UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources


Nature-Positive Innovation Commission (NPIC)

aerial view of farmland

7 November 2022

The Nature-Positive Innovation Commission (NPIC) was formed following the work of the Green Innovation Policy Commission (GIPC). Its objective was to take a deeper look at the innovation that was required in UK agriculture and land use more widely, in order to regenerate nature, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. NPIC brought together many of the leaders in UK thinking and practice related to regenerative farming and nature-positive land management. Implementation of its proposals would reverse the decades-long depletion of nature brought about by trends in land management since the 1960s. 

Green circle overlapping representing systems perspective on nature-positive innovation

Members of the Nature-Positive Innovation Commission

Georgia Berry, Sward

Georgia Berry
Georgia Berry is Chief Policy Officer for Sward, a technology start up helping farmers to maximise value from their natural capital assets. She was previously Director of Policy and Public Affairs at OVO Energy, and was Chair of the ZeroC commission. Georgia has worked in energy and environmental policy for over 15 years, serving as a Special Advisor to Theresa May in Downing Street. 
Helen Browning, Soil Association

Helen Browning
Helen Browning has a very mixed organic farm Wiltshire, with dairy, beef, pigs, cereals and is now also experimenting with agro-forestry. Her products are sold through the Helen Browning’s Organic brand in retailers, big and small, as well as through her mini hotel and restaurant/pub on the farm. She is Chief Executive of the Soil Association, trustee of the RSPB and of the Food farming and Countryside Commission, and a member of the BBC’s Rural Affairs Advisory Committee.

Prior to rejoining the Soil Association, Helen was Director of External Affairs for the National Trust. She has had a number of roles in agri-politics over the years, including the Government’s Policy Commission on the Future of Farming and Food (‘the Curry Commission’) and chaired the England Animal Health and Welfare Implementation Group. Helen was awarded an OBE in 1998 for her services to organic farming.

Hannah Dillon, Iris Project

Hannah Dillon
Hannah Dillon has experience working across environmental policy, movement building and communications. She is currently Director of the Iris Project, a global environmental initiative that provides grant funding and mentorship to young people working to protect and restore nature. Previously she was Head of Zero Carbon - an environmental advocacy campaign calling for the UK Government to phase out fossil fuel subsidies and introduce proper charges on the production of carbon emissions. She has also worked as Director of Climate Campaigns at Project Everyone, and as Head of Campaigns and Network at Zinc. 
Paul Ekins, UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources

Paul Ekins headshot
Paul Ekins has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of London and is Professor of Resources and Environmental Policy and Director of the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources, University College London. In 2011 he was appointed Vice-Chairman of the DG Environment Commissioner’s High-Level Economists Expert Group on Resource Efficiency, and in 2012 a member of the European Commission’s European Resource Efficiency Platform. In 2013 he was appointed to UNEP’s International Resource Panel, for whom he was lead author of a major report on resource efficiency at the request of the German Government at the G7 Summit in 2015. He was one of two Co-Chairs of UNEP’s sixth Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-6), which is the United Nations’ flagship environmental report, and which was presented to the United Nations Environment Assembly in March 2019. He is currently coordinating the Horizon 2020 project INNOPATHS (Innovation Pathways, Strategies and Polices for the Low-Carbon Transition in Europe). In 1994 Paul Ekins received UNEP’s Global 500 Award ‘for outstanding environmental achievement’. 
Angela Francis, World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF-UK)

Angela Francis is Director of Policy Solutions at WWF-UK where she leads the teams working on climate, finance, economics, production, and consumption.  She started as an accountant in the energy industry before moving into economics and policy development where she has been for the last 20 years.  She led on economics and strategy for the East of England Development Agency and worked on productivity, innovation, and low carbon growth in the UK and Europe for SQW.  She was Regional Economist and Climate Attaché for the FCO in the Caribbean and returned to the UK to find her home in environmental policy as Chief Economist for Green Alliance and then Chief Advisor on Economics and Economic Development for WWF where she led on industrial strategy, green recovery, just transition and trade policy for sustainable agriculture.

Martin Lines, The Nature Friendly Farming Network (NFFN)

Martin Lines is a third-generation farmer and contractor in South Cambridgeshire, growing mainly arable crops on his family farm and rented land. He has a special interest in farm conservation management and champions a way of farming which is sustainable and good for nature.  Martin has introduced a wide range of nature friendly farming practices on his farm, and now as the Chair of the Nature Friendly Farming Network (NFFN) works to share best practice and demonstrate what can be accomplished for nature and the environment while producing great produce.

Edward Lockhart-Mummery, Broadway Initiative

Ed Lockhart is convenor of the Broadway Initiative, the alliance of trade associations working with environmental groups, professional bodies and government on the frameworks, plans and partnerships needed to meet climate and environmental goals. Ed is also CEO of the Future Homes Hub, the organisation established to collaborate across the homebuilding sector on net zero and environmental goals. Before that Ed worked as a consultant adviser to HM Government and 15 other governments on sustainability issues. Ed is also founder of Friends of Aschiana UK, a charity which helps educate and provide for street working children in Afghanistan.

Nick Molho, Aldersgate Group

Nick Molho is the executive director of the Aldersgate Group, a cross-economy organisation whose business members have a collective global turnover of around £550bn. The work of the group focuses on developing policy positions to tackle major environmental challenges in a way that is environmentally effective and can deliver economic benefits. The group's work covers a wide range of environmental policy issues including climate and energy policy, resource efficiency, natural capital, trade and green finance. Prior to joining the Aldersgate Group in 2014, Nick was the Head of Climate Change and Energy Policy for four years at environmental NGO WWF-UK. Prior to that, Nick spent six years working as an environmental and energy lawyer with global law firm CMS.

Benet Northcote, Chair

Benet Northcote John Lewis
Benet Northcote is a senior adviser to Seahorse Environmental, which works with NGOs and businesses to develop sustainability strategies and campaigns.  Previously, he was a Senior Adviser to the British Standards Institution and, for eight years, Director of Sustainability at the John Lewis Partnership.  He has served as Deputy Private Secretary to HRH The Prince of Wales, leading on sustainability, agriculture and responsible business, and was Chief Policy Adviser to Greenpeace UK.  He is Chair of the Nature Positive Innovation Commission, Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Environment Network, and a Trustee of both Green Alliance and the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.
Sue Pritchard, The Food Farming & Countryside Commission (FFCC)

Photo of Sue Pritchard behind a 5 bar gate
Sue Pritchard is Chief Executive of the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission. FFCC is an independent UK charity convening leadership, research and action in food and health, farming and land-use, and the rural economy, to tackle the climate, nature and health crises.  Prior to this, Sue worked with governments, private and public sector organisations on the leadership and delivery of major and complex projects, and systems change, with honorary research appointments in University College, London, Ashridge Business School, University of Leeds and the Revans Institute, University of Salford. Sue is also an independent trustee of Royal Agricultural University, Black Mountains College and CoFarm Foundation, and lives with her family on an organic farm in Wales.
Jonathan Scurlock, National Farmers' Union (NFU)

Jonathan Scurlock
A senior NFU adviser since 2007, Dr Jonathan Scurlock leads a small team providing analysis and advice on energy, climate change and net zero policy to the National Farmers Union of England and Wales (NFU): its management, office holders and members.  His background is in university and government research in the UK and USA, covering energy and climate policy, plant physiology, all kinds of biomass fuels, bio-based products and other renewables.  Jonathan worked previously on renewable energy with regional and local government in North East England, and for the United States Department of Energy in Tennessee.  The author of more than 50 publications, he was educated at Oxford and London, and is a Visiting Fellow at the Open University. 
Graham Southall, Northumbrian Water

Graham Southall Northumbrian water
Graham Southall is Group Commercial Director with Northumbrian Water.  His responsibilities include the group’s procurement activity, as well as their energy strategy and their commitment to net zero carbon by 2027.  As well as providing commercial support to Northumbrian Water Limited, the regulated business, he is responsible for their commercial portfolio.  This includes assets their leisure business associated with access to their reservoirs.

Prior to Northumbrian Water, he held a number of roles across the water and energy sectors: Managing Director, Thames Water Commercial Services, Head of Power at BG Group, VP Optimisation with DONG in Denmark and VP European Trading in Geneva for TXU.

The commissioners took part in the Nature-Positive Innovation Commission in their personal capacities.  

Photo by Ben Seymour on Unsplash