Professor Rob Holdway FRSA – Director Giraffe Innovation Limited – (Davos, World Economic Forum YGL)
Rob Holdway is Director of Giraffe Innovation Ltd listed by the Guardian Business Pages as one of the UK’s top 10 Independent Green companies. Rob was acknowledged by The Manufacturer Magazine as ‘Britain’s leading eco-design consultant’. Giraffe works internationally on eco-design and life cycle assessment projects, greenhouse gas reporting as well as advising on environmental strategy for business. Current and previous clients include: Canon Europe, The co-operative, GlaxoSmithKline, Sainsbury’s, DHL, Mulberry, Defra, WRAP, Talaris and Goldpeak as well as smaller successful companies, Rococo Chocolates, Warren Evans, Any Junk and Z-Card.
Rob trained and practiced as an industrial designer and was previously a Research Fellow at the Royal College of Art/Imperial College (IDE) working with Cambridge University on the Good Design Practice Programme. He is a London Sustainable Development Commission London Leader, a Davos World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and Professor Associate, Brunel University School of Engineering & Design.
Rob was project director and media ‘face’ for the RSA WEEE Man www.weeeman.org and also initiated and developed Changing Habbits www.changinghabbits.org which was exhibited at London’s Design Museum. Before founding Giraffe in 2000 Rob had previously worked for Philips Corporate Design, Eindhoven, Rover Group and Unilever Research (UK/Milan). Rob is probably best known for presenting the Channel 4 show Dumped, where 11 unsuspecting people were dumped on to a landfill site and had to forage to survive. He subsequently wrote a Channel 4 blog on environmental issues. Rob has recently lent his media support as the face of for Defra's Resource Efficiency Campaign for small businesses. This included a media day of live radio interviews and a live web cast with The Independent Newspaper. He also wrote supporting articles for the national press.
Rob is also face of At Home magazine sold in WH Smiths, and a contributing editor to National Geographic Green Magazine. Rob has appeared on BBC News, ITV Trevor MacDonald Tonight and BBC The One Show. Since 2006 Rob has judged The Observer Ethical Awards alongside celebrities including Colin Firth and Elle McPherson and is also a judge on the Bayer plastics Student Design Awards. Rob undertakes a number of public speaking roles as key note presenter including UK Government – Parliamentary meeting on eco-design – House of Commons, Hong Kong Trade Development Council (audience 1000+), Seoul Design Olympiad (audience 750+) , and Scottish Enterprise.
Testimonials – Rob Holdway
Andy Whyle: Ricoh UK Products Ltd
I'd just like to say thanks for this morning's presentation. I thoroughly enjoyed it on several levels, professionally, in-depth relevant information and also bloody well entertaining!
B&Q Brand Manager:
…‘well done’ for a great presentation at the Sustainable Retailing conference. I really enjoyed your session – lots of food for thought in there, and presented in a really engaging way. For me, it was certainly the most useful and enjoyable part of the day! (better not tell the others that, though!)
Director, Electronics Company
“Do you have any comments on this event?
Rob Holdway –Wow! Inspiring, Knowledgeable, intelligent, energetic and witty… a potent mix!”
Jocelyn Bailey: Manager: Associate Parliamentary Design and Innovation Group
"Just wanted to say thanks so much for doing such a sterling job on Tuesday – thought you were very engaging and clearly have huge energy for your subject. I hope it was interesting for you – from our point of view it was a very successful event: well-attended by Parliamentarians (always good when they ask questions – shows they really are interested!) so that’s good!!
John Plowman: Chair, London Sustainable Development Commission
"The LSDC appointed Rob Holdway as ‘London Leader’ in 2009. The London Leaders programme brings together London’s leading lights in sustainability, to deliver real change, and inspire others to do the same (www.londonsdc.org/londonleaders). Rob’s leadership however stretches well beyond London’s borders and he demonstrates a truly global perspective in all of his work."
Rob’s work over the last 15 years has focused on finding innovative, resource efficient, solutions to reducing carbon emissions, working across sectors and forging international partnerships across businesses and the public sector. The WEEE Man project and the Changing Habbits programme in particular, demonstrate how Rob has successfully combined robust technical and statistical models with imagination and vision, to engage both organisations and the general public with the issue of climate change. The LSDC believes that this approach is fundamental to catalysing the behaviour change that is required for the transformation to a truly sustainable world.
Rob’s unfaltering dedication to his work has earnt him a reputation as a respected spokesperson. He is a judge on the Observer Ethical Awards, a leading UK awards programme recognising innovation and leadership in the sustainability arena. He is frequently called upon by the broadcast media to provide insights and comment on new policy and technological developments in sustainable design and innovation. Of particular note, Rob is probably best known as presenter and on-screen expert for TV’s Channel 4 DUMPED programme, screened in 2008.
The London Sustainable Development Commission was established in 2002 to advise the Mayor of London on making London a global benchmark for sustainable development. The aim of the London Leaders programme is to inspire and catalyse positive change, demonstrate sustainability in action, and increase capacity for sustainable development leadership. In the Commission’s view, Rob’s past experience and aspirations for the future, make him an ideal Young Global Leader. His unique ability and reputation as a technological expert with the skills to actively engage and interest non-specialist audiences, enables him to make a significant and lasting impact on the progress of sustainable development.