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Steering Group

The Steering Group is made up of SSN members, strategic partners of the Network, and the Scottish Government

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:

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 John Wincott.

Ken Blake

Head of Estates and Sustainability, Ayr College

David Charles

Head of Climate Action, 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 Head of Climate Action at the University of Strathclyde. David 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 Cowie

Team 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.”

Lorna Jarvie

Coordinator for Sustainability and Fleet, South Ayrshire Council

Lorna has been working in a variety of roles in local authorities since 2003, initially within Roads and Transportation and then Sustainability, with her remit now taking in a range of areas including sustainability, climate change, biodiversity, SEA, and a parks strategy function which covers open space, allotments, play areas, reservoirs and park rangers. Most recently Lorna’s role has expanded to also include Fleet Services. She has an MA in Geography, an MSc in Sustainable Rural Development, a PGDip in Leadership and Management of Public Services and is a Member of the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation. Lorna has worked on a range of policies and strategies over the years as well as practical delivery of projects. Her current work at South Ayrshire Council includes the implementation of the council’s first Sustainable Development and Climate Change Strategy and duties reporting. Joining SSN in 2006 and a former steering group member, Lorna hopes her experience to date can bring a useful further perspective to discussions.

Clive Mitchell

Strategic Directions Manager, NatureScot

Clive has worked for NatureScot 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 Murphy

Carbon 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.

Jamie Pearson

Environment 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 Teuton

Public Health Intelligence Advisor, Public Health Scotland

Joanna is Public Health Intelligence Advisor for Public Health 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.”

Andrew Arnott

Climate Strategy, Biodiversity and Sustainability Manager, University of Edinburgh

Mark Williams (Vice Chair)

Head 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 Wincott (Chair)

Environmental 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.”