our network

We are an international network of highly experienced sustainability specialists, bringing decades of wide-ranging technical, sectoral and cultural expertise to your projects. Importantly, we all have client-side executive experience – we understand how organisations work and we are passionate about adding value to your sustainability journey. 

From our network, we build bespoke, highly knowledgeable teams to meet your specific needs – providing project-relevant expertise, efficiency and cost-effective solutions. 

The key ingredients we bring to the conversation:

  • Range of subject matter expertise

  • Wide exposure to sectors and regions

  • Client side experience

  • Knowledge of all key sustainability standards 

  • Widely recognised thought leadership

  • Pioneering engagement and reporting experience 

  • Leading edge IT tools and solutions 

Maria Sillanpaa

Maria is an internationally recognised corporate responsibility and sustainability leader. She has worked exclusively in this field for over a quarter of a century, helping diverse organisations with their sustainability journeys. Prior to founding Sustainability Advisory, Maria held pivotal roles at The Body Shop International, KPMG and AccountAbility. 

 

Maria’s client work focuses mainly on strategy development, stakeholder engagement, supply chain management and reporting. She is especially passionate about helping clients find an authentic and compelling link between their business and their sustainability drivers.

Based in Dubai since 2007, Maria works with clients in the Middle East as well as internationally. She hails from Finland, has lived in five countries along the way, and worked with clients in some 30 countries across all continents. Maria has project experience from diverse sectors, including FMCG and Retail, Food and Drink, Energy and Utilities, Professional Services, Finance, Property and Construction and so on.

Maria has made instrumental contributions to various sustainability standards and initiatives – notably AccountAbility and its AA1000 Series of Standards. She sat on the founding board of Ethical Trading Initiative and was a founding member of GRI’s Technical Advisory Committee.

 

Her publications include The Stakeholder Corporation – A Blueprint for Maximizing Stakeholder Value, endorsed by global leaders as a seminal text.

Simon Bottrell

Simon is a design creative and brand consultant with over 25 years experience working with clients ranging from arts initiatives, corporates, charities, NGOs, local government, community and voluntary organisations, academia and social enterprise to a variety of eco and ethical business start-ups.

 

For over 15 years he has specialised in working with positive change projects, providing integrated strategic and creative thinking to support projects that have a positive social, environmental and economic impact.

 

He has worked on sustainability projects in multiple sectors: branding citywide and university carbon reduction campaigns; launching an online corporate legal product for cleantech start-ups; shaping and producing corporate responsibility reports; directing a social enterprise promoting the growth of ethical business in the UK; and delivering brand communications for innovations including online sustainability reporting, sustainable transport projects, community development and the sharing economy.

Simon’s passion is helping people and organisations capture their story and share it creatively, whilst keeping a keen eye on strategic considerations and being pragmatic about delivering a message. His design output includes brand identity, digital and print communications, branded interiors, reports  and campaigns. He has extensive experience of facilitating internal and stakeholder workshops, capturing strategic vision and producing high level messaging and copywriting.

 

Simon is based in the UK.

Russell Fisher

Russell has been a leader in sustainability for more than 30 years.

He chairs the board of an Australian social enterprise with a mission to promote and advance one planet living, after leading the transformation of a struggling environmental organisation into a national leader with a strategic campaign focus, sustainable business model and rapid membership growth. He is also building a new social enterprise focused on a systemic approach to health and wellbeing and the prevention of chronic disease.

Russell’s client passion is business strategy. He has been consulting for over a decade with hundreds of organisations across multiple sectors and settings in Australia, Asia and the Middle East. He has a wealth of experience in governance, strategy, leadership and multi-stakeholder engagement projects. He is a regular facilitator with the prestigious Australian Rural Leadership Program.

A number of his strategic projects have helped his clients win national awards in sustainability, training and development and community action on climate change. Russell helps leaders engage more deeply, build their skills to collaborate more effectively and transform their most complex situations. He is known for his strategic thinking, deep listening and ability to create a space that encourages imagination, different mindsets and diverse thinking.

Russell is based in Australia.

Khulood Hindiyeh

Over the past seven years, Khulood established and led the Sustainability Department at the Arab Bank PLC, one of the major financial institutions in the MENA region. She led the development of the bank’s first comprehensive sustainability strategy; prepared six GRI-based sustainability reports; managed the bank’s volunteering and CSR programmes; and, led training courses and workshops on various sustainability topics. Over the years, the Bank’s pioneering efforts in advancing sustainability have been recognised in various ways throughout the region.

 

Apart from having recently joined our team, Khulood also partners with Gulf Think Tank and currently serves on the judging panel of Gulf Sustainability and CSR Awards. Khulood is at the final stages of gaining her certification in Social Return on Investment (SROI) from the Social Value UK Institute. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Corporate Social Responsibility from the University of Nottingham.

 

Khulood believes that, with her experience, passion and sense of responsibility and professionalism, she can support organisations to enhance their sustainability strategies, reporting and communications, and take their measurement of their social impacts to the next level.

 

A Jordanian by birth, Khulood is now based in the UAE. 

Krishna Kumar

KK is a highly experienced media and communications professional with deep interest in corporate responsibility and sustainability. He is a keen follower of developments related to the practice and discourse on sustainability as well as the evolution and proliferation of media. He became a corporate communications and PR professional when he joined petrochemical major SABIC in 1991, after working in the mainstream media for nearly a decade.

 

KK’s recent work has focused on offering overall corporate communications consultancy, content strategy and planning, and writing and editorial services. Projects included the start-up of corporate communications function in companies, corporate reporting, conception and preparation of magazines and newsletters. He is recognised for his expertise in working with organisations to identify and develop key messages, present them appropriately across stakeholder communications platforms and tackle different types of challenges and sensitivities in communications. 

KK has worked across a broad spectrum of industries and fields of corporate activity: chemicals and petrochemicals, government (inward investment, vision and strategy), environment, agricultural investment, philanthropy, mining, investments, supply chain and business intelligence, corporate learning and development, real estate and the MICE sector. 

 

An Indian by birth, KK spent 20 years in Saudi Arabia before moving to Abu Dhabi in 2005 as the head of a leading PR agency. He is currently based in Dubai.   

Michael Nates

Michael has over 25 year of experience in HSE, corporate responsibility and sustainability. Trained as a Mechanical Engineer and accredited as a Chartered Environmentalist, he has worked in corporate, consultancy and NGO roles. He is currently finishing a Doctorate degree in Business Administration.

 

By integrating technical and behavioral competencies, he implements practical, cost-effective and people-centric solutions. He has worked across a variety of contexts including business strategy and development; rapid growth of teams and portfolios, HSSE management, project development and execution to IFC/EBRD standards; governance, sustainability and corporate reporting; asset management, assurance and due diligence; green buildings and renewables. 

 

In 2007, Michael was the runner up Strategy Consultant of the year awarded by the Management Consulting Association in UK.  From 2015-17 he led the publication of one of the first corporate sustainability reports in the GCC to meet the GRI G4 requirements. The report won the Asian Sustainability Reporting Awards “Best First Time Reporter” award in 2015. He supported his organisation in winning four Saudi Arabian sustainability and corporate responsibility awards and placing 4th in 2014 in the Saudi Arabian Responsible Competitive Index.

 

Michael is multi-cultural, having worked in each of the Southern African countries, the UK and the Middle East. His sector experience includes power and renewable energy, construction, built environmental and real estate, transport and professional services.

Abbe Le Pelley

Abbe is a sustainability specialist with nearly two decades of experience spanning corporate communications, sustainability reporting, stakeholder engagement and socially responsible investing.

 

Abbe’s career began in London, in the financial services industry, working as a Public Issues Manager at Barclays. Here she worked on matters of  business ethics, reputational risk, public interest issues and policy development, together with corporate responsibility reporting, communications and stakeholder engagement. Following her growing interest in this field, she continued her career as a Socially Responsible Investment Analyst at Jupiter Asset Management and acquired an MSc in Corporate Governance and Ethics from the University of London.

 

Relocating to Dubai in 2004, Abbe helped establish the Centre for Responsible Business at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry – the first government funded organisation in the Middle East advocating the agenda. Abbe’s work involved raising the profile of corporate responsibility in Dubai and delivering value to Chamber members by pursuing corporate responsibility and sustainability related research, consulting, training and outreach programmes.

 

Abbe’s work with Sustainability Advisory has been broad ranging, from baseline assessments to peer reviews, to preparation of sustainability reports as well as specific projects focusing on stakeholder engagement. A corporate communicator at heart, Abbe approaches sustainability from a business viewpoint, always looking for ways to help organisations drive value through solid alignment with corporate strategy. 

Rebecca Pearce

Rebecca is a leader in sustainability for the built environment. She has over 25 years international experience including Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Europe. Until recently she lead the Sustainability team in the EMEA region for the world’s largest real estate services and investment firm where she advised a diverse range of clients on how to use environmental, social and governance strategies to improve their business performance and their reputation. Previously she had an internally focused senior role at one of Australia’s leading banks, globally recognized for their sustainability leadership.  

 

Rebecca trained as an architect and has a masters in human resource management, providing a unique perspective on how to create places and organisations that encourage human health and wellbeing whilst also optimising environmental impacts and economic benefits. She is prominent in dialogue and research around the creation of smart, healthy and sustainable places and a member of numerous industry working groups.

 

Rebecca’s clients have included global corporations, building developers and owners, real estate fund managers and investors. Regardless of size or industry her approach is based on strong stakeholder engagement to create meaningful strategies with a focus on practical outcomes, whilst also creating compelling stories to communicate their value.

 

Rebecca is Australian and is based in Europe.

Helen Sell

Helen is a customer experience specialist who enables organisations to develop emotionally positive experiences with their customers as a business differentiator. Her work empowers organisations to improve their CX strategies through innovation and strategic foresight. The growth of ethical and conscious consumerism in markets around the world is a key area of interest for her and, increasingly, an essential lens through which to view CX strategy.

 

With nearly 30 years of experience, 18 of those in the UAE, Helen draws on her background as a marketing strategist, with extensive experience of research and planning before moving into customer experience consultancy in 2010.  

 

She has extensive experience of large scale CX programme management from insight generation through to strategy development, roadmap planning and implementation. She presents a unique skillset having worked in strategy and planning roles within large organisations, undertaking CX consultancy for numerous clients, and also having held hands-on operational roles that called on her to both develop and deliver customer experience.  She is a design thinking advocate and has extensive experience of service design, creativity and innovation workshops.

 

Helen originates from UK and is based in UAE.

Stephen White

Stephen is a chartered accountant with over fifteen years experience working with companies across a broad range of industry sectors. Stephen worked with Maria to set up Sustainability Advisory and has continued to provide financial and accounting services since inception. Stephen keeps our books in order, manages our contracts and takes care of all governance-related matters.

 

Alongside, Stephen has continued to work independently and in employed roles within the UK working with both start ups and established businesses advising on financial strategy, implementing financial systems and reporting frameworks and providing general accounting services to statutory reporting level.

Stephen has worked across a broad range of sectors including Retail, Hospitality, FMCG, Film, Professional Services and also not for profit, for UK and overseas based operations.

Stephen is based in UK.

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