The Steering Group provides a senior-level, trusted space for public sector practitioners and decision-makers to engage directly with the Scottish Government, to work directly with peers from across the public sector, and to steer the development of SSN.
The Steering Group is made up of SSN members. Strategic partners, the Scottish Government, ECCI, and Sniffer hold observing roles on the Group. The Steering Group can also have observers who bring specific skills and experience.
The Steering Group acts as the principal leadership group for SSN, providing advice and practical support to the secretariat. It also offers a valuable opportunity for public sector sustainability and climate change champions to engage at national level and to guide the development and delivery of Scotland’s premier public sector network on sustainable development and climate change.
The SSN Steering Group has four main roles. These are:
- Strategic leadership – providing a challenge function to the secretariat, ensuring outcomes and impacts are achieved, in line with agreed plans;
- Influencing – influencing decision-making in the public, private and third sectors, and providing a link to leadership;
- Championing SSN – using the SSN narrative to raise SSN’s profile, promote the SSN and inspire change; and
- Representing the membership – reflecting the interests of Network member groups and sectors; providing contacts and networks that add value to SSN.
The Steering Group elects an SSN Chair and Vice Chair. The Chair and Vice Chair play a lead role in working with the secretariat and the Scottish Government to develop, implement, monitor and review SSN. This includes the role and impact of the SSN Steering Group and the secretariat, as well as the SSN programme. Our current Chair is Kathryn Dapré and the Vice Chair is David Charles.
Ken BlakeSustainability Manager, Scottish Fire and Rescue
Ken manages the sustainability team within the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, preparing and producing all aspects of environmental management planning. Ken is involved in many aspects of sustainability with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, from fulfilling organisational requirements and statutes to green networks, training and cycling initiatives. Prior to working for the emergency services, Ken worked in Estate Management at Heriot Watt University and as an Assistant Architect with Glasgow City Council (DARS). “I feel that my working exposure to the management and delivery of Emergency Services, Higher Education Infrastructure and Public Sector Design, has provided a broad understanding of how the built infrastructure is still striving to meet the needs of building users and how our emergency services are pulling together to provide national sustainability.”
Duncan BookerChief Resilience Officer and Sustainability Manager, Glasgow City Council
Dr Duncan Booker manages the sustainability and resilience agenda for Glasgow City Council. He is responsible for ensuring that the city reduces its carbon emissions and plans for the local weather impacts of global climate change. Duncan also leads on Glasgow’s membership of the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities network. He has more than twenty years’ experience in local government policy development and previously served as an advisor to the Leader of the Council. Duncan was also Glasgow’s co-ordinator for its membership of the WHO European Healthy Cities network so has a strong interest in how a focus on sustainability, health and resilience can improve urban quality of life. He is a graduate of the universities of Oxford and Glasgow. Duncan is proud to serve on the SSN steering group and says: “I’m keen to ensure that SSN reflects Scotland’s diverse urban, rural and island challenges and draws too on the strengths of its diverse membership. I want both to help it and to learn from it as we look to deliver the transition to a low carbon, sustainable and just Scotland.”
David Charles (Vice Chair)Energy Engineer, University of Strathclyde
David qualified at undergraduate level as an Aerospace Engineer and immediately went on to study a Masters of Science in Renewable Energy Systems and the Environment. He now works as Energy Engineer at the University of Strathclyde where he has been for eight years. David’s leads in energy efficiency, climate change adaptation and sustainable travel at the University. David joined the SSN and Steering Group in October 2016. Prior to this David was a member of the Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges (EAUC). “It was by learning about the wider impact and crucial role that SSN played in the Scottish Public sector that attracted me to joining. Since joining I have very much enjoyed getting to know colleagues from across the Scottish Public Sector and hearing about the climate action taking place across the nation during this exciting time of change.”
Claudia CowieTeam Leader – Sustainability and Climate Change, Aberdeenshire Council
Claudia is the Team Leader for Sustainability and Climate Change at Aberdeenshire Council. Claudia joined the Council 3 years ago and leads in the development and delivery of Council-wide plans for Climate Change and Sustainable Development. Claudia and her team are responsible for implementing Climate Change policy, coordinating the Carbon Budget and Climate Change Action Plan and supporting the development of the North East Scotland Sustainable Energy Action Plan. Her role within the organisation has grown as the Council’s commitment to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions has become a priority. Prior to joining Aberdeenshire Council, Claudia spent many years as a science teacher in the USA. Throughout her career, Claudia has worked in a variety of roles across the public, private and third sector. Claudia has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree, both focussed on environmental sciences. “I am very excited for the opportunity to be an ambassador for SSN. SSN has been pivotal in supporting me in my role at Aberdeenshire Council and continues to be an important source of support. SSN offers an excellent space to share ideas, ask for advice, and be connected to others working in similar roles across the Public Bodies.”
Kathryn Dapré (Chair)Head of Energy and Sustainability, NHS Scotland
Kathryn Dapré is Head of Energy and Sustainability within NHS National Services Scotland. Kate’s team provide professional support to NHS Scotland boards, Scottish Government and other stakeholders in relation to all aspects of climate change resilience, energy management and sustainability for the NHS estate. Kate has been part of the SSN Steering Group since 2013 when the Network broadened to include major players outside the local authorities. Kate has been involved in sustainability and climate change work for over 20 years. Following a period in energy consultancy where she worked with a range of public and private sector clients, she joined the NHS in 2012. She has overseen the implementation of the first Energy Performance Contracts on the NHS Scotland estate and more recently, has overseen the development of the NHS Sustainability Action campaign to encourage sustainability behaviour change across the service. On taking up the role of SSN Chair, Kate Dapré said: “I am delighted to be taking on the role of SSN Steering Group Chair. Scotland has big ambitions in relation to climate change and sustainability, and out public sector bodies will be crucial in realising those ambitions. I am looking forward to taking th SSN forward in providing much needed support to the public sector, and ensuring that Scotland remains a world leader in climate change mitigation and adaptation.”
Lesley HinshelwoodSustainable Development Officer, South Lanarkshire Council
Lesley has been in her current role as Sustainable Development Officer with South Lanarkshire Council since 2011 where she worked on sustainable development, climate change legislation, policy and the action needed to address it. Lesley has a background working in Educational Resources with a focus on change management, resource management, communication and governance. Having worked in the public sector for 28 years, Lesley has a strong understanding of the critical role that the public sector has in demonstrating leadership in a wide-range of issues, particularly on sustainable development and climate change action. Lesley is also on the board of Climate Ready Clyde. “I believe that SSN is a key component in enabling the transformational change needed to meet the challenging climate change targets set for Scotland and contribute to the targets in the global sustainable development goals. Being part of the steering group is an exciting opportunity to gain experience in working at the heart of influencing strategic direction and decision making relating to sustainability and climate change policy, legislation and action across the public sector”
Martin KirkwoodHead of Infrastructure and Low Carbon Group, Scottish Funding Council
Martin is a qualified accountant with over 20 years’ experience, most of which has been as a senior manager, working across the financial, regulatory and policy environments of the tertiary education system. As Head of Infrastructure and Low Carbon Group, Martin leads the development and implementation of the Scottish Funding Council’s strategies in response to the requirements of the Climate Change Act. During his time at the Scottish Funding Council, Martin has been responsible for overseeing the development of its framework for assessing the financial sustainability and good governance of universities and colleges. He has managed a large-scale capital investment programme and, most recently, has had responsibility for setting the strategic direction for the Council’s policies in promoting wider access to universities and improving the employability of graduates. “I believe my breadth of experience as a senior manager within SFC, with responsibility for developing the strategic direction of its policies, allows me to make a valuable contribution to the Steering Group and SSN’s work within the public sector”.
Clive MitchellStrategic Directions Manager, Scottish Natural Heritage
Clive has worked for Scottish Natural Heritage in a variety of roles since 1995. He now allocates resources to the organisations priorities on people and nature including place-based approaches (green infrastructure, outdoor learning, volunteering etc), National Nature Reserves, protected areas, marine ecosystems, species management and biodiversity. He is an associate lecturer for the Open University, teaching final year courses on Earth systems sciences, geohazards and environmental change. “The next few years are critical for planetary health: getting onto a low carbon pathway, adapting to a changing climate and addressing the state of nature are common challenges, not choices. Dealing with climate and nature together will demand place-based approaches, and the SSN is in an excellent place to foster that across Scotland.”
Paul MurphyCarbon Reduction Officer, Inverclyde Council
Paul is the Carbon Reduction Officer for Inverclyde Council and is responsible for the Council’s Climate Change duties. Paul has helped develop the council’s carbon management plan and provides advice on reducing emissions and utility costs. He coordinates the Carbon and Energy Group which discusses progress and ideas to meet the targets set out in the Council’s Carbon Management Plan. Paul initially worked in the financial sector before pursuing a career in the environment. He undertook an MSc. in Energy and Environmental Management at Glasgow Caledonian University and following which, he worked at the North East London Energy Efficiency Advice Centre and Islington Council’s pioneering Islington Climate Change Partnership before taking up his current position as Inverclyde Council.
Janice PauwelsSustainable Development Manager, City of Edinburgh Council
Janice is an experienced sustainable development professional with over 25 years practice in local government in the areas of sustainability policy making and project delivery. Janice is currently the Sustainable Development Manager at the City of Edinburgh Council with responsibility for energy, low carbon and climate change mitigation. She has extensive experience in climate change mitigation having been involved for several years in project delivery in key areas such as energy efficiency of buildings, district heating, renewables and latterly in circular economy and electric vehicles. Janice is currently leading a number of key projects for the Council. “I would like to bring my experience and knowledge to the SSN Steering Group which is a mix of both policy and practice in sustainable development and climate change. In particular I believe that a steering group has to be relevant to the network it serves and ensure that the benefits can be widely distributed. I have served on the Steering Group previously so I would hope that I have a pragmatic approach that will be of use again. This is an exciting time for those of us in this field and a new opportunity with ECCI leading the SSN secretariat.”
Jamie PearsonEnvironment Sustainability Manager, Edinburgh Napier University
Jamie is the Environmental Sustainability Manager at Edinburgh Napier University. He is primarily responsible for the development of the University wide Environmental Management System, working with colleagues to ensure the environmental impact of University activity is assessed and reduced. Jamie is a member of the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges Office Bearers Group and represents the EAUC on the SSN Steering Group. Historically he has worked for Shetland Islands Council, The City of Edinburgh Council and the Eco-Schools team within Keep Scotland Beautiful.
Joanna TeutonPublic Health Intelligence Advisor, NHS Health Scotland
Joanna is Public Health Intelligence Advisor for NHS Scotland and has held this position since 2007. She has worked in the Public Health Directorate for 10 years and has been involved in supporting the development of evidence informed policy. Joanna is also a member of the Scottish (Managed) Sustainable Health Network (SMaSH). Joanna has a Master’s in Public Health and PhD: Conceptualisations and Explanatory Models of ‘Psychosis’ among Healers in Uganda. “As a public sector employee in the health sector working on climate change and health, joining the SSN is an exciting opportunity to help support and influence the wider public sector to develop strategies and actions which contribute to sustainability, health and reducing health inequalities.”
Elizabeth Vander MeerClimate Policy Manager, University of Edinburgh
Elizabeth has a PhD in environmental policy and ethics from Lancaster University, specialising in biodiversity conservation, and she is currently undertaking a part-time research degree in anthrozoology. Elizabeth has been working for the University of Edinburgh in policy and research management roles since 2007, in diverse areas such as e-science and carbon capture and storage. Prior to joining the Social Responsibility and Sustainability team in 2015, she worked for the University’s Vice Principal for Planning, Resources and Research Policy, overseeing projects in space and research management. In her current role, Elizabeth focuses most of her time on the development of University climate change mitigation, adaptation and biodiversity strategy, student living lab projects and carbon reporting. “As my role for University of Edinburgh involves carbon reporting as well as wider climate change strategy development and implementation, I am excited to have the opportunity to be a member of the SSN Steering Group. It is an opportunity to contribute meaningfully to Scotland's climate change and sustainability ambitions as part of a valuable public sector network.”
Mark WilliamsHead of Environmental Science and Regulation, Scottish Water
Dr Mark Williams is Head of Environmental Science and Regulation at Scottish Water and the UKWIR Programme Lead for Climate Change. Mark followed an academic research career in marine biology and chemical ecology at the universities of Cardiff and St. Andrews before joining Scottish Water to work in environmental and regulatory management. At Scottish Water, Mark contributes to the development of long-term strategy and vision for the company as well as establishing carbon management strategies and plans. “My ambition for SSN is to engage the Scottish public sector in understanding their role and the actions they can take. I am keen to support the sector in taking practical steps to implement actions that will support One Planet Prosperity. I want to support SSN to be valued as a source of stimulating and challenging information and provocation, but also as a source of practical advice and shared learning.”
John WincottEnvironmental Services Coordinator, Fife College
John’s passion for sustainability, the environment and renewable energy fits perfectly with his role as Environmental Services Coordinator at Fife College. In this position, John leads the college in tackling the challenges around sustainability and climate change, and is especially keen to involve the students in as many projects as possible. In addition to his role at Fife College, John is appointed to the Office Bearers' Group of the Environmental Association for Universities and College. Previous to his role at Fife College, John was Executive Spokesperson for Environment and Transport for Fife Council, where he was engaged in a variety of activities from energy strategy to recycling. “I believe that SSN is critical to the success of the Scottish Government Climate Change Plan, which is an ambitious undertaking that will require considerable commitment from public, private and third sector partners. With increasingly demanding climate change targets, the role of SSN in providing strategic leadership and influence is even more vital than before.”