Our Consultancy Team

Our dedicated research team:

Anna Clayton

Writer/ Researcher

I joined Ethical Consumer in 2014. I felt that it would be the perfect place to develop professionally and personally whilst campaigning for a cause I believe in - challenging corporate power.

Highlights

A highlight for me was jointly developing the 2017 Lush Spring Prize – a project that supports the regenerative movement around the world. The final prize-giving event was full of determined and inspiring people that are healing damaged environments and fractured communities, despite numerous obstacles and social stigmas. Amazing.

Other expertise and experience

At Ethical Consumer I have worked on a number of consultancy projects including the feasibility work for the anti-badger cull campaign and the LUSH Spring Prize. I worked on the two Shooting Wildlife? Reports which explore the links between optics companies and the hunting industry, and co-organised the final ‘regenerative’ event for the 2017 Spring Prize event.

Outside of Ethical Consumer I have worked on a number of environmental education and community food growing initiatives around the UK and abroad. Highlights include:
    • Supporting the development of a community farm in Lancaster.
    • Facilitating a community-led reforestation project in Uchira, Tanzania.
    • Working on the Butterfly Effect project in Norwich, which used art and participatory workshops in schools and public spaces to explore the impacts climate change will have in the Norfolk area.
    • Using food growing, cooking and eating to bring diverse community groups together in the Halliwell area of Bolton (to support the process of overcoming social tensions).
    • Establishing quarterly seasonal markets in Lancaster that showcase sustainable local food producers, businesses and community food projects.
    • Attending the European Food Sovereignty gathering in Romania and International Permaculture Convergence in India.

I currently work part-time for LESS – a sustainability organisation based in Lancaster- where I am overseeing the development of a cross-sector food partnership that will deliver the work of Sustainable Food City Lancaster.

Future aspirations

I would like to see Ethical Consumer’s work being adapted to create educational resource packs and campaigns that can be used within a variety of educational settings - from primary schools to universities.

Outside interests

I sit on the management committee of Claver Hill community farm in Lancaster, and co-initiated a bicycle fixing project in Lancaster that works with the City of Sanctuary group in my area. I am learning Greek and love to draw/paint; grow and implement my permaculture learnings.

Joanna Long

Writer/ Researcher

I am a researcher and director of Ethical Consumer Research Association. Having joined in 2014, I now manage and deliver consultancy projects as well as researching product guides for the bi-monthly magazine and producing the regular tax justice page. I am involved in various aspects of the organisation’s operations, including finance, personnel and business development, and as part of the board I also help to shape the strategic direction of the business.

Highlights

My favourite part of working for Ethical Consumer is creating bespoke projects with our clients. As a team we share a sense of curiosity and relish the challenge of doing something new or breaking an established mold. It keeps us busy, but also happy.

Other expertise and experience

I was the founding project manager of the Fair Tax Mark and joined their board in November 2015. I previously worked as a lecturer in human geography and I continue to specialise in socially engaged research and technical writing. My academic skills remain useful in my role on the Journal of Ethical Consumption editorial board and at public speaking engagements on behalf of Ethical Consumer.

Future aspirations

I would like to see Ethical Consumer reach a more diverse audience. Unsustainable and unjust business practices affect everyone, and in order for solutions to be meaningful they need to engage all sections of
society.

Outside interests

Most of my time outside of work is spent mitigating the environmental damage associated with having a small child. I have never relied on convenience so much in my life and convenience, it turns out, is responsible for most of my household waste. When I’m not running myself into the ground batch cooking, I like to play the piano or speak German over a beer with friends.

Leonie Nimmo

Researcher / Director

I joined Ethical Consumer in 2008. I am now Ethical Consumer's research manager, with responsibility for updating research processes and the Ethical Consumer corporate rating system. My specialist areas of knowledge are the food and drink sectors and the extractive industries.

Highlights

Highlights for me include working on a major research product for a commercial client analysing the ethical risks of operating in China, and being seconded to the Co-operative Group to prepare the International Development section of its Corporate Social Responsibility report. I have also represented Ethical Consumer at events and to the media, including an appearance on Channel 4's Dispatches.

Other expertise and experience

Qualifications: BA(Hons) Development Studies with Economics, University of Leeds; MSc International Natural Resource Development with Distinction, University of Wales, Bangor.

Outside interests

Outside of Ethical Consumer I am a Director of the Olive Co-operative, where I have organised educational group tours to Palestine and Israel. I have written for a number of independent news websites and wrote a chapter in the Co-operative Colleague publication 'Fair and Square: Ethical Shopping Matters'.

Rob Harrison

Consultancy Manager / Director

I was one of the founders of Ethical Consumer, in 1988. With rising consumer boycotts and campaigns, I wanted information to guide my own purchases in a logical way. No one else was providing this at the time.

I'm lucky enough now to work or advise on projects across all issues, from food to electronics. However, for more than ten years I have specialised in looking at ethics in the banking and investment sectors.

Before Ethical Consumer I did a Law Degree at Manchester University. I was active in student protest movements at the time around Apartheid South Africa and Third World Debt.

Highlights

In the 1990s we had a three year project on the comparative environmental credentials of building materials. The books that come out of it (Green Building Handbooks) are still selling in China.

Other expertise and experience

I have worked as a consultant to NGOs (including Oxfam, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace) on engaging consumers in their campaigns, as an advisor to government departments (including those in  Belgium, Austria and Brazil) on encouraging the use of ethical consumption and procurement for social and environmental goals, as a consultant to consumer organisations (including groups in Spain and Hungary) on researching the CSR performance of companies, and to companies (including the Co-operative Bank, and Lush Cosmetics) on developing world-leading ethical policies and implementing them in practice.

I have also edited and contributed to academic work in this area including the 2005 Sage book 'The Ethical Consumer' [http://www.uk.sagepub.com/books/Book227081] and the 1997 Routledge 'Green Building Handbook'. [http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780419226901/].

I have also been an editor of Ethical Consumer magazine since its inception, and have spoken widely in the press, on radio and on TV, and also to universities and campaign groups around the world, on the importance of facilitating ethical consumption in a globalised marketplace.

Future aspirations

I'm increasingly interested in getting organisations to explore changing their corporate forms to ones which better address the interests of multiple stakeholder groups.

My long term aspirations for Ethical Consumer are that it remains true to its ethical focus, stays solvent, and continues to provide good quality information to people about ethics in markets.

Outside interests

Soul music, woodland ecology, fell walking, astronomy and craft beer. Not necessarily in that order.

Mackenzie Denyer

Writer/ researcher

I joined Ethical Consumer in July 2016 after finishing my degree in Development and Peace Studies at the University of Bradford. Whilst at university I developed a passion and talent for value-based research.

Highlights

In the summer of 2017 I carried out field research on the Sri Lankan tea industry for the charity Save the Children. By conducting interviews of a cross-section of different stakeholders in the industry, I helped compile a report on the impact of ethical certifications on the welfare of tea estate workers.

For two years I have been the lead researcher and writer of the Ethical Consumer Markets Report. This report is the most respected barometer of ethical markets in the UK; and is used by academics, government and business as a measure of the growing ethical market. The most recent publication was reported on by the Financial Times and iNews.

Other Expertise and Experience

Before starting at Ethical Consumer I worked as a volunteer coordinator on a straw-bale eco-house project. I also worked as an English tutor in Korea.

Future aspirations

My dream project would be researching the ethics of raw material extraction in sub-Saharan Africa. Especially in countries such as the DRC, where mining for cobalt has contributed significantly to the destabilisation of that country.

Outside interests

Outside of work I am a keen climber, ultimate Frisbee player and cook, and I volunteer on various eco-projects. I also part-time at a vegetarian cafe in Matlock, Derbyshire as a waiter, manager and chef.

Heather Webb

Director, Senior researcher

I have been a researcher at Ethical Consumer for eight years. My specialist areas of knowledge are supply chain management, conflict minerals and the UK Modern Slavery Act.

Highlights

A highlight for me is working with Lush on auditing their supply chain against its non-animal testing policy, including in several of Lush’s global manufacturing sites: North America, Japan and Australia. The process has helped Lush to gain a deeper understanding of its suppliers’ compliance, and also helped them to develop a greater working relationship with their suppliers.

Other consultancy projects include

    • Working with the Fairtrade Trade Foundation to devise a rating methodology for supermarkets banana supply chain policies. The supermarket score card formed part of the Fairtrade Foundation’s campaign for supermarkets to pay a fairer price to farmers.
    • Help to manage and provide research on an investigation into the tea industry in Sri Lanka;
    • Reviewed and produced a report with recommendations to Lush Cosmetics on their corporate social responsibility reporting.

Future aspirations

I would like Ethical Consumer to partner with more organisations working on sector specific rankings. Personally I would like to continue working with external companies on auditing; developing ethical policies and research on sector specific issues.

Outside interests

I really enjoy being outside and exploring different environments whether it is urban or rural. Half of my time is spent living on a canal boat in London which has allow me to explore the waterways which were so vital to its development. I am always amazed at how much diverse wildlife exists in London.

Josie Wexler

Writer/ researcher

I joined Ethical Consumer in February 2015. It seemed like a natural match for my skills, as I have background in researching the sustainability of products.

Highlights

My highlight at Ethical Consumer so far has been researching soya for the magazine. As I delved into it I found that there was a massive, and hugely important, story around it that had not been told by the mainstream media.

Highlights before Ethical Consumer include authoring the Zero Carbon Britain 2030 report at the Centre for Alternative Technology – a piece of research on how the UK could rapidly reduce its gas emissions to zero. We modelled both the energy and the land system, and also looked at many industrial emissions that are often ignored.

Another highlight was my Masters thesis, during which I researched small farmers in Zambia growing energy crops for large companies. As some farmers were Fairtrade certified and some were not, one of the things that I looked at was the effect of the certification.

Other expertise and experience

Immediately prior to working at Ethical Consumer I worked for a Norwegian consultancy who help companies to reduce their environmental impacts. I have also worked as a teacher. I have a BA in Philosophy and an MSc in Environmental Technology, specialising in Energy Policy.

Future aspirations

I would like Ethical Consumer to be able to do more on-the-ground research into supply chains in different parts of the world.

Outside interests

I play, write and teach traditional music from several countries. I also like reading and writing on lots of topics. I am interested in many parts of social science, particularly economics.

Clare Carlile

Writer/ Researcher

I joined Ethical Consumer in September 2017. It seemed like the ideal job to me, having used information from the website for campaigns at university. The breadth of knowledge here is brilliant.

Highlights

So far, my highlight has been the 2017 conference on ‘Challenging Corporate Power’. It was so nice to hear from some of the organisations whose work we use day to day.

Other expertise and experience

Previously my interests were around electronics and procurement in public institutions. I spent a lot of time at uni campaigning for better auditing of the university’s electronics supply chain. I also helped establish a series of events at the University of Oxford called Tainted Goods, each of which looked at the ethical concerns around a different consumer product. I have a BA in English Literature and Language.

Future aspirations

I’d like to see Ethical Consumer work more with procurement teams. There seems to be lots of energy going into campaigns around councils, in particular, and where they are buying from. That seems like something we could tap into, and have a big impact.

Outside interests

Climbing, cooking, cycling… I previously worked as a gardener, so am always trying to grow something in our house or tiny back garden!