Greenpeace UK chief to retire after more than 30 years with the organisation

John Sauven says he plans to continue working the campaign group as a volunteer

John Sauven

John Sauven, executive director at Greenpeace UK, will retire next month after 14 years in the post and more than 30 with the organisation.

He joined Greenpeace UK in 1991 and became executive director in 2007.

The campaign group said Sauven led the organisation on many high-profile climate campaigns, including those to stop the third runway at Heathrow, the construction of new coal plants in the UK and Shell’s attempts to drill in the Arctic.

“It’s hard to express just how lucky I feel for having had the opportunity to lead an organisation like Greenpeace for the last 14 years,” he said. “The climate and nature crisis is the biggest challenge humanity is facing, and being able to make a contribution towards tackling it has been a huge privilege.”

Sauven will step down as executive director on 1 February, but said he would stay on to support the interim executive director, Pat Venditti, until 31 March.

Venditti has been in charge of the organisation’s campaigning programme for the past seven years and previously held roles including forest campaign director and deputy programme director.

“It’s an honour to be asked to lead an organisation like Greenpeace UK during this transition phase, and I’m very grateful to John and the board for this opportunity,” he said.

“This is going to be another crucial year for global efforts to avoid a climate catastrophe and the collapse of nature, and Greenpeace UK is ready to play its part.”

Sauven said that he planned to carry on supporting Greenpeace as a volunteer and activist alongside his work with NANN-K Trust – a charity that works to combat desertification and support sustainable development in the Sahel region of Africa.

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