The Rt. Hon John Gummer, Lord Deben was the longest serving Secretary of State for the Environment the UK has ever had. His sixteen years of top-level ministerial experience included Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Minster for London, Employment Minister and Paymaster General in HM Treasury. In two hundred years, only five others have held so long a period of office.
His experience as an international negotiator has earned him worldwide respect both in the business community and among environmentalists. In consecutive years, the BBC unprecedentedly awarded him the title "Parliamentarian who did most for the Environment Internationally", while the NGO community called him "the best Environment Secretary we have ever had". He has consistently championed a via media between business and environmental concerns. To that end, he set up and now runs Sancroft, a Corporate Responsibility consultancy working with blue-chip companies around the world on environmental, social and ethical issues.
Since leaving office he has been Chairman of the Marine Stewardship Council, Chairman of the International Commission on Sustainable Consumption and Non-Executive Director of Kidde Plc. He is currently Chairman of Sancroft International, Valpak Ltd. and Chairman of the Association of Independent Financial Advisors.
In December 2005 David Cameron appointed him Chairman of the Quality of Life Commission. The Quality of Life report, "Blueprint for a Green Economy", was launched in September 2007.
He is Chairman of the UK's independent Committee on Climate Change.
Olivier Bret is a graduate of l'Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées and French Business School, H.E.C. Olivier started his career in 1987 at international oil and gas company, Total, before moving into international strategic management as a consultant and manager at A.T. Kearney.
Olivier joined Veolia Water in 1992 as special advisor to the Chief Executive Officer before becoming Director of Profit Centre in Ile de France overseeing the merger of 7 entities, business development, contract negotiation, P&L responsibility and moving on to become Director of Municipal Markets.
Following a period at Dydesys combining senior management consulting and industrial investment activity, building the offering for third party services in telecoms and electronics, Olivier returned to Veolia Water to assume the first of several senior roles. From 2003, Olivier took up appointments in Brussels as Director, Benelux region and then Director of Northern Europe before moving to London in 2008 to assume the role of Deputy Chief Executive Officer for UK, Ireland and Northern Europe. Olivier was appointed as Chief Executive Officer for UK, Ireland and Northern Europe in 2011.
Olivier is also former chairman of "Ingénieur Sans Frontière", an independent humanitarian organisation.
Andrew is CFO of Veolia Water UK, Ireland and Northern Europe having joined in June 2010. In May 2011, he was also appointed Managing Director of VWUK Group Services and has responsibility for the majority of non-operational support functions including IT, HR, Legal, Procurement, Health and Safety, and Transactional Processing in addition to his CFO duties.
Andrew studied at Oxford and Glasgow Universities as well as Strathclyde Graduate Business School. Prior to joining Veolia he spent more than 15 years working in corporate finance advisory with Morgan Stanley, and more latterly, with Credit Suisse.
As Senior Executive and Chief Operating Officer for Veolia Water in the UK, Ireland and Northern Europe, Nigel Paterson is responsible for the company's operational performance, managing the newly formed capability centres, as well as having overall technical and operational accountability and playing a key role in the strategic development of the company and implementing change.
With 30 years experience in the water industry, Nigel previously held several senior positions within Thames Water including roles as Senior Executive Director for Thames Water Services, Commercial Operations Director, Commercial Development Manager and Process Engineering Manager for Thames Water capital projects. Nigel's early career commenced with construction contractors.
Nigel's solid background in engineering, operations and business strategy led to him being responsible for managing a portfolio of contracts and technical support services across the UK and overseas, including major PFI contracts. Nigel has also been responsible for managing various capital delivery functions, strategic business plans, and asset management. His innovative approach to problem solving is a core skill.
Nigel is a Chartered Civil Engineer.
As Chief Legal Officer and Company Secretary of Veolia Water UK, Celia is responsible for all legal advice given in respect of Veolia Water UK's interests in the UK and Ireland. Celia is also General Counsel and Company Secretary of Veolia Environnement UK Limited, the Veolia Environnement group's UK holding company. Previously Celia studied at Cambridge and qualified as a solicitor at Slaughter and May, where she worked as a corporate lawyer before joining Veolia Water in 2008.
Following his graduation as an Engineer at Polytech Montpellier in 1984, Philippe Guitard started his career as a Projects Engineer - Head of Industrial Water in SOGEA (CGE group). He later became Operations Engineer in Bergerac, followed by an appointment as Head of Branch in Mandelieu La Napouleand Cagnes sur Mer in the water and ozone supply company.
Philippe joined the Compagnie Générale des Eaux in 1995 as Regional Director in Ponce, Puerto Rico and in 1997 he moved to the Czech Republic as a Director of the Vodarna Plzen subsidiary. In 1999 he was appointed Managing Director of Veolia Water in the Czech Republic and in 2002 he became Managing Director of Veolia Water for Central Europe and Russia.
On 15 April 2008 he was appointed Director of Veolia Water for Europe (excluding France).
After graduating with a Masters degree in Finance Management, he held financial and management positions before joining the Veolia Water group in 1995 as Deputy Finance Director for Asia, Eastern and Southern Europe.
Between July 2002 and June 2008, Etienne was Executive Vice President for Central Europe and Russia before becoming Executive Vice President for Europe. Etienne joined the Board for Veolia Water UK PLC in June 2008.
Estelle Brachlianoff is the Chief Executive Officer of Veolia Environmental Services in the United Kingdom. She was appointed to this position in July 2012 and is also a member of the company's Executive Committee.
Estelle is 40 years old and joined the Veolia Environnement group in 2005 as Special Advisor to the CEO of Waste Management, before becoming Managing Director of Cleaning Services. Prior to her current position, she was in charge of Waste Management in the Greater Paris area.
Estelle started her career heading a team managing major infrastructure projects and constructing highways and tramways within the Val D'Oise region of Greater Paris. She was then appointed as Advisor to the regional government in Greater Paris responsible for transport and development.
Estelle is married and has two children.
A Chartered Engineer, Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, David Alexander has 38 years experience of the water supply industry and currently holds the post of Non-Executive Director of Veolia Water UK PLC and Veolia Water Central.
David retired from his position of Managing Director of Veolia Water UK PLC in December 2007. Previous appointments included Managing Director of Veolia Water Central and Managing Director of North Surrey Water Ltd. He is also Master of the Worshipful Company of Plumbers.