John Sauven

John Sauven

Ask a question about 'John Sauven'
Start a new discussion about 'John Sauven'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
John Sauven, is a trained economist
An economist is a professional in the social science discipline of economics. The individual may also study, develop, and apply theories and concepts from economics and write about economic policy...

 and environmentalist
An environmentalist broadly supports the goals of the environmental movement, "a political and ethical movement that seeks to improve and protect the quality of the natural environment through changes to environmentally harmful human activities"...

 and executive director
Executive director
Executive director is a term sometimes applied to the chief executive officer or managing director of an organization, company, or corporation. It is widely used in North American non-profit organizations, though in recent decades many U.S. nonprofits have adopted the title "President/CEO"...

 of Greenpeace
Greenpeace is a non-governmental environmental organization with offices in over forty countries and with an international coordinating body in Amsterdam, The Netherlands...

 UK, a post he has held since 2008. Before that he was the director responsible for Greenpeace communications and specialized on solutions and working with business. Sauven starting working in a temporary position for Greenpeace in 1991 while waiting for a place at teacher training college. As director, Sauven helps to shape Greenpeace UK's commitment to defend the natural world and promote peace by investigating, exposing and confronting environmental abuse, and championing environmentally responsible solutions.


John Sauven was educated at St Benedict's School
St Benedict's School
St Benedict's School is a co-educational independent Roman Catholic school situated in Ealing, West London. The school is part of Ealing Abbey and is governed by the Abbot and monks of Ealing. As the only day school of the English Houses of the English Benedictine Congregation, the school does not...

, Ealing and trained as an economist at University of Cardiff graduating as a BSc(Econ).


Sauven actively campaigns to ban underground nuclear testing
Nuclear testing
Nuclear weapons tests are experiments carried out to determine the effectiveness, yield and explosive capability of nuclear weapons. Throughout the twentieth century, most nations that have developed nuclear weapons have tested them...

 in the Pacific and campaigns against the UK Trident programme
UK Trident programme
The UK Trident programme is the United Kingdom's Trident missile-based nuclear weapons programme. Under the programme, the Royal Navy operates 58 nuclear-armed Trident II D-5 submarine-launched ballistic missiles and around 200 nuclear warheads on 4 Vanguard-class ballistic missile submarines from...

, the United Kingdom's missile-based nuclear weapons programme.

He campaigns to protect the temperate rainforests on the west coast of Canada, helping to save the Great Bear Rainforest
Great Bear Rainforest
The Great Bear Rainforest is the name coined by environmental groups in the mid-1990s to refer to a region of temperate rain forest in Canada, on the British Columbia Coast between Vancouver Island and Southeast Alaska...

 in northwest Canada from commercial logging
Logging is the cutting, skidding, on-site processing, and loading of trees or logs onto trucks.In forestry, the term logging is sometimes used in a narrow sense concerning the logistics of moving wood from the stump to somewhere outside the forest, usually a sawmill or a lumber yard...

. It was a highly organized campaign, mostly fought in the marketplace between logging companies, timber traders and their retail customers in Europe and North America. It also involved pushing the industry as a whole to accept Forest Stewardship Council
Forest Stewardship Council
The Forest Stewardship Council is an international not-for-profit, multi-stakeholder organization established in 1993 to promote responsible management of the world’s forests. Its main tools for achieving this are standard setting, independent certification and labeling of forest products...

 (FSC) certified products that guaranteed legal and sustainable products, now widely recognised in both the timber and paper sectors as the mark of sustainability.

Sauven actively campaigns to halt the deforestation
Deforestation is the removal of a forest or stand of trees where the land is thereafter converted to a nonforest use. Examples of deforestation include conversion of forestland to farms, ranches, or urban use....

 of the tropical rainforests of the Amazon
Amazon Basin
The Amazon Basin is the part of South America drained by the Amazon River and its tributaries that drains an area of about , or roughly 40 percent of South America. The basin is located in the countries of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Venezuela...

, by companies planting soya beans, having coordinated the international campaign to secure a moratorium on further destruction of the Amazon. This was achieved through bringing together a huge alliance of US and European multinationals along with Brazilian counterparts involved in the soya producing, commodity trading and food retailing sectors. It was one of Greenpeace's most successful campaigns to protect large areas of the world's last intact rainforests providing both climate and biodiversity protection. Similar tactics were used to direct campaigns to halt the deforestation of the forests of Democratic Republic of Congo and Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...


Sauven helped to develop Greenpeace's "Greenfreeze" campaign (greenfreeze technology is now a global refrigeration industry standard) to protect the ozone layer from disappearing because of our use of CFCs and other ozone layer destroying chemicals. John also famously bought a plot of land in the path of the proposed Heathrow third runway.

Currently he is helping to strategize action-led, non-violent initiatives to save the North Pole
North Pole
The North Pole, also known as the Geographic North Pole or Terrestrial North Pole, is, subject to the caveats explained below, defined as the point in the northern hemisphere where the Earth's axis of rotation meets its surface...

 from big oil. Sauven advocates urgent action to protect the area of sea ice around the North Pole, which is currently not national territory, by designating the area a 'global commons', collectively owned by humanity under the auspices of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...


In specializing on solutions and working with business, Sauven is conscious that Greenpeace's ongoing work may win fewer headlines, but the effort to evolve new, more sustainable business models is where the future will be won or lost. This is particularly the case with climate change where cleaner, more efficient products, processes and ways of producing energy need to be brought to market by government regulation and company innovation.

As well as his work with Greenpeace, Sauven has edited Sanity, the magazine of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, CND.

Sauven has collaborated on several award winning films with film director Julian Temple and film producer Eski Thomas, commissioning The Ancient Forests to which Sir David Attenborough, Ewan McGregor
Ewan McGregor
Ewan Gordon McGregor is a Scottish actor. He has had success in mainstream, indie, and art house films. McGregor is perhaps best known for his roles as heroin addict Mark Renton in the drama Trainspotting , young Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequel trilogy , and poet Christian in the...

 and Andy Serkis
Andy Serkis
Andrew Clement G. "Andy" Serkis is an English actor, director and author. He is popularly known for playing Gollum in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, for which he earned several award nominations, including the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Two Towers...

 lent their talents.


Sauven lives in Crouch End, north London, and is married to Janet Convery, a campaigner at the charity Action Aid. He has two sons.