Meet the team

We have assembled an experienced core team, supported with a pool of expert associates in Europe, North America and UK – offering a unique fusion of business, commercial, technical, sustainability, transformation and educational capabilities – to deliver the greatest impact for you and your organisation. All our people are known as much for their enthusiasm and motivation as for their skills and experience, sharing a passion and drive to make a real difference. They're also great people to work with!

Mike Townsend

Founder & CEO

Mike is an influential business and economic transformation leader, board member, speaker, teacher, and writer – with thirty-five years of experience in business, supply chain, consultancy, education & training, and engineering.

Mike is passionate about sharing knowledge and skills in support of the transition towards a sustainable economy. He has worked with a wide range of organisations, large and small, in all sectors in UK, Europe, North America and Japan, including: Aviva plc, BAA, Barclays Bank plc, Birmingham Business School, British Airways, Copenhagen Business School, DIS-Copenhagen, eBay, Environment Agency, EY, Home Office, IKEA, Life Technologies, LoyaltyOne, Mace Group, Lund University, Norsk Ombruk, Northeastern University, Severn Trent Water, Thames Water plc, Triodos Bank, and many others, including Paul Polman at Unilever.

In addition to running Earthshine Group, Mike serves on an advisory board with University of Oslo, teaches courses on Sustainable Development, Sustainable Business Strategy, and The Business of Change. He also delivers inspirational keynote speeches.

Mike is author of The Quiet Revolution (Routledge, forthcoming), Editor of Reframing the Game (2015), Lead author of A Journey in Search of Capitalism 2.0 (2013). He is a regular contributor for Huffington Post, 2-Degrees,, The Guardian, Medium, Sustainable Brands, and others. He has also published extensively in the field of strategic procurement and supply chain management.

Mike holds an MBA from the University of Birmingham Business School (UK), a bachelor degree in Civil Engineering Management from the University of Wolverhampton (UK). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (UK), and Member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (UK).

Martina Zahradnikova

PA & Head of International Relations

Martina is an educationalist and qualified teacher, with teaching and child development experience in Denmark, UK and Slovakia. She also has a strong ability in European languages, speaking Slovak (native), English (fluent), Danish (fluent), Russian (intermediate), and Italian (intermediate). In her continued desire for life-long-learning, she has also taken courses in Environmental Studies through the Open University in UK – and is currently studying Reflexology, Anatomy and Physiology in Denmark.

For the last ten years, Martina has worked in support of the development of Earthshine in roles in marketing, research and administration support. Key assignments include background research for company studies, arranging meetings and logistics for the CEO, marketing research and communications, international document translations, and support in developing training materials. Martina is a real team player – and great at planning, organising and getting things done.

Jae Mather

Senior Vice President (North America)

Jae Mather is an executive who influences senior leaders to move beyond theory to the practical application through innovating new technologies, training, and services. He designs and implements renewable energy, efficiency and climate change strategies. He is a clean-tech growth strategist, global macro trend specialist and a champion of the low carbon economy.

For 20+ years he has been instrumental in shaping the sustainability agenda across Europe including running the UK Eco-Enterprise project, which was the first EU-funded environmental technology support programme in the UK. He shapes policy and strategy for local governments and for companies such as Finger Food Studios, Heitman, ARM, and Footlocker. He is the Co-founder of the Carbon Free Group; has been the Executive Director of the Clean Energy Association of British Columbia, and the International Business Development & Sustainability Strategist for David Richardson’s group of companies.

Jae speaks as keynote at 20+ events a year and has delivered over 100+ events reaching 10K+ attendees. He is a guest lecturer on the University of British Columbia & University of Birmingham MBA programs and the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainable Leadership programme.

He is a Board member of the Board of Change (Vancouver) is a member of the editorial board of the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA) Transform Magazine.

Jae is an IEMA and an RSA Fellow, a Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv), and is GRI G4 Certified. He holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Decision Making from The Open University in the UK as well as a BA in Geography from Simon Fraser University in Canada.

Richard Brennan

Director Earthshine Group (Ireland)

Richard is a director with responsibility for business development across Ireland. A successful business leader and consultant with 18 years’ experience in the Automotive, Insurance Claims and recycling industries, he is also a qualified Black Belt in Lean Six sigma. In recent years, Richard has successfully transformed businesses, specialising in diversification, growth, and culture change, through effective processes, systems and empowerment of people — reducing waste in all areas of the business — focusing on circular economy opportunities, which impact positively on the bottom line.

Richard holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in International Business Management. He is also accredited in Carbon Literacy, providing training to SMEs and Government agencies. Richard believes: “With every challenge comes an opportunity, and behavioural change amongst a focused team can create and produce the biggest impact for the business growth and carbon footprint”.

Kristoffer Hvidsteen

Project Director

Kristoffer is a senior management consultant executive with a passion for societal impact, having 25+ years’ experience in driving sustainable competitiveness and operational excellence in business; harnessing technology and data analytics, focused on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, and developing sustainability strategies, responsible supply chains, greenhouse gas inventories/reporting/reduction strategies, along with circular business model innovations.

Kristoffer is an experienced strategy executive with a track record of delivering purposeful innovation, performance optimisation and impact in both public and private sectors, working with clients in the Nordics, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and on the African continent. Key sectors of activity include agri-business, renewable energies, manufacturing, retail and shipping, working with a broad range of clients: Vestas, Nordea, FLSmidth, IKEA, Danfoss, Novozymes, Novo Nordisk, SE4ALL, Save the Children and UN Global Compact.

Kristoffer’s passion is for visioning, building and delivering new ways of working and living to re-imagine a viable and attractive sustainable future model. He can also walk-the-talk, having established and run a circular economy company for three years, delivering product life extensions for large household appliances resulting in high volumes of re-used, refurbished and recycled products, saving major amounts of carbon emissions and virgin natural resources.

Kristoffer holds a Business Certificate from INSEAD, an MPhil in Economics and a BA in Economics from University of Copenhagen. He also holds an MSc in International Business and Economic Development from the University of Reading.

Dan Gray

Project Director

From strategic consulting and research to coaching and mentoring, Dan combines the magic of storytelling with the logic of a future-back approach to strategy to inspire the mindset and business model shifts needed to build a more just, inclusive and regenerative future.

Most recently, as EY Global Corporate Responsibility Knowledge Leader, he’s spent much of his time illuminating what businesses of all sizes can learn from impact entrepreneurs innovating some of the best ideas and boldest actions for tackling the interconnected challenges of climate change and social inequality.

Where impact entrepreneurs are leading, Dan believes everyone will ultimately be bound to follow; there can be no long-term future for business that degenerates the health and vitality of our environmental and social systems that give it (and all of us) life. This explains his passion for sharing knowledge and insights that can help organisations see beyond business-as-usual and incremental change, towards innovating new models that work in rhythm with universal principles of living systems.

Dan is author of Live Long and Prosper: The 55-Minute Guide to Building Sustainable Brands, a book which won plaudits from some of the world’s leading authorities on sustainable business, including John Elkington, Paul Polman and Ray Anderson.

He also holds an MBA from Hult Ashridge Business School, is a Visiting Fellow of the Ashridge Centre for Business and Sustainability, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (UK).

Chris McCormick

Project Director

Chris comes from a multi-disciplinary background that embraces leadership, urban development and interpersonal communication. He has worked in cities across the globe including London, Jakarta, Moscow and since 2004 Oslo.

His most recent work is connected to the development of smart and sustainable communities, developing innovation programmes that are driving new business models and sustainable change.

With 16 years’ experience as a project manager in the property industry, and 10 years working as a facilitator and process leader in communication, Chris has a unique approach to leading projects that finely balance the need for structure and flexibility for change.

Great solutions tend to emerge through well thought-through processes, in multi-disciplinary teams that are able to communicate clearly with each other. Facilitating such processes is very much at the core of Chris’s approach.

Chris holds a bachelor degree in Building Management from the University of Northumbria in Newcastle (UK).

George May

Project Leader/Senior Consultant

George is an experienced business transformation consultant with experience in energy, transport, automotive and retail sectors. With an outcome focused approach, he leverages a variety of disciplines to create value, including process design, effective communications and capability development – paving the way for successful transition towards a new vision.

Most recently, George has developed a sustainability impacts and benefits model, providing insight into embedded carbon and material flows within the UK automotive value chain. This work reveals directional shifts among the sector’s key actors, along with further opportunities to increase circularity, deliver radical shifts in sustainability performance, while generating new business opportunities.

George graduated from Loughborough University (UK) with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and a postgraduate master’s in Finance and Management. An alumnus of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) – he now returns as an Assessor for their Business Sustainability Management course. He is also studying Systems Thinking with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In his spare time, George is a devoted surfer, keen cook, avid reader, and enthusiastic snowboarder – having achieved multiple instructing qualifications in the latter, whilst living for a brief spell on New Zealand’s mountainous South Island.

Shyaam Ramkumar

Circular Economy Leader

Shyaam is a circular economy innovation expert with experience in Europe and the United States. He is currently a finishing his PhD in Economic Sociology at the University of Milan researching the accelerated adoption of circular innovation by companies using sociology and social network theories.
Shyaam has over 10 years of experience in sustainability and circular economy and has previously worked as the Knowledge and Innovation Manager at Circle Economy in Amsterdam, has interned with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and was a sustainability consultant with Accenture’s Chicago office in the United States. He is also the Founder of aRoundTable, a global circular economy initiative to help local communities develop circular projects and a member of Tondo, an association for advancing the Circular Economy in Italy.

Shyaam holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Northwestern University and an MSc in Industrial Ecology from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

Inger Kærgaard

Senior Trainer & Ecology Consultant

Inger is trained as a biologist, and works in teaching, training, consultancy, and as a nature guide and ecologist. Inger has a passion for sharing her knowledge and opening our minds to the natural world – enabling us to find new possibilities in our businesses, our economies and society.

Inger has been teaching a number of key semester-based courses in Copenhagen, including: Sustainable Development – exploring the divergent goals and complex processes associated with sustainable development from a European perspective, and Urban Ecology – developing understanding on the interaction and complex interconnectedness between humans and the urban environment. Inger also teaches courses in Biological Conservation and Biodiversity – and loves to give lectures about the vital contribution of forests.

Inger also has many years of experience involved in forest conservation – including forest restoration projects in Thailand and forest protection in Indonesia. She has also produced a major photography exhibition about the forest situation in Borneo, Indonesia – shown in six locations across Denmark. Inger organised a Forest Festival in the centre of Copenhagen attracting 25,000 visitors. More recently, Inger has been providing analysis on bat conservation for Copenhagen Municipality. She also enjoys giving public tours exploring bat and natural habitats.

Inger has also worked as project manager at the University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland, working on government and EU funded projects, including a design for environmental education, and a Swiss government project involving sustainable income generating activities for organic farmers in the Swiss Alps.

Inger holds a MSc in biology from the University of Copenhagen. In her spare time, Inger is a keen gardener and beekeeper.

Doris Wimmer

Project Analyst

Doris is a project analyst with experience in hydrology, water engineering, sustainability and management – with a broad knowledge in environmental sciences. She is passionate about sustainable development, the environment, and development cooperation.

Doris originally studied Environmental Engineering and Water Management in Vienna with the aims of improving people’s lives and livelihoods, and preserving natural ecosystems. With the increasing awareness of the effects of anthropogenic activities on natural ecosystem, Doris saw the need to complement this knowledge with a further degree in business – not only to observe and assess the effects of land degradation and pollution, but also to counteract unsustainable resource consumption.

Doris has a keen interest in learning from other cultures, and has travelled to many places around the world, including a three-month project in the Kenya-Uganda Border Region, working under a project for the Austrian Development Agency.

Doris is enthusiastic about linking together different fields, in order to manage resources more sustainably. She has engaged with key topics such as corporate responsibility and the circular economy within her master’s degree in Management at Cranfield University – along with her thesis on business models in the circular economy. More recently, Doris has also started to engage and participate within the European start-up scene, seeking to drive and accelerate proactive sustainability solutions in a commercial environment.