Principal Sustainability Advisor
(0)20 7324 3613
Sectors : Innovation,
I lead our work on how to use information and communications technology (ICT) for sustainability. I also work on metrics for innovation, and look at how the full sustainability of products and services can be assessed. A recent project bringing together both of these areas was the Eco rating assessment for mobile phones.
I was first introduced to Forum whilst studying for my Masters degree at Imperial College in London. Rupert Howes (then Director of Forum’s newly established Sustainable Economy Programme, now CEO of the Marine Stewardship Council) came to speak to us about the new work that Forum was doing in putting a financial price on the sustainability impacts of organisations. This was . . . a while . . . before carbon footprinting and the like became widely thought about, let alone the mainstream activity it is today, and Forum sounded like an innovative and exciting place to work.
However, despite having originally studied Environmental Economics at York, I was at that time pursuing a long-standing dream (borne out of growing up wanting to be Gerald Durrell) of working in environmental sustainability in Africa. So for the next five years or so I worked with the Government of Tanzania and the World Bank on an environmental assessment of the Lower Kihansi Hydropower Project - long months spent in a remote forested gorge measuring microclimate & vegetation growth which formed the basis of my PhD in patterns of plant biodiversity and climate.
But fate doesn’t give up that easily, and on my move back to London in 2005 I joined Forum as a Sustainability Accountant, in the Sustainable Economy Programme, and have been helping our partners assess and measure their sustainability challenges ever since.
My dream project? One which applies technology to innovatively address the developmental and sustainability challenges in emerging economies, and which can then be transferred to the developed world when we’re eventually ready for it.
What floats my boat outside work? I currently have little time, or desire, to do anything other than entertain my wife and three small daughters. But if that can be done whilst camping somewhere beautiful, around an open fire, and possibly with a tasty beer or two, then so much the better. I’m pretty sure that mixing children with fires and alcohol is Good Parenting 101.
Twitter account: @james_taplin
Linkedin page: <http://uk.linkedin.com/in/jamestaplin>