Judging Panel

sustain wales awards judges

Meet our expert panel of judges, responsible for selecting three finalists in each of our nine categories to go forward to the public vote in October.

Each of our judges brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise from their relative fields and they will be looking for outstanding individuals, projects or initiatives that are helping to deliver the seven national goals of the Well-being of Future Generations Act, contributing to the environmental, social, cultural and economic sustainability of life in Wales. Full details can be found in our Application Guidance.

The Judges final scores will count for vote will count for 40% of the final vote. We will then be inviting you the public to vote for your favourites before the winners are announced at the awards ceremony in November.

Ruth Marks
Chief Executive, WCVA

Ruth joined WCVA as Chief Executive in January 2015. During 2014 on behalf of the Health Minister, Ruth led an independent review into Healthcare Inspectorate Wales to
consider reforms and potential legislative developments. Prior to this Ruth was Director of Care and Development for Reach, part of the Seren Group.

Previously Ruth was the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales. This post was a world first and Ruth successfully established this public body from scratch. Key achievements included a statutory review into older people’s care in hospital Dignified Care? Earlier appointments include: Director of RNIB Cymru, Chief Executive of Chwarae Teg (where she served as the Employment representative on the Third Sector Partnership Council), Deputy Director of Business in the Community Cymru, and Training Officer with WCVA. Ruth has been a lifelong volunteer and has significant trustee experience gained from many charities and voluntary organisations. She served as a trustee of WCVA from 2001 to 2008.


Nick Cliffe
Innovation Lead at Innovate UK

Nick is an Innovation Lead in the Manufacturing & Materials team of Innovate UK, the UK’s national innovation agency. He has a particular focus on resource efficiency, circular economy, sustainability and water – embedding these themes across Innovate UK strategy and competitions, helping innovators consider the wider environmental and societal drivers of their markets and supporting UK businesses in exploring new manufacturing methods and business models.

Before joining Innovate UK Nick worked for Closed Loop Recycling, a large plastic bottle recycling business based in Dagenham, East London, where he managed various projects, including: regulatory approval for the food-contact status of recycled plastics; EU Framework 7 funded projects to develop a marker system to enable automatic identification of plastics by use; a joint project with Ecover and various other partners to create the first plastic commercial plastic bottle made from recovered marine plastic waste. Nick also worked for a spin-off consultancy business, Closed Loop Environmental Solutions, managing projects such as launching a range of on-site food composting machines in the UK and a large waste auditing program for Heathrow Airport and various airlines to develop recycling options for both terminal and cabin waste.


Susan Baker

Professor Susan Baker
Professor of Environmental Policy, Cardiff School of Social Sciences

Susan Baker gained her doctorate (1987) at the European University Institute, Florence, Italy, having undertaken a BA and MA in Economics at the National University of Ireland. She is Professor of Environmental Policy, Cardiff School of Social Sciences and Co-Director, Sustainable Places Research Institute, Cardiff University. She holds a royal appointment as Professor of Environmental Science to the King Carl VI Gustaff of Sweden, the first female to hold this position. In 2013, she was elected Fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry. Her research focuses on the relationship between social and ecological processes and how can be governed to promote sustainable futures. She is appointed to the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel of the UN IPBES, and has acted as scientific advisor to the UN, European Commission, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and Welsh Government. She has over 160 scientific publications, including her most recent, Sustainable Development: A New Perspective. Her work has been translated into several languages and she has presented papers at numerous international scientific gatherings.


Derek Osborn
Chair, Cynnal Cymru – Sustain Wales

Derek Osborn is the Chair of the Cynnal Cymru Board of Directors and the Chair of the Sustain Wales Awards judging panel.

Derek has many years’ experience as a policy analyst at national and international levels. Previous roles include working within the civil service, where he led the UK preparations for the first Rio Earth Summit in 1992. Derek has also been an active sustainable development advocate in Europe, including his role as Chairman of the Sustainable Development Observatory for the European Economic and Social Committee. He is now a board member of Dŵr Cymru and has links with Creative Rural Communities.


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