Meet the ESA Team

ESA Staff  ESA Board 


Jacob Hayler - ESA 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 initiatives within ESA, including the sectors’ role in tackling waste crime. He is currently managing the ‘right Waste, right place’ campaign to raise awareness of waste Duty of Care. As WESA co-ordinator, Sam is also involved in the establishment of waste and recycling policies in Wales.


Stephen Freeland - Policy Advisor / SESA Co-ordinator


Stephen  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.


Julien Grolée - Recycling Policy Advisor


Julien is the ESA’s point of contact for dry recyclables and biowaste policies. He is also in charge of the development of WEEE regulation.


Eleonore Soubeyran - Policy and Parliamentary Affairs Officer

Eleanore Soubeyran

Eleonore is responsible for policy on energy from waste, organics recycling, and tax. She also seeks to raise the profile of the industry in Parliament, and engage political stakeholders in all areas of resources and waste policy.


Toni Waters - Communications and Membership Officer


Toni manages the ESA communications channels with trade and national press, social media and member companies. She also manages all full and associate ESA Membership applications, and is the main point of contact for member companies. 


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.



Phil Piddington - Board chairman
Managing director, Viridor

PhilPiddington-VIRIDOR.JPGPhillip was appointed in September 2016 having joined the company as Chief Operating Officer of the newly established energy division in 2014. Prior to this, he was director of biomass for RWE Innogy GmbH, the renewables firm within the RWE Group, and a member of the board of RWE Innogy UK. Phil has gained more than 30 years of management experience in the energy business, among others as MD of BP Energy and head of Cogen Asset Management for RWE Npower in the UK.

Ute Fleck
Director CNIM UKUFleck_portrait X.jpg

Ute joined CNIM in 2016 as Head of Sales for its international EPC business. With her wide experience in development of EfW projects, she has become a known expert in the field, capable of helping to bring complex projects into the realisation phase. Prior to her engagement with CNIM, she was over 10 years with HZI as Senior Sales Manager, responsible for the development of the EfW activities in the UK, Ireland, and Australia. She gained her first international project experience when starting her career with Linde engineering, developing projects in Asia, Australia, Europe, Near East, and the US.”

Gavin Graveson
Executive vice-president of Veolia UK & IrelandGavin_Graveson_1200x800.jpg

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

Neil Grundon.pngNeil 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.


Roger Hewitt
Castle Environmental

Roger Hewitt Castle X.jpgRoger 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

John Scanlon 1200x800.jpgJohn 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.


Dougie Sutherland
Chief executive, Cory Riverside Energy

Dougie - portrait 2.jpgDougie 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-Taylor.pngPaul 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

Topham_M-X.jpgMichael 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.


Michael Tracey
Non-executive director, Enva

Michael Tracey X.jpgMichael joined the family business, the William Tracey Group in 1977 and became managing director 1984. He was awarded an MBE in 2010. He is a past chairman of the British Metals Recycling Association and founder member and first chairman of the Wood Recycling Association. Michael became a non-executive director of the William Tracey Group in 2017 and the company re-branded to Enva Group in November 2019.