John has been executive director of Greenpeace UK since September 2007. Before that, he was the director responsible for Greenpeace communications and working on solutions with businesses.
When he was a campaigner, he was instrumental in getting protection for the Great Bear temperate rainforest on the west coast of Canada. It was an epic battle, mostly fought in the marketplace involving logging companies, timber traders and their retail customers, and it led to widespread adoption of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) sustainability certification as standard across the timber and paper sectors. Lessons learnt from the Great Bear campaign were applied elsewhere – notably in Indonesia, the Congo, Central Africa and the Amazon.
He co-ordinated the international campaign to secure a moratorium on further destruction of the Amazon by soya producers. It involved eventually bringing together an alliance of US and European multinationals, along with Brazilian soya producers, commodity traders and food retailers. It was one of Greenpeace’s most successful campaigns aimed at protecting the world’s rainforests.