Ed Gillespie (sustainability professional)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Edward Roger Gillespie
BornMay 1972
Occupationsustainability consultant
Known forCo-Founded wearefuterra.com, Director of Greenpeace UK
Notable work

Ed Gillespie is a British environmental entrepreneur and author. His focus is on sustainability and innovation. He co-founded Futerra, one of the first specialist sustainability communications agencies in 2001 with Solitaire Townsend.[1][2]

Early life and education[edit]

He grew up in Norfolk, attending Norwich School. Afterwards he was a volunteer for Project Trust as a teacher in Jamaica. He completed an MSc in marine biology at the University of Wales and continued in this discipline by undertaking a MSc in Marine Resource Development and Protection at Heriot-Watt University.

After this his focus shifted to business as he enrolled in a Professional Masters in Leadership for Sustainable Development at Middlesex University, a course run by sustainable development charity Forum for the Future.[3] While there he met Townsend.[4]


Ed started his professional career as an Environmental Development Manager at London Transport. Before this he had worked for the Survival Natural History Film Unit and as a marine biologist in Australia, New Caledonia and Orkney.

In 2001, he co-founded Futerra Sustainability Communications with Solitaire Townsend and their mission is to make sustainable development so desirable it becomes normal.

In 2007/8, he traveled around the world without flying, and his passion for slow travel led him to invest in, and become Chairman of, European Rail Business Loco2.[5] His interest in sustainable development is further shown by his service as a non-executive Director for Zero Carbon Food,[6] a London Sustainable Development Commissioner,[7] Director of carbon emissions campaigning organisation Sandbag [8] and an investor in Foodtrade.[9]

Publications and public speaking[edit]

Ed is a regular contributor to The Guardian, which began back in 2007 with his Slow Traveller blog.[10] This developed into commentary on topics around sustainable business, climate change and environmental communications.[2]

In June 2014, Wild Things Publishing published Ed's first book, Only Planet.[11][12] The book is based on his 2007/8 trip.

Gillespie is regularly invited to lecture around the world to audiences, including the UN, national governments, multinational corporations and citizen organizations. He spoke at a TEDx event in 2010 about the importance of embedding sustainability into business strategy in a talk titled 'Sustainability, the reinvention of progress'.[13]


  1. ^ "Ed Gillespie - Keynote, Public, After Dinner, Event & Guest Speaker". London Speaker Bureau. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Ed Gillespie". The Guardian. 4 January 2009. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  3. ^ "Leadership for Sustainable Development". Forum for the Future. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  4. ^ Lock, Helen (20 September 2017). "Businesses on the couch: the co-founders in couples' therapy". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  5. ^ "team". Loco2. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  6. ^ "The Team | Zero Carbon FoodZero Carbon Food". Zerocarbonfood.co.uk. 24 January 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Ed Gillespie". Londonsdc.org. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  8. ^ "Who we are". Sandbag. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  9. ^ "ed gillespie". FoodTrade. Retrieved 2 March 2015.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "Slow Traveller | From the Observer". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  11. ^ "Only Planet". Only Planet. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  12. ^ Webb, Flemmich (12 June 2014). "Only Planet by Ed Gillespie, book review: Allow world's flaws and". The Independent. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Responsible Marketing". VLearn.org. Archived from the original on 19 December 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2015.