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The International Expert Panel  //  for the One Planet Living Initiative

The role of the Expert Panel is to ensure that the ‘planet with a heart’ logo remains, and is increasingly recognised as, a symbol of truly exemplary commitment to, and leadership in, sustainability. Read more about the panel’s role below.

TopIndependent Experts

Kevin Hydes, CEO, Integral Group

Kevin was educated in the UK, built his experience in North America and now practices globally as CEO of Integral Group, a Global Deep Green Building Services (MEP) engineering firm. Kevin was formerly the CEO of KEEN engineering, a North American pioneer and leader in Green Buildings. Over the past 10 years he has also contributed significantly to the building of the Global Green Building movement, working from the origins of the Cascadia Regional Green Building Council (1999-2001) and Co Founder of the Canada Green Building Council (2000-2010) and ultimately becoming Chairman USGBC (2005-2006) and Chair of the World GBC (2007-2009).

He has taken this diverse and collective experience to create the newly fast growing Integral Group. A core purpose of their mission is to lead by example and build real examples for the construction community to learn from and accelerate global transformation of the building industry.

Jim Heid, President and Founder, UrbanGreen LLC

Jim Heid is a real estate advisor, land planner and sustainability expert. In 2000, he founded UrbanGreen to advise established development companies, governments and NGO’s that seek better development models. With over thirty years experience in the design and development of new community and urban infill developments, Jim is known to effectively resolve the complex layers of community design and real estate using a variety of proven tools and best practices. Over the past decade he has pioneered many of the Urban Land Institute’s contributions to sustainable land development, climate change and real estate investment.  For the ULI he serves on the Climate, Land Use, and Energy Committee and is a founding member of the Responsible Property Investing Council.

Jim worked as an urban designer/ land planner and real estate strategist with two of the country’s leading firms, Design Workshop (1987-1993) and EDAW (1994-2000), where he also served as COO. In 1994, he earned a Masters of Science in Real Estate Development at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as a way to more fully integrate the practice of design with real world implementation strategies.

Susan Burns, CEO, Global Footprint Network

Susan leads the overall strategic direction of Global Footprint Network and oversees communications, partnership, project development and finance. Prior to launching Global Footprint Network, Susan founded the pioneering sustainability consulting firm Natural Strategies. She has over 18 years of experience working with more than 50 corporations and other organizations on a variety of sustainability-related issues including: product design, consensus building, management systems, business strategy, forest policy and stakeholder communications. She is also an expert in the application of The Natural Step framework for sustainability and led the development of the screening methodology for Portfolio 21, the US’s first mutual fund dedicated to environmental sustainability.

She has spoken widely on the subject of sustainability, corporate responsibility and strategic environmental management, having been a keynote or featured speaker at over 100 national and international events. Susan holds a B.S. in Environmental Engineering.

Tony Juniper, author and environmental campaigner

A British environmental campaigner, author and commentator, Tony presently works as a Special Adviser to the Prince of Wales Charities’ International Sustainability Unit, having previously worked (2008-2010) as a Special Advisor with the Prince’s Rainforests Project. He is a Senior Associate with the Cambridge University Programme for Sustainability Leadership (CPSL), working as a member of the teaching faculty and in the development of the organisation’s new Natural Capital programme. He advises international companies and is a member of several NGO boards and advisory groups. Tony was the Green Party’s parliamentary candidate for the Cambridge constituency at the 2010 general election.

In 1990 Juniper joined the staff of Friends of the Earth, where he maintained a strong public presence for the organization in the UK and internationally. He was widely recognized for his work in elevating environmental issues. From 2003 to 2008 he was the organization’s director in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. From 2000 to 2008 he was also elected Vice Chair of the 70-strong network of national organizations that comprise Friends of the Earth International. He contributed to many of Friends of the Earth’s most important achievements, including legislation enacted to protect the UK’s finest wildlife habitats, new laws to require more recycling and policy changes in the transport and farming sectors. As Friend of the Earth director he helped lead the Big Ask campaign for the world’s first domestic legislation to require science-based greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Juniper has written several books, including Harmony, with HRH The Prince of Wales and Ian Skelly.

Professor Li Shirong, Deputy Director General of Chongqing Foreign Trade and Economic Relations Commission, China

As deputy director general of the Chongqing Foreign Trade and Economic Relations Commission, Professor Li Shirong is responsible for the promotion of foreign investment in Chongqing. Between 2003 and 2006, she was vice mayor of Shapingba district, with responsibility for urban development and construction. She is president of the UK-based Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB, 2009/ 2010).

Li Shirong is also a part-time professor of construction management at Chongqing University. The focus of her academic work includes China’s construction industry in transition, sustainable urbanization, the government’s role in construction and construction project management. She has published more than 170 academic papers and 26 books in both China and abroad. She earned her PhD degree at the University of Reading, UK, in 1998, specializing in Construction Economics and Management.

Rafael Tuts, Chief of the Urban Environment and Planning Branch, UN-Habitat

Rafael Tuts is Chief of the Urban Environment and Planning Branch of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-HABITAT, based at its Headquarters in Nairobi. In this capacity, he is responsible for the implementation of the Cities and Climate Change Initiative (CCCI), which is currently supporting cities in 18 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America in developing and implementing climate change mitigation and adaptation action plans. Other current areas of activity include the review of urban planning frameworks in selected developing countries, the promotion of biodiversity at the city level, and the development of strategies for the greening of the urban economy. Most of this work includes aspects of local government capacity development in environmental planning and management.

Raf has earlier served as Chief of the Training and Capacity Building Branch (2005-2008) and as Acting Chief and Human Settlements Officer at the Urban Governance Section (2000-2004). He was also the first Coordinator of UN-HABITAT’s Localising Agenda 21 Programme (1995-2000). Prior to joining the United Nations, Raf worked as Research Fellow at both the University of Nairobi and the University of Leuven (1987-1994) and has an academic background in architecture and engineering. He contributed articles to several journals and co-edited “Urban Trialogues”, a collection of essays reflecting on visioning, action planning and co-production of urban space as a resource for sustainable development in secondary cities in Kenya, Morocco, Vietnam and Cuba. He also co-edited “International Migrants and the City”, focusing on policy and practice of local governments in the face of international migration.

TopEndosed Partner Representatives

Pete Halsall, Managing Director and Co-founder, BioRegional Quintain Ltd

One Brighton, One Gallions, Middlehaven, UK

Pete Halsall is the Managing Director and co-founder of BioRegional Quintain Ltd. He leads BQL’s flagship development at Middlehaven, which is one of the UK’s most significant regeneration projects and the largest zero carbon project in the country, and spearheaded the One Brighton project, which is the first completed One Planet Living development globally.

He is a founding member and chairman of the Good Homes Alliance, a community interest company set up as a multi-disciplinary trade and industry body to advance sustainability in the residential/ new homes market. He sits on the low carbon buildings committee of the UK Government’s Technology Strategy board acting to scrutinise investments in sustainable technologies, sustainable construction and post occupancy programmes and research and represents BioRegional Quintain on the UK-China Eco-cities & Green Building Group.

Pete trained as a building environmental engineer/ building physicist, and progressed from engineering consultancy to construction and development where he is able to apply a first principles based approach to sustainability and energy efficiency.  He has completed projects across a range of sectors including residential, commercial, industrial, retail and institutional mainly in Southern England. He has worked in the UK, Spain and the USA – in the latter working with public agencies to advance sustainable development. He is a graduate of Bath University and the Cranfield School of Management Business Growth Programme.

Paulo Reis Silva, Architect and Director of the Department of Planning, Pelicano

Mata de Sesimbra, Portugal

Paulo is an architect by training and has been Head of Planning for Pelicano, Investimentos Imobiliários, SA, since September 2003. He is responsible for defining the concept of developments, the coordination of urban planning proposals, the development of environmental and sustainability strategies associated to projects and their future management and the development of architecture programs for the different types of buildings and equipment.

Paulo previously co-ordinated the Evaluation of Environmental Impact Unit of the Environmental Audit of the Ministry of Social Equipment, Portugal, where he steered and supervised issues that related directly to the environment, transport infrastructures and transport, namely drawing up and implementation of legislation, supervision of projects and building works in terms of the environment. He spent six years as a lead architect and has a vast experience including working on Municipal Land Use Plans, Environmental Impact Studies and strategic studies on Land Use, Industrial areas and tourism.

Geof Syphers, Chief Sustainability Officer, Codding Enterprises

Sonoma Mountain Village, USA

Geof Syphers is an independent green building and sustainable neighborhoods consultant and Chief Sustainability Officer for Codding Enterprises, a California-based developer and clean-tech holding company where he manages the technical aspects of planning, entitlements and design. A key project of Geof’s is Sonoma Mountain Village, a zero carbon, zero waste mixed-use community endorsed by One Planet Communities and certified LEED-ND Platinum.

As founding director of the Green Building Services Group at KEMA, his team consulted on 160 projects, from affordable housing to airports, including 40 LEED projects. Geof also serves as President of the California Infill Builders Council, a non-profit organization focused on research and education about the benefits of good infill development. Geof is a frequent public speaker, licensed mechanical engineer, a LEED accredited professional and holds advanced degrees in physics and engineering.

TopAbout the Panel

The Expert Panel is asked to inspire excellence in the initiative by:

  • positively supporting the direction and enhancing the performance of endorsed projects and partners in the implementation of their Action Plan commitments;
  • ensuring that the initiative’s processes and the Common International Targets are responsive to industry best practice, the demands of climate science, and the challenges of practical delivery;
  • acting as a public ambassador for the initiative.

While the 10 One Planet principles are freely available to anyone who wishes to use them, BioRegional also endorses, and grants use of the ‘planet with a heart’ logo, to recognised partners and projects. Endorsed partners and projects are those that develop a One Planet Action Plan detailing a commitment to meeting our Common International Targets for each of the 10 Principles. These targets must be met by a given date, accompanied by a willingness to review progress annually, against a timeline agreed with BioRegional and backed by scientific evidence.

The role of the Expert Panel is to ensure that the ‘planet with a heart’ logo remains, and is increasingly recognised as, a symbol of truly exemplary commitment to, and leadership in, sustainability.

In order for the ‘planet with a heart logo’ to be recognised as a symbol of the highest level of commitment to One Planet Living it is vital that the processes and technical standards used to determine endorsed status – and the quality of the Action Plans that BioRegional subsequently endorses – remain at the forefront of best practice and the sustainability agenda.

It is for this reason we convene the Expert Panel, to draw on their knowledge and experience in order to maintain and enhance the quality of the One Planet initiative.

To find out about the members of the Expert Panel visit the biographies page of this site.