Meet the ESA Team

ESA Staff    |    ESA Board

ESA Staff

Jacob Hayler - Executive Director 


Jacob joined  from the City in 2005 as an Economist, and has spent most of the past 10 years focused on developing market-focused policies that combine environmental and economic sustainability. Jacob has retained responsibility for policy relating to finance, tax, carbon management, contracts and energy from waste.


Sam Corp - Head of Regulation


Sam leads on a wide range of regulatory and policy areas within ESA, including the sectors’ role in tackling waste crime, environmental permitting, the management of hazardous waste and the regulation of landfill. Sam also plays a key role in contingency planning activities for ESA and its members.   


Stephen Freeland - Policy Advisor / SESA Co-ordinator


Stephen's role as policy advisor is to help inform the development of H&S and environmental policy on behalf of the industry. As SESA co-ordinator, Stephen looks after policy, regulation and engagement with the Scottish Government.


Patrick Brighty - Recycling Policy Advisor

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Patrick is responsible for developing policy relating to dry recyclables, biowaste and WEEE regulation. He seeks to drive the sector’s positive commitment to implementing the Government’s flagship Resources and Waste Strategy reforms, and ensure that the sector sets voluntarily high standards for waste exports.


Charlotte Rule - Climate and Energy Policy Advisor


Charlotte is responsible for policy relating to the ESA’s Net-Zero commitments and Energy from Waste (EfW). She seeks to promote policy in three key areas to ensure the sectors’ decarbonisation roadmap is achieved: increased recycling, decarbonising non-recyclable waste treatment, and transitioning vehicles and fuel use to zero emission sources.


Isabel Clifford - Policy and Public Affairs Officer


Isabel is responsible for developing policies with ESA member companies and coordinates responses on behalf of ESA members to policy initiatives raised by government and external bodies. She also coordinates ESA's Public Affairs activity, building strong relationships with key stakeholders to support the Association's objectives.


Toni Waters -  Membership Communications and Events Officer


Toni manages the ESA Membership communications channels (internal communications, social media and the website) as well as supporting all external communications (trade and national press enquiries). She manages all ESA Membership applications and onboarding, and is the main point of contact for member companies. Toni also organises all ESA events, and is the point of liason for external events.


Anita McCarthy - Office Manager


Anita manages the ESA reception and the meeting room bookings.  She is the first point of contact at ESA. She is hands on with the day to day running of the offices and assists the Policy Team when required with administration.


ESA Board

Gavin  Graveson - Board Chairman
Executive Vice-President of Veolia UK & Ireland


Gavin leads a 15,000 strong workforce positioned at the forefront of sustainable development and providing integrated waste, water and energy services. Formerly Chief Operating Officer, Public & Commercial, Gavin believes Veolia will be instrumental in delivering the UK’s Resources & Waste Strategy by investing further in its extensive infrastructure network, championing the circular economy and manufacturing green products and green energy.


Neil Grundon
Deputy Chairman, Grundon

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Neil began working for Grundon Waste Management in 1992. He considers ongoing professional development essential to ensure the company’s future growth and continuity and works to build shareholder value for Grundon through responsible innovation.


Michael Hill
Chief Executive, The Hills Group


Michael is the great grandson of Edward Hill, founder of the company. He joined the Hill family business in August 1994 after spending several years in Bristol working for the accountancy firm KPMG. Mike graduated from Brunel University with a joint honours degree in European Business Management and Spanish and in 2004 graduated from the University of Bath with an MBA. Mike became chief executive in April 2008 and was elected onto the ESA Board in 2019.


Kristian Dales
UK CEO, Tradebe

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Kristian was appointed as Tradebe UK CEO in January 2021. He has is highly experienced within the waste management sector having previously held a number of senior commercial and operational management roles at FCC Environment and Biffa PLC. 

Under Kristian’s leadership Tradebe is looking to cement their position as the UK’s leader in hazardous waste management and invest in treatment technologies to build sustainable processes for difficult to handle waste streams within the Industrial and Healthcare.


Roger Hewitt
Castle Environmental

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Roger has over 40 years’ experience in the construction, chemical and environmental sectors. Much of his career has been spent in waste management, heading several leading companies internationally and in the UK. Roger has played a leading role in the evolution of waste management policy and practice, sitting on a number of government working parties and chairing professional and trade body committees as well as being a member of charitable, education and pension trusts.


James Priestley
Managing Director - Municipal, Renewi


James was appointed as MD and onto the Executive Committee in November 2016. Prior to joining Shanks he was interim President Americas for Britax Child Safety and President Europe for RGIS, an inventory services company owned by Blackstone. James gained management experience at ICE, Ford, British Airways and Tesco and consulting with Alix Partners. He has a degree in Chemical Engineering and an MBA.


John Scanlon
Chief Executive Officer, SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK

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John is responsible for driving forward the SUEZ group’s SUEZ 2030 vision in the UK and for SUEZ’s newly won contracts in Greater Manchester and Somerset. He joined SUEZ in 1991 as one of the company’s first employees in the UK and has been an integral part of the executive committee since 2003. John has held a variety of operational and business development roles within SUEZ, which lead to him becoming Chief Operating Officer of Operations in 2015.


Kevin Bradshaw
Chief Executive Officer, Viridor

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Kevin joined Viridor in September 2020 and brings over 20 years of senior leadership experience to the company. He has previously served as CEO of Northgate plc, CEO of Wyevale Garden Centres and MD of AVIS Budget Group UK. Kevin brings a strong track record of delivering transformation and growth in complex, capital intensive businesses. He holds an MA, M.Eng in Manufacturing Engineering from the University of Cambridge.


Dougie Sutherland
Chief Executive, Cory Riverside Energy

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Dougie was appointed CEO of Cory Riverside Energy in April 2019, and brings more than 20 years of infrastructure experience working across both the public and private sectors, most recently on the board of multinational infrastructure provider Interserve. He has developed and delivered major infrastructure projects and public service businesses and has valuable experience in the contracting and commissioning of Energy from Waste plants.


Paul Taylor
Group Chief Executive, FCC Environment


Paul is responsible for all aspects of the business in the UK and joined the business in 2009. Paul is a chartered civil engineer with more than 30 years of experience in the waste and recycling industry. Before joining FCC Environment, he was Chief Operating Officer for SITA UK. He has a BSc (Hons) in Civil Engineering and is a Chartered Civil Engineer and member of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management.


Michael Topham
Chief Executive, Biffa


Michael was appointed CEO in September 2018, having previously held the role of Chief Financial Officer from 2013. He was appointed to the board of Biffa in August 2016. Michael trained as a chartered accountant with PwC in London and held positions in both the audit and transaction services practices. Prior to joining Biffa, he was finance director at Greenstar UK Holdings from 2005 to 2010.


Roger Morton
Managing Director for Technology and  Innovation, EMR


Roger is a chartered chemical engineer. He has worked in the recycling sector for the past 20 years. He co-founded Axion Consulting and Axion Polymers in 2001, leading the design and operation of Axion’s advanced recycling facilities in Manchester..  Roger left Axion in mid 2019. He joined European Metal Recycling in March 2020 as Managing Director for Technology and Innovation.


Owen Michaelson
President of Covanta Europe


Owen has a wide range of experience in the development of brownfield land, low carbon energy assets and waste infrastructure, As the Chief Executive of the Harworth Group he took over the stand-alone operations of Harworth Estates at the start of the restructuring of UK Coal in 2010.  Owen has previously served as a Non-Executive Director of a range of organizations and companies including UK Coal, Ayrshire Power, Sheffield City Airport, the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, the Community Forrest Trust and the Tall Ships Youth Trust. He is former Chair of the British Property Federation’s Regional Policy Committee, and currently a Non-Executive Director of Exeter Port Authority and the Godwin Group.

Mike Maudsley
Chief Executive Officer, enfinium

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Mike Maudsley joined enfinium as Chief Executive Officer in 2022. Mike has over 30 years of experience across the power and utility sector, most recently responsible for leading all operating assets at Drax plc. Prior to Drax, Mike spent six years in the Middle East with Engie.


Martin Cracknell - SESA Chairman
Principal Commercial Manager, SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK