Dr Paul Toyne is a non-executive director and independent advisor to business and government, specialising in the sustainable built environment. Prior roles include Director of Environment and Sustainability at both Balfour Beatty and WSP, as well as Head of Sustainability at Bovis Lendlease. His roles and associations today include; London Sustainable Development Commissioner, as appointed by the Mayor of London in 2010; membership of the Green Construction Board’s Infrastructure Working Group; Chair of Constructing Excellence’s Sustainability Group. Paul has a PhD from Imperial College and is a Fellow of IEMA. He regularly chairs and facilitates property and construction sector conferences
At Lendlease, Paul oversaw the company’s carbon reduction programme which delivered a 20% reduction in 3 years and savings of over £1m per annum
Paul trained as an ecologist and an environmental scientist. An expert on birds of prey, parrots and has discovered new species to science. He has a butterfly named after him. See media and publications web sections for more information
Paul in ‘full flow’ chairing and stimulating audience participation at conferences.
Dr Paul Toyne chairing a panel debate at the TEPPFA annual conference in Brussels, 2018.
Paul regularly provides keynote lectures and contributes to conference panels. Photo above is Paul presenting at the ThinkFM annual conference.
Dr Paul Toyne's Career History
Providing strategic advise to companies that are challenging their competitors’ “business and usual” models, by placing sustainability at the centre of their commercial purpose, is how Paul can best help businesses. By guiding organisations away from risks, selecting the right partnerships and collaborations, Paul maximises the opportunity for his clients’ commercial success. The skills and expertise required is a reflection of his diverse career in the environment and sustainable development, and his business skills in innovation, corporate governance and brokering. So what is Paul’s career history?
Paul’s early career was as a scientist, an explorer and campaigner. Notably In Ecuador, discovering new species to science (including a butterfly named after him Splendeuptychia toynei); campaigning successfully against big business destroying biodiversity, and as an acknowledged expert on parrots and birds of prey. Whilst at WWF-UK, as Head of the Forest programme, he helped to establish more than 600,000 hectares of protected areas; supported the establishment of the Forest Stewardship Council; and as a Campaign Leader he directed successful activities to help the conservation of tigers and other rare mammals, such as the Iberian Lynx. Paul was also involved with climate change and research into climate impacts on biodiversity.
As a successful entrepreneur, Paul helped establish Article 13 Ltd while he was working at WWF. Article 13 is a consultancy specialising in corporate social responsibility and corporate governance. Paul’s main responsibilities were winning new assignments, advising clients and implementing the company’s PR strategy. Clients ranged from national and local government as well as blue chip companies operating across a range of sectors including utilities, pharmaceuticals, transport and fast-moving consumer goods. They included DEFRA, Severn Trent, Royal Mail Group, Masterfoods and Roche
For the last decade or so, Paul has worked in the built environment (design, construction and development), holding senior posts as group director of environment and sustainability at both Balfour Beatty and WSP, and Head of Sustainability at Bovis Lend Lease in the UK. In the above roles he advised company boards providing guidance on environmental and social issues, establishing strategies that lead to revenue generation, brand and reputation enhancement, as well as working with operational teams to win work and deliver projects in infrastructure, residential and commercial property.or
At Balfour Beatty, he oversaw the environmental and sustainability affairs across all of the company’s global operations, and specifically led the environment and sustainability function comprising of 25 experts for the UK. The function had a focus on energy management, environmental compliance, social value and sustainability, and was involved in winning work, project delivery and reducing operational impacts and costs. His proudest achievement was developing a UK wide community investment programme – Involved – that focused on creating social value through employing local suppliers, supporting apprenticeships and community engagement. Paul directed Involved’s development and roll out which has helped Balfour win work through evidencing the economic social outcomes that it can generate. This has provided high levels of client and staff satisfaction. Paul supported the UK business on infrastructure, service contracts, as well as residential projects. Clients included United Utilities, UK Power Networks, Highways England, and the London Legacy Development Corporation.
At WSP Group – the design, engineering and environmental business – Paul’s group role covered its operations in America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia. He worked with business to ensure that the environment and sustainability performance was improved and were compliant with corporate governance requirements as a FTSE listed business. Whilst there, he led the development of a “Future Cities” services that positioned the engineer as the integrator ensuring that the design delivers the outcomes required throughout the project life cycle. The service offering built on the experiences of master-planning and design projects in California, Scandinavia, South Africa, Australia and the UK.
At Lend Lease, Paul was their first sustainability director for the construction business in the UK. Here he designed an award-winning strategy that focused on key material themes for the company and set challenging three year performance targets. Campaigning skills learnt from WWF were used to mobilise the business and it’s supply chain. As a result the company reduced its environmental impacts saving significant energy and material costs and building it’s “green” brand and reputation, which is still maintained today. Paul was involved in many of its project, including the Olympic Village, Media City at Salford Quays, as well as Ministry of Defence contracts.
Paul is a great believer in partnerships and collaborative working to improve knowledge transfer and set appropriate standards to drive performance. He was chair of the Strategic Forum for Construction’s carbon working group (2008-13), and for a period he was also deputy chair of the equivalent waste working group. He is a member of the UK government’s Green Construction Board’s infrastructure working group (2013 – present). As part of this, Paul has served as a technical member of the steering committee for PAS2080, a new standard for the management of the infrastructure carbon. He has also helped to establish the PAS2070 for the measurement of city’s consumption-based emissions.
As current Chair of Constructing Excellence’s sustainability forum (2010 – present) Paul presides over quarterly meetings attended by all parts of the construction value chain. These meetings explore important themes such as digital construction and the circular economy.
Since 2010, Paul has been a London Sustanable Development Commissioner, appointed by the Mayor of London. This has allowed Paul the opportunity to work closely with the Greater London Authority and others, in helping to shape London’s sustainable future. His work has included helping establish a standard for city level carbon emissions (PAS2070), contributing to revisions of the London Plan, championing the importance of access to nature for children, and chairing its Quality of Life Work (chairing the publication of two reports in 2012 & 2017). Paul is currently working on a circular economy route map for London, as well as working on the opportunity to make Old Oak Common and Park Royal a flagship for sustainable urban regeneration.
Paul was also a Policy Commissioner for Birmingham University’s Urban Futures Commission (2012-2013), an enquiry that looked at the future of urban living.
Since 2007 Paul has been a fellow of the RSA. He is qualified in BREEAM (green building certification scheme) and CEEQUAL (green infrastructure) assessor and is a Chartered Environmentalist and Member of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA). In 2017, Paul was made a Fellow of IEMA, and in January 2018 Redmond Group Ltd, the London-based building services company, appointed Paul as an independent non-executive director to help support their drive for sustainable growth.
Putting the environment and sustainability at the heart of business
As a leading environmental and sustainability expert with high-level business experience, Paul is well placed to offer advice to all types of business, from start-ups to big corporations.