Event speakers

Ashish Anand, Director, Investment Banking Division, Barclays

Ashish Anand is a director in Barclays in the Global Capex Solutions team within the Investment Bank. He has been a project financier for nearly 15 years financing deals in the PPP / PFI market with sector experience in defence, renewables, social infrastructure and in the waste sector. He recently worked with HM Treasury in developing the Voluntary Code of Conduct for Operational PPP Projects.

He has worked on a number of waste deals where he has led the financing and arranged senior funding for projects ranging from EfW, MBT and anaerobic digestion. He has been a member of the DEFRA New Technologies Committee and also sits on the financing work group with the ADBA. 

Adam Baisley, Commercial Director, Olleco

Adam joined Olleco, then Agri Energy in 2006. He is responsible for strategy and new business development for the company. Adam previously worked for Cargill PLC as General Manager of the refined oils business and also held positions in Asia, Africa and the US.



Charles Banks, Professor of Environmental BiotechnologyUniversity of Southampton

Prof Banks is head of the Bioenergy and Biomass Resources Research Group which is internationally recognised for its work on anaerobic digestion. He has led and participated in a number of EU projects including: CROPGEN; VALORGAS, All-Gas and AmbiGAS aimed at second generation biofuel production.  He is currently project coordinator for the UK Research Council’s Network in Anaerobic Digestion (ADnet) as well as running nationally support research projects in his area of specialist interest. 




Richard Barker, Former Chief Executive, Biogen

Until mid-2014 Richard was the CEO of Biogen, the UK’s leading food waste AD specialist. Biogen successfully raised £70m of both equity and debt finance and has deployed these funds to develop and operate a network of AD plants around the country. Prior to Biogen, Richard founded and successfully raised finance for a number of growth business in the process and technology sectors. He has an early background in consulting and investment banking.



Anna Becvar, Director, Earthcare Technical Ltd

Anna has been an independent consultant for 16 years. She has a soils and farming background and has worked in land based industries for over 20 years. She leads the Earthcare team in collaborations on government and industry based research projects, as well as delivering straight, effective advice on permitting and legislation. She has extensive, practical experience of delivering advice on farm, to the AD sector and recycling materials to land is her speciality.



Dr Nick Cheffins, Managing Director, Peakhill Associates Ltd

After 23 years working in the Agricultural College and University sectors Dr Nick Cheffins formed Peakhill Associates Ltd in 2002, working as an independent consultant with significant economic development experience particularly in horticultural, environmental and sustainability projects. Current activities include work on the potential for using AD fibre as a peat replacement growing media and the development of new biomass supply chains with specific focus on Low Input High Diversity biomass for use in anaerobic digestion and the production of biomass fuels.


Michael Chesshire, Director, Evergreen Gas Ltd

Michael Chesshire is an engineering graduate from Cambridge University, and has been in the anaerobic digestion business since 1975; first with Farmgas which pioneered pre-fabricated sewage sludge digestion technology in the 1980s; second with Greenfinch which pioneered the anaerobic digestion of source-segregated food waste in the 1990s; and now with Evergreen Gas which is marketing small-scale plug-flow digesters for farms. Michael is also a visiting Professor at the University of Southampton and is a director of Renewable Energy Assurance Ltd. He has had his own working digester at home for the past 14 years, where biogas is produced for cooking, for district heating and for the production of vehicle fuel.



 Kyrone Dodd, Head of Operations, Tamar Energy

After spending 10 years in the motor industry within R & D and manufacturing deparmenets Kyrone moved over to the A.D. sector 5 years ago spending 4 years with Biffa at the Leicester PFI contract with its associated Wanlip A.D. Site. He currently works at Tamar Energy as the Head of Operations.



Stuart Easterbrook, Stakeholder Delivery Manager, Gas distribution, National Grid 

Stuart heads up the Stakeholder Delivery team in National Grid Gas Distribution which is responsible for a number of areas including the contractual and commercial aspects of National Grid’s connections for biomethane gas to grid projects and transportation supply hubs. National Grid has received over 600 enquiries for gas to grid projects and is currently managing over sixty live projects. Stuart has worked in many Operational and Commercial areas of National Grid during his career, covering both Gas and Electricity, including project design and construction, procurement, pricing and generating station connections.


Ian Farr, Head of Sales, Edina

Ian’s whole working life has revolved around waste where he has been able to apply his technical knowledge and also gain a wealth of experience and insight into the initiatives and funding that have been offered over the years.

Ian is a supporter of ADBA policy and initiatives, attending working groups where possible. Also contributes to the REA Biogas working group. And he has recently promoted Edina and “biogas to energy” solutions in Australia.


Mark Fletcher, Sustainability Manager, Logistics, Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd

With over 35 years of experience in the retail sector Mark has led the delivery of a major change projects across different divisions within Sainsbury’s. Having joined the Logistics division in 2011 to lead a complex change project in Primary Logistics, which was completed in 2013, Mark took up the newly created position of Sustainability Manager for Logistics, a role designed to support the delivery of the challenging environmental targets which Sainsbury’s has set itself for 2020.



Dr Paul Gibbs, Director of Consultancy, 4R Group

Paul is a Chartered Scientist with expertise covering all aspects associated with the impacts of treating and recycling ‘waste’ materials to land.  He is currently involved with a number of waste recycling projects using industrial wastes to restore or improve land. Customers include public utilities, waste producers, insurance underwriters, local authorities and mineral extraction companies.



Andrew Hipwell, Regional Agriculture Director, Midlands, HSBC Bank PLC

Having worked for HSBC for 30 years and HSBC Agriculture for over 4 years, Andrew is one of five Regional Agriculture Directors for HSBC Bank. He is responsible for a team of Agriculture Managers based in eight centres around the Midlands Region. Throughout his career with HSBC, Andrew has held a number of senior positions including Chief Operating Officer for HSBC in the Netherlands, the National Field Sales Manager for HSBC Asset Finance and more recently Senior Corporate Banking Manager. 



Dr Dominic Hogg, Chairman, Eunomia Research & Consulting Ltd

Dominic Hogg is Chairman of Eunomia Research & Consulting Ltd, which he founded in 2001. With an honours degree in physics and a PhD in economics, he has worked on a wide range of cross disciplinary projects related to waste and resources policy for governments, European Commission and OECD.  He has a deep interest in the development of policy and practice regarding food waste, and recently led work for DG Environment on the development of the circular economy package. 



Chris Holmes, Managing Director, Waste & Bioenergy, Green Investment Bank


Chris heads up the Waste & Bioenergy team at the UK Green Investment Bank plc, a UK Government sponsored institution created in October 2012, and with capital allocation of £3.8 billion.The bank’s mission is to accelerate the transition of the UK to a ‘greener’ economy with initial investment focus being in Offshore Wind, Waste & Bioenergy and Energy Efficiency.

Prior to this position Chris was Head of Capital Markets in the Infrastructure and Renewables team at NIBC Bank, also with responsibility for UK debt origination and advisory within these sectors. Chris was with NIBC for over 12 years working on, amongst others, a number of waste and bioenergy transactions. His last role centred on bringing capital market solutions to the NIBC European I&R franchise to facilitate long term lending products and co-investments in the wide origination activities of the Bank. 


Michael Hughes, Partner, Downing LLP 

Downing is a leading investor in UK Anaerobic Digestion.  Since 2010, Downing funds, including EIS and VCTs, have invested more than £70m to fund the construction and operation of 12 (7 CHP and 5 gas to grid) agricultural AD projects with a combined output capacity in excess of 20MW.  Downing is actively raising funds to invest into new AD projects in 2015. 



Chris Huhne, Strategic Adviser, ADBA

Chris Huhne is a long‑standing advocate of green energy. Formerly Energy and Climate Change Secretary (2010 to 2012), he has been involved in crafting solutions to climate change since 1990, including the first low carbon plan, the Liberal Democrats Zero Carbon Britain. He started and ran a business before he entered politics in 1999. He has been on the council of the Royal Economic Society, and a visiting fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford.



Neil Hunter, Operations Director, Local Generation Ltd

Neil Hunter managed the construction of the highly efficient Local Generation AD plant in March, Cambs, and has succeeded in developing the process and operation to the point where a nominal 30,000T site is handling 42,000T of food waste. He is now leading a consultation and commissioning service for other AD plants, driving them to similar over‑achievement. An Electrical Engineer, Neil has process and project management experience in the chemical, petro‑chemical, natural gas and food industries.



Stephen Ivanec, Lead Biological Process & Commissioning Engineer, Viridor 

Stephen is a Lead Engineer in Viridor’s engineering team with a focus on the biological process plants which include AD treatment, leachate treatment and composting. The range of AD plants he works on include both food waste and MBT processing of residual  municipal solids wastes to process RDF and organic fractions for digestion ranging in scale from 30,000 tonnes.

Stephen is involved from design concept, specification, detailed design, performance and commissioning testing through to operational optimisation of the AD process to improve gas yields, manage feedstock and process elements which include effluent water treatment plants. He is involved in developing and tracking process KPIs, resolution of process bottlenecks and interaction to maintenance regimes.

Dr David Joffe, Head of Modelling, Committee on Climate Change

David has been with the CCC since 2007. His areas of work include how to meet long-term emissions targets and how scarce bioenergy can best contribute to economy-wide decarbonisation. David is leading the CCC’s central analytical team for 5th carbon budget work, which will recommend the emissions limit for 2028-32 in 2015. He has a PhD in Energy Policy and Technology from Imperial College and is a member of the International Advisory Board of the Sustainable Gas Institute.



Anne Laleman, Director, Alpha-Financials Environmental


Anne left the banking world to set up Alpha-Financials, which specialises in supporting part-time finance departments and obtained an MSc Waste and Resource Management (Cranfield-2010). Since environmental projects should make financial sense, she created AF-Environmental: “Where environment and finance meet”. Anne works hands-on at AD plants, gives workshops on AD feasibility/financial aspects and with her team is keen to partner up to resolve any or all pieces of the AD puzzle.



Alon Laniado, Investment Director, Eternity Capital


Alon is investment director at Eternity Capital, a specialist group which provides funding dedicated to the waste-to-energy and recycling sector.  He is director of an anaerobic digestion facility and a waste wood gasification facility, which Eternity Capital recently funded. Alon worked at Bain&co where he advised on private equity transactions and on developing growth plans for UK and international companies. He also worked as senior policy advisor at HM Treasury on public-private investment programmes.



Robin Latchem, Editor, MRW

Robin has been editor of MRW for two years and joined the EMAP group in 2008. In the decade prior to that he worked on news websites at the BBC, Sky Sports and Sky News. Robin trained initially as a print journalist in Cornwall and moved into broadcasting with BBC local radio in Oxfordshire and Shropshire and regional television in Birmingham. 



Alexander Maddan, Chief Executive, Agrivert Ltd


Alexander founded Agrivert in 1994, a company that began in Sewage Sludge Recycling and has since designed, built and is now operating three anaerobic digestion (AD) plants and 5 composting sites. Over the past 20 years, Alexander has witnessed many industry changes and has been instrumental in some of the evolutions: he has contributed in detail to the development of PAS100 and PAS110 and is determined to improve the industry’s relations with its regulators.



Ray Nattrass, Head of Process Design & Engineering, Shanks Waste Management

Ray is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer and has worked in the waste industry for 11 years. He is currently Head of Process Design and Engineering at Shanks Waste Management and was responsible for the design and construction of their Westcott Park AD facility. He has also worked on the company's AD facilities in Cumbernauld, Rotherham and Wakefield.  Ray also spent 7 years with Biffa Waste Services and managed the delivery of their Leicester MBT facility which included the Wanlip AD plant treating the organic fraction from MSW. His other projects included two In Vessel Composting plants treating green and kitchen waste and Biffa's flag ship 120,000 tonne foodwaste AD facility. Prior to joining the waste industry Ray was a Project Manager for CEL International, an EPC contractor working in the food, pharmaceutical and chemical sectors. 


Bruce Nelson, Director, Compass Business Finance Ltd

Head of Compass Renewables, advising ADBA members, and the market in general, on all aspects of attracting debt and equity to AD projects across the UK. Previously, was Regional Director across Northern Europe for a US bank, heading up operations across six countries. Prior to this, Bruce Nelson’s role was Divisional Managing Director, Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC, responsible for sectors such as aviation, industry, transport, construction and agriculture.




Richard Nuttall, Business Development Manager – Commercial, Clydesdale & Yorkshire Bank

Richard Nuttall is a Business Development Manager with Clydesdale & Yorkshire Bank. Richard's industry and commercial experience has been developed over a 27 year career in Corporate Banking and in recent years has been directly involved in providing finance to support commercial and agricultural clients invest in Anaerobic Digestion. He leads the Bank's relationships with a number of Trade Organisations and has been a regular contributor to the ADBA Finance Forum.



Julian O’Neill, CEO, Biogen

Julian joined Biogen in 2011 as Finance Director and has worked to drive the business forward, developing a clear strategy and securing long term funding to enable the company’s ambitious growth plans. Prior to joining Biogen, Julian previously held senior leadership roles with Thomson Airways, Arcadia and Pizza Hut. Julian holds an MBA from Warwick Business School.



Dan Rogerson MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Water, Forestry, Rural Affairs and Resource Management, Defra

Dan Rogerson is the Member of Parliament for North Cornwall, and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Water Forestry, Rural Affairs and Resource Management at Defra. His remit includes the Water Bill and flooding, environmental regulation, air quality, waste and resource management, and rural growth and development.

Dan has been an MP since 2005. Before he became a Defra minister, he served on the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee. He worked on their inquiries into the rural economy, bovine TB, climate change and many other issues. He was also co-chair of the Associate Parliamentary Sustainable Resource Group, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on cheese, Vice Chair of the Rural Services Group, and Hon. Treasurer of the Sustainable Resource Group.

Previously, he served as Shadow Minister for the Environment, Housing, Arts and Heritage.  

Charlotte Smith, Presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today and BBC1’s Countryfile, BBC

After starting my career in local radio I worked as a news journalist and sports presenter in regional and as a presenter on national daytime TV and national radio before joining the BBC’s Rural Affairs department by accident after a conversation in a lift. I have been covering rural and agricultural issues on both TV and radio for more than a decade, and I am happiest in a pair of wellies trudging across a muddy field. 



Nick Tapp, Head of Client Advisory, Craigmore Sustainables


Nick joined Craigmore in 2013 to lead the Client Advisory team, based in London, after heading up the Agribusiness team for Bidwells, leading agricultural and farm management consultants in the UK. Nick brings with him farming expertise with a global perspective, having grown up in the remote West Highlands of Scotland, managed a large arable and vegetable farming business in Kent, and invested in central European agriculture.

Nick’s involvement in the industry also includes serving as Chair of the Board of Grain Harvesters Ltd, a grain storage and marketing business in Kent.  He also sits on the Board of Magyar Farming Company, operating a large scale diversified farming business in Hungary, Ukraine and, until recently, Serbia; and until the spring of 2014 served on the Potato Council, chairing the Market Information Committee. Nick recently served as a Director of the Oxford Farming Conference, and for 6 years sat on the Policy Committee of the Country Land and Business Association.  He qualified as a Chartered Surveyor, is a Nuffield Farming Scholar, a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Societies, and was a founding member of the British Association for Bio-fuels and Oils. 


Matt Taylor, Senior Environmental Scientist, ADAS UK Ltd 

Matt is a Senior Environmental Scientist at ADAS; he specialises in undertaking applied strategic and policy driven research and consultancy for Government, corporate bodies, non-governmental organisations, farmers and growers. He is actively involved in research and consultancy covering all aspects associated with the recycling of organic materials to land, and with the resource management industry in beneficially recycling digestate to agricultural and non-agricultural land.



Dr David Tompkins, Sector Specialist, WRAP

David is an environmental scientist with a background in soil science and horticulture. He leads on WRAP’s programme of work with farm assurance and other food-chain partners to develop stakeholder-endorsed guidance for the use of quality digestate and compost. David also provides technical input to projects across WRAP’s market development programme for digestates and compost, including growing media, commercial horticulture and landscaping.



Iain Watt, Principal Sustainability Advisor, Forum for the Future

Iain coordinates Forum for the Future’s Farm Power project – investigating the role that farms could play in the energy system (and hopefully making it much easier for farmers to invest in sustainable energy).  He also leads Forum for the Future’s work on climate change and is involved in Forum’s broader bioeconomy work – exploring how to ensure that our finite planet can provide us with all the things we need (from food, energy and materials through to ecosystem services).



Dr Alan Whitehead MP, Commons Energy & Climate Change Committee Member

From June 2001 - May 2002 Alan served as Minister in the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, responsible for Local Government, the Regions and the Fire Service. He is the Chair of PRASEG, the Associate Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group and Co-Chair of APSRG, the Associate Parliamentary Sustainable Resource Group.

He is a Fellow of the Institute of Waste Management, and member of the Board for The Environment Centre (Southampton).


Rob Wood,Chief Executive, Officer Gasrec Ltd

Rob joined Gasrec in 2013 as Chief Executive. He has worked in the energy industry for 27 years and began his career in BP’s downstream business, selling oil products to a variety of commercial and industrial customers. He then moved to BP’s gas business where he developed a CCGT at Saltend, one of the first independent power projects in the UK. Rob then moved to BP Chemicals where he first led a global technology licensing business and then BP’s European ethylenepolyethylene manufacturing business. He then moved to BP’s oil and gas trading division to set up and lead a financial services activity. Rob’s last role in BP was in Alternative Energy where he set up and led a carbon origination and trading business. Since leaving BP in 2010, Rob has led a number of start-up ventures. Rob has a degree in mechanical engineering.