New Years Honours 2022: The sustainability leaders on the Queen’s list

The outstanding achievements of dozens of people working across the UK's environmental space and sustainable business community have been recognised by the Queen in this year's New Year's Honours list. Read on to find out more about the newly-awarded scientists, innovators and conservationists.

New Years Honours 2022: The sustainability leaders on the Queen’s list

(L-R) Oxford University Professor Myles Alan

When the 2022 list for New Year Honours was published on Saturday (1 January), much of the tabloid coverage highlighted former Primer Minister Tony Blair’s knighthood, as well as the accolades for England’s chief medical officer (CMO) Professor Chris Whitty and deputy CMO Jonathan Van-Tam for their roles in the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

But there were also dozens of appointments for those currently working tirelessly in sustainability-related fields across the UK – and those with a decades-long legacy in these fields.

Among those to be appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) was Professor Myles Allen, the University of Oxford’s professor of geosystem science. The UK Government has credited him as the first UK scientist to demonstrate the need for a global transition to net-zero emissions, back in 2006. As well as teaching at Oxford, he has written for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) special report on 1.5C, published in 2018, as well as several of the Panel’s assessments and synthesis reports.

Also on the CBE list from the UK’s environmental academic space are Swansea University’s glaciology professor Tavi Murray and the University of St Andrews’ professor of ecology and evolution Anne Magurran.

CBEs were also awarded to the following figures who edie readers may be familiar with:

  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) director Jonathan Broomfield
  • Defra’s deputy director for plant and bee health and chief plant officer Professor Nicola Horsley
  • Environment Agency board member Professor Lynne Frostick
  • The Energy Institute’s former chief executive Louise Kingham
  • Co-operative Group’s chief executive Steve Murrells
  • E2Exchange founder and UK Export Finance (UKEF) advisor Shalini Khemka
  • Highland Renewables’ chief executive Leslie Montgomery
  • WSP’s executive director Rachel Skinner
  • Larkton Ltd’s founder and director Dr Liane Smith
  • Harper Adams University’s Vice-Chancellor Dr David Llewellyn


Officer of the Order of the British Empire titles, meanwhile, were awarded to figures including RWE Renewables UK head of regulatory affairs, Zoe Keeton, who has worked in the UK’s renewable energy sector for more than 20 years.

Keeton said: “The many achievements of the renewable energy industry have been a collaborative effort, and so I consider this as due recognition for the incredible work of the whole sector not just myself.”

Also receiving OBEs for work in clean energy are Community Energy London’s founder and chair Syed Ahmed, National Grid’s head of futures Dr Catherine McClay, Wales and West Utilities’ chief executive Graham Edwards and Nuclear Transport Solutions’ manager Thomas Spedding.

Other sustainability champions on the OBE list for New Year 2022 include:

  • The Committee on Climate Change’s head of climate adaptation Kathryn Brown
  • The Scottish Government’s head of seed testing and agriculture advice, Valerie Cockerell
  • Defra’s deputy director Reverend James Cruddas
  • Defra’s co-head of international forests and land use, Dr Joanna Macrae
  • The Environment Agency’s director of flood risk management strategy and national adaptation, Julie Foley
  • The University of St Andrews’ director of sea mammal research Professor Alisa Hall
  • The University of Nottingham’s professor of materials chemistry Professor Robert Mokaya. Mokaya specialises in carbon sequestration and hydrogen technologies.
  • University College London’s professor of intensive care medicine professor Hugh Montgomery. Montgomery is a founding member of the UK Climate and Health Council
  • The University of Strathclyde’s professor of geological engineering professor Zoe Shipton
  • The Local Government Association’s chairman James Jamieson
  • AKT II’s co-founder and design director Hanif Kara
  • Olympic sailor Hannah Mills MBE
  • Catalyst’s chief executive Stephen Orr
  • The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) policy manager for consumers and engagement David Newton
  • The Science and Technology Facilities Council’s director for the Accelerator Science and Technology Centre Susan Smith

MBEs and BEMs

Several sustainability champions have also been appointed as Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) and Medallists of the British Empire (BEM), as below.


  • Northern Trains’ regional community and sustainability manager Marie Addison
  • FareShare’s chief executive Gareth Batty
  • The University of York’s professor of atmospheric chemistry professor Lucy Carpenter
  • The University of Wolverhampton’s professor of science education professor Nazira Karodia
  • Forest Services’ woodland officer Jeremy Dick
  • Nissan’s section manager for the global training centre and Nissan Skills Foundation, Ian Green
  • The Environment Agency’s team leader for hydrometry and telemetry Geoffrey Hardwicke
  • The Environment Agency’s deputy director for climate change Liz Parkes
  • The Environment Agency’s senior environment officer Charan Singh
  • SSE’s head of customer relations Jacqueline Maxwell
  • Ocean Generation’s founder Joanna Ruxton
  • Imperial College London’s senior lecturer in nuclear engineering Dr Norman Waterman
  • The University of Bath’s professor of environmental psychology Dr Lorraine Whitmarsh


  • Forestry England’s works supervisor Timothy Aldous
  • The London Borough of Bromley’s environmental campaigns officer Jacqueline Baxter
  • BEIS’s senior policy advisor Peter Gysin
  • The University of Edinburgh’s health, safety and sustainability advisor Elizabeth Kinnear
  • Natural England’s senior adviser Amanda Mathews
  • Kids Against Plastic co-founder Ella Meek. Along with sister Amy, Meek has been promoting youth social action on plastic pollution, including beach clean-ups and policy campaigns.

Sarah George

Comments (1)

  1. Ian Byrne says:

    I should point out that Louise Kingham is no longer at the Energy Institute but now works for BP.

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