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Executive Directors

The Board of Directors is responsible for overseeing the strategy and governance of the Energy Saving Trust. The Chair of the Board is Neil Sachdev MBE.

The Executive Directors are responsible for day-to-day management of the Energy Saving Trust. Chief Executive Philip Sellwood leads a team of directors each of whom have extensive expertise and experience in their areas of responsibility

Russell Newham, Group Director of HR and Organisation Development

Russell NewhamRussell Newham is a Human Resources professional and member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) with 25 years’ experience in retail (Marks and Spencer, Home Retail Group and most recently at Post Office) in commercial operations, HR and change management roles.

Russell's key areas of expertise include performance, talent management, leadership development and organisational transformation.


Roger Ponting, Chief Financial Officer

Roger Ponting, Chief Financial Officer, Energy Saving Trust

Roger Ponting joined the Energy Saving Trust in 2010. His career began in practice providing accounting, tax and commercial support services to the SME sector.

During 2000 Roger moved into commerce with Aim listed FFastFill plc and has since continued to apply his commercial and financial skills to private and public businesses in the role of Finance Director. Roger retains non-executive Director positions within the software development and pubs sectors. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales.

Philip Sellwood, Chief Executive

Philip Sellwood, Chief Executive, Energy Saving Trust

Philip Sellwood has been the Chief Executive of the Energy Saving Trust since 2003, leading the organisation to deliver on its mission to help everyone save energy every day. Philip has substantial experience in both the public and private sector, and is an active member of a number of influential Boards. He is Vice Chair of the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership and a Non-Executive Director of Tevva Motors, REAL (Renewable Energy Assurance Limited) and the Local Government Association. In addition, Philip is an Advisory member of UKERC (UK Energy Research Council) and NHBC (National House Building Council). Philip is also a Founder Trustee of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which aims to build a positive circular economy.

During the last 15 years, Philip has undertaken work with DTI/Defra, for an educational charity and as Ministerial Advisor at the Home Office, and sat as an Independent Commissioner on the LGA Climate Change Commission.

Philip is a Member of the Institute of Energy, a Fellow of the British Institute of Management and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Mike Thornton OBE, Group Director of Operations

Mike Thornton, Group Director of Operations, Energy Saving TrustMike Thornton joined the Energy Saving Trust’s Scottish team in 2002. He started out as an academic undertaking research as a PhD student in ecological genetics. He then went on to become the first director at LEEP (now Changeworks), a regional NGO working on energy efficiency, transport and recycling.

Mike spent three years as development co-ordinator for Friends of the Earth (Scotland) after periods as a systems analyst and software research engineer, with what is now Rowntree in York. While in York, he was Chair of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Conservation Committee. Mike holds a First Class Honours degree in genetics from the University of Nottingham.

Non-Executive Directors

The role of the Non-Executive Directors is to ensure that the Energy Saving Trust complies at all times with its governing document and all relevant legislation or regulations. This includes the responsibility to ensure proper financial controls are maintained and that the organisation is administered effectively and efficiently while adhering to internal policies, procedures and values, holding the CEO and the executive directors accountable for their actions.

Neil Sachdev MBE (Chair)

Neil is an experienced chair with a strong track record of corporate governance, strategy and change management. He is also the current chair of BonhillGroup PLC and CakeBox Holdings PLC as well as governor at Nuffield Health.

Previous chair positions include Martin’s Properties Limited, Sirius Real Estate Limited and Market Tech Holdings Limited until 2017, a non-executive director of Intu Properties plc (formerly Capital Shopping Centres) until 2016, after ten years’ service, and a member of The Green Construction Board.

Prior to this Neil held the post of Group Property Director of J Sainsbury and served for 28 years with Tesco, where he rose to be Stores Board Director, responsible for property and operations for the entire UK business.

Neil was awarded an MBE in 2016 for his work in relation to energy efficiency and sustainability in the retail sector and holds a number of public sector positions. He received an MBA from the University of Stirling and is currently the chair of the Advisory Board of Warwick Business School where he is a member of Anniversary Council.

Matthew Bell OBE

Matthew is a director of Frontier Economics and joint head of the public policy practice. He is widely recognised as an expert in using economic analysis to design effective policies. He has been helping clients for over 20 years on the design of effective policies, including cost-benefit analysis, impact assessment, policy design, behavioural research and quantitative modelling. 

He has worked extensively on healthcare, climate change and environmental issues; as well as on industrial policy, education, housing and criminal justice.  His work has focused on the UK but he has offered expert advice to governments in over 20 countries on all continents.

His extensive experience includes his role at the UK Committee on Climate Change where he was chief executive between 2014 and 2017. Matthew oversaw the Committee’s work, including its advice to Parliament where he influenced legislation and policies relating to greenhouse gas reduction and adaptation to climate change. Earlier in his career he worked in the UK Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit. 

Tom Flood CBE

Tom Flood joined the Board of the Energy Saving Trust in July 2012 and became Chair of the Energy Saving Trust Foundation in 2014. He spent 11 years as Group Chief Executive of the Conservation Volunteers (formerly known as the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers). Before joining the charity sector, Tom worked with 3M UK, A E Herbert, and W S Atkins and Partners. He is also Director of the UK Water Partnership, Chair of Defra Civil Society Partnership, Vice President of the Council for Protection of Rural England. He is a companion of the Chartered Management Institute, a Fellow of the RSA, and was awarded a CBE for services to conservation in 2004. He is a Freeman of the City of London and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Water Conservators and a regular speaker on social and environmental issues.

Joan MacNaughton CB

Joan is chair of The Climate Group and a former director general of Energy for the UK. She sits on the Strategic Advisory Board of Engie UK and is a director of the James Hutton Institute and a member of the Council of Warwick University.

Joan’s other work includes her role as executive chair of the annual assessment of countries' energy policies for the World Energy Council, the ‘Trilemma’, from 2011 to 2016 of which she is now honorary chair. In 2012 she served as vice chair of the UN Committee on the policy dialogue of the CDM.

She has served on the Board of Governors, Argonne Laboratory at the University of Chicago where she chaired the budget committee; the boards of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA), the International Emission Trading Association (IETA), and the policy, regulatory and legal steering group of Global CCSI, and for six years was a non-executive director of a FTSE 250 company. From 2007 to 2011, Joan set up and then led Alstom’s department for clean power advocacy, and until December 2012 acted as global adviser on sustainable policies for the company.

Jim Metcalfe

Jim Metcalfe is the Chief Executive of College Development Network, a Scotland-based charitable company supporting innovation and performance improvement in vocational education.

Prior to joining CDN, Jim worked for five years as Head of Projects and Development for nationwide philanthropic foundation the Carnegie UK Trust. Before that, he was an aide to MPs Gordon Brown and John Healey and a director of the charity Age Concern. With Carnegie UK, Jim designed and grew TestTown, the UK’s biggest retail business skills programme for young people, and the Community Shares Scotland social finance initiative. He also supported environmental projects like the Lost Effra community water pilot and the Growing Livelihoods food production scheme.

Jim lives in Glasgow with his wife and two children. He served on the EST Foundation Board from 2015-16 before joining the main EST Board. He is currently a Non-Executive Director of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework Partnership, a regional committee member with the IoD, and a Fellow of the RSA.

Belinda Mindell

Belinda Mindell is the Chief Financial Officer of Fred. Olsen Ltd. Prior to that she was the Finance Director of Fred. Olsen Renewables Ltd. She has worked in the field of Renewable Energy for nearly two decades helping to set up Fred. Olsen Renewables Ltd and grow it into the largest Independent generator of wind power in the UK.

Belinda qualified with KPMG and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. She is also the honorary Treasurer of the Energy Institute and Chair of its Finance and Audit Committee.