Our Director Paul Gill established Environmentally Sustainable Systems in 1995 to provide sustainability, biodiversity and climate change research and advice for central and local government, and ecological survey and assessment to conservation agencies, renewable energy and construction sector developers. He has worked on sustainability indicators for Scotland’s economy, has written sustainable development guidance for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) applicable to the zoos sector, and has advised councils on their sustainability and environmental policies.
Having undertaken large scale surveys of birds, mammals and vegetation on over fifty onshore renewable development sites, as well as surveying seabirds and marine mammals on eight offshore wind farm sites, Paul has helped Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) develop methods for bird assessment at wind farm sites. He also trialled and improved SNH’s draft guidance on mountain and moorland habitat impact assessment, classifying habitat condition, and quantifying the impacts of burning, deer browsing and the repeatability of the methodologies, while leading vegetation survey teams applying these methods and undertaking National Vegetation Classification surveys over large areas of the Cairngorm National Park in Scotland.
His wealth of experience in project management and direction, workshop facilitation, training, and communication, his expertise in sustainability assessment, climate change and transport, and in predicting, mitigating and monitoring the impacts of renewables and other construction developments on birds, mammals and other ecological receptors, form the basis of the work of Environmentally Sustainable Systems Ltd. He has led the development of company-wide quality, health, safety and environmental management systems which have been accredited to ISO, and to the highest levels of the UVDB Verify electricity & water utilities pre-qualification scheme. Paul has an MSc in Environmental Technology (specialising in Ecological Management) from Imperial College Centre for Environmental Technology, London, and a BA in Zoology from Oxford University. He is a full member of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, and possesses a high level of competency in many areas of professional ecology and environmental work.
Prior to establishing Environmentally Sustainable Systems in 1995, Paul worked for the University of Stirling as part of a team contracted by government to measure the sustainability of Scotland’s economy, and taught climate change to MSc students in Human Ecology at the University of Edinburgh. Before this he worked for the UK Government conservation agencies creating and managing a biodiversity monitoring database for monitoring the effects of climate change on 13 UK Biosphere Reserves. He had previously worked on an African antelope reintroduction programme, on birds and deer for the Forestry Commission Wildlife & Conservation Research Branch, as environmental advisor to a US construction firm in Arizona, and with various environmental and bird non-governmental organisations (including the RSPB, BTO, Friends of the Earth Scotland, BANC and Scottish Environment Link).
Paul established Environmentally Sustainable Systems (ESS) in April 1995 to investigate and address interactions between environment, economy and society, following the first Rio de Janeiro Conference on Environment and Development in 1992. Our operational and philosophical target is the centre of our Sustainability Venn diagram logo. The overlaps of the three circles of our logo, which we target in all our work, also represent the synergies, conflicts and tensions between the three Rio imperatives, which gave rise to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC the lens through which all public and private policy is now scrutinised), the UN Convention on Biodiversity (which underpins all UK, Scottish and EU conservation legislation), and the UN Declaration on Environment & Development (followed by the 2002 Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development and the 2012 Rio+20 Sustainable Development Goals).