult to recycle, they just can’t go through the usual recycling process.

People usually forget to do is to rinse plastic and metal containers – they always have some residue, so be thorough. Also, bottle caps are allowed, too, so don’t separate them from the bottles. However, yard waste isn’t recyclable, so any yard waste or junk you are unsure of – just contact rubbish removal services instead of piling it up in public containers or in your own yard.

5. Fashion can be both eco-friendly and cool

Believe it or not, there are actually places where you can buy clothes that are eco-friendly, sustainable, as well as ethical. And they look cool, too! Companies like Everlane are very transparent about where their clothes are manufactured and how the price is set. PACT is another great company that uses non-GMO, organic cotton and non-toxic dyes for their clothing, while simultaneously using renewable energy factories. Soko is a company that uses natural and recycled materials in making their clothes and jewelry.

All in all

The truth is – being eco-responsible can be done in many ways. There are tons of small things we could change when it comes to our habits that would make a positive influence on the environment. The point is to start doing research on things that can be done by every person and it can start with the only thing that person has the control of – their own household.

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Top 5 Changes You can Make in Your Life to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint




reduce carbon footprint
Saving money and reducing your carbon footprint? What isn’t to love? - Image from Shutterstock -

In a world, where war rages and global warming threatens our very existence, the inhabitants of earth need to be extra vigilant in their efforts to go green. This includes reducing your carbon footprint on the earth and leading a more sustainable life.

Many homeowners feel perplexed by all of the options available to reduce their carbon footprint. They may even feel (falsely) that making their household more green will fail to make that much of a difference in the fight to save our planet.

Even a single home going green has a massive impact on the environment. We can win this battle on home at a time. If you’re interested in accepting the challenge of making your household a green home, read on below for a few of the top changes you can make in your life to reduce your carbon footprint. We all stand to benefit from making the earth safer for future generations – and your wallet won’t complain when you start to see the savings in annual energy costs.

Switch From Dirty Energy to Clean Solar

The ION Solar reviews tell it all–solar is the best way to go. Whether your goal is to slash your energy bills, or to reduce your carbon footprint, the sun is a fantastic source of renewable energy.

It’s important to get past the hype from solar installers. Instead, listen to the plethora of impartial customer reviews that mention everything from a $20 energy bill, to the incredible feeling of knowing that you are doing your part by going green and minimizing harmful emissions in to our atmosphere.

The average investment is $15,000 to $30,000 for installation and purchase of solar panels. Optional battery power packs can help provide consistent power during both night and day. And many government agencies provide federal, state or local grants to help offset upfront investments in clean energy.

Depending on which installed you choose, your household may qualify for low-interest or zero interest loans to cover the up-front cost of your installation. And the loan payments are usually less than your current monthly power bill.

It really is a win-win, as home buyers are looking for homes that feature this technology – meaning solar power installation improves the resale value of your property.

Home Modifications

And there are a number of additional home modifications that can help improve the energy efficiency of your home. A programmable thermostat can better manage energy consumption from home cooling and heating systems while you’re away from home. And weather stripping your doors can help keep cool air in during the summer, and warm air in during the winter.

Of course, energy conservation starts at home. And this includes setting a powerful example for your kids. Teach your children how to close windows, strategically keep doors open or closed based on airflow, and encourage them to leave the thermostat alone – opting for adding or removing layers of clothing instead.

Unplug Appliances and Shut Off Electronics

Unplugging your appliances when they aren’t in use, such as the toaster and the coffee maker, has more of an impact than you might think. Set your TVs and stereos on sleep timers, instead of letting them run around the clock. The cumulative impact of wasteful electronic device usage is horrible for our environment – putting unnecessary strain on our electrical grid.


One of the simplest and easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint is by recycling. You are already throwing this stuff away anyway, right? It doesn’t take much more effort to just put recyclables in a separate container to be recycled, now does it?

Oh, and did I mention that you can earn money for recycling? Yes! Many cities and towns have recycling centers that will purchase your clean plastic and glass bottles for reuse.

Minimize Your Water Usage

Water is one of the easiest things to forget about when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint. Preserve water by turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth. Shorten your shower by a few minutes and turn down the heat on that water heater. You’ll be surprised at how much lower your water bill and your energy bill will be.

Saving money and reducing your carbon footprint? What isn’t to love?

These are just a few of the top ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint and start living a greener lifestyle. And we aren’t factoring in all of the advantages that we’ll reap from public investments in a smarter energy grid.

From decreasing your water usage, to switching to solar for your home’s energy needs, you will feel good at the end of the day knowing you are doing your part to save the future of this planet for generations to come!

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