What makes a sustainability leader? Meet our rising star, ReLondon’s Jean Billant

Jean (centre) recieved his award at edie's ceremony in London this March

Jean’s drive for impact and his passion for change has been evident throughout his career. Described by his previous manager as “tenacious and suitably impatient”, Jean has a history of getting things done and delivering key results, both in his roles as senior business advisor and food lead at ReLondon.

A multi-skilled professional, Jean has proven that he has the capacity to create strategic partnerships and deliver systemic change. Jean previously worked for an NGO providing access to affordable and sustainable energy in developing countries, lived in six countries over the course of a decade and speaks fluently four languages.

Click here for more information on the edie Awards 2023. 

As a senior business advisor in the Business Transformation programme (previously known as Advance London) he has supported more than 70 SMEs in their circular trajectory over the past three years. He helped businesses introduce new circular business models and zero-waste circular packaging solutions, including high profile projects such as Good Club, ClubZero, Allplants and Toast Ale.

He developed a network of more than 60 investors in the impact investment space and helped six circular economy businesses raise L 1m+ in equity investment. Additionally, in 2021,  Jean developed the concept of a Circular Economy Outcome Fund and receive a grant from Big Society Capital to test the feasibility of the fund in partnership  with Social Finance.

Jean was appointed as ReLondon’s Food Lead in 2020. He oversees the strategic direction of the food activities and coordinates the Food Flagship Initiative, a major three-year venture in partnership with theEllen MacArthur Foundation and the Greater London Authority to demonstrate how a low carbon circular economy for food can be achieved in London.

Jean has developed a wide range of skills and competencies during his career, including: policy analysis, Life Cycle Analysis, project management, fundraising, workshop facilitation, public speaking.What makes Jean one of the sustainability leaders of tomorrow is his capacity to translate complex data and information into practical action plans and create strategic partnerships to deliver systemic change.

His capacity to secure buy-in from senior leaders helps to multiply impact. Jean secured the endorsement from the Mayor’s Office to take participate in the food flagship initiative and is regularly securing the participation from the Deputy Mayor for the environment, Shirley Rodrigues, to speak at the events organised by the Food Flagship Initiative.

One the achievements Jean is the most proud of is publishing a circular economy guide for food businesses – “Food that doesn’t cost the earth” – which was prefaced by the Michelin Star chef and TV personality Raymond Blanc and launched at the Ellen Mac Arthur Foundation’s Big Food Workshop event.

He is keen to continue increasing his influence and impact to mitigate climate change at the nexus between policy, business, and finance.

edie’s judges said:  “Jean has already made an impressive impact, with a broad reach in a challenging sector. He has deep experience across the spectrum of sustainability, and his obvious influence is supported by a wide range of complimentary skills. The judges thought that Jean had demonstrated an outstanding contribution to sustainability and that he will have a significant impact across the sector in the future.”

Are you our next winner?

Now in its 16th year, the world’s largest sustainable business awards scheme – formerly known as the Sustainability Leaders Awards – continues to champion bold and brilliant climate leadership. From the most ambitious net-zero carbon programmes through to cutting-edge green innovations; from impactful climate partnerships and social sustainability initiatives to the heroes on the ground who are driving positive change.

The edie Awards are hosted during our flagship Business Leadership Month, offering a unique opportunity to have your sustainability achievements recognised and admired by thousands of businesses and climate experts. Winning an edie Award empowers teams, inspires stakeholders and accelerates sustainable business growth.

Entries for the awards are NOW OPEN and the deadline for entries is THIS FRIDAY (14 October). The winners will then be revealed at a ceremony in London on 30 March 2023. Click here for full details and to enter. 


Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie