Jonathon Porritt

Environmentalist and author who works on "Green Projects" with BP & Shell.

A globally recognised environmentalist and author, Jonathon Porritt is determined to help both public and private sectors to become more environmentally responsible.

Videos of Jonathon Porritt

UK CRF Launch - Jonathon Porritt
On Target Neutral

Speaker Profile

About Jonathon Porritt

Jonathon Porritt is known for his views relating to environmental policy, his books and his work in politics. The former director of Friends of the Earth, he has written for numerous high profile publications and has spoken about his causes both on the radio and the television. The Programme Director of Forum for the Future and former Chairman of the UK Sustainable Development Commission, he is a sought after speaker who has advised high profile clients including Unilever, Pepsi, Marks and Spencer, Nike and Telefonica.

  • Environmentalist and author
  • Founder and director of Forum for the Future
  • Awarded a CBE for environmental protection (2000)
  • Green Party member
  • Former Chair of Labour's Sustainable Development Commission (1997 - 2009)

Knowledgeable and dedicated to his cause, Porritt is an exceptional speaker who can educate and motivate audiences to aim for a sustainable and successful future. A founder and director of Forum for the Future, a charity dedicated to encouraging sustainable development, he works with world leading companies, helping them to grow responsibly. Known in the UK and abroad for his views on green matters, it is little wonder that Porritt has also worked as an advisor to the government and to the Prince of Wales. Such is his contribution that he was awarded a CBE in the year 2000.

After completing his education, Porritt became an English teacher, working for St Clement Danes Grammar School in London. A member of the UK Ecology Party (which was later renamed The Green Party) in his twenties and thirties, Porritt was becoming increasingly well known for his views about environmental issues and sought to increase awareness of his cause. In 1984 his first book was published (Seeing Green) and he left teaching to work as director of Friends of the Earth (England, Wales and Northern Ireland). He remained with the organisation for six years. Porritt has since said that the 1991 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro was a life-changing experience for him and in 1993, he began working for UNEP-UK (now Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future) as chair.

Porritt remained heavily involved with the Green Party and encouraged public interest in them by making changes which made them appear more professional, such as recommending the appointment of an easily identifiable leader. His reputation for skill in politics and his knowledge about and concern for the environment saw Porritt appointed Chair of Labour's Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) in 1997, a role which he occupied for over a decade (he left the position in 2009).

Porritt is known for his views concerning family planning and the environment. He believes that controlling the expansion of the human population is a key way to help prevent environmental damage worsening and that couples should only have two children in order to help reduce the speed of population growth. Some have been critical of these views, labelling them anti-family, but Porritt stands by his beliefs. He is also a supporter of the Sustainable Development Commissions Prosperity without Growth report (by Tim Jackson) which calls for change in views regarding economic success, to improve global financial stability and to help save the environment.

Positions and Honours

  • Chancellor - Keele University (2012 - )
  • Honorary Graduate - University of Exeter (2008)
  • CBE for services to environmental protection (2000)
  • Vice-President - Socialist Environment Resources Association (SERA)
  • Member Green Party
  • Advisory board member - BBC Wildlife magazine
  • Patron - Population Matters
  • Patron - Denmark Farm Conservation Centre
  • Honorary Graduate - University of Sussex (2000)
  • Chairman - Sustainability South West (1999 - 2001)
  • Founder/Director - Forum for the Future (1996 - )
  • Chair - Labour's Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) (1997 2009)
  • Chairman - UNED-UK (1993 - 1996)
  • Trustee - WWF UK (1991 - 2005)
  • Director - Friends of the Earth (1984 - 1990)
  • Co-chair - Green Party (1980 - 1983)
  • Documentaries Big Ideas that changed the World: Consumerism (2007)

Speaking Topics

  • The Environment
  • International Investment
  • Green Issues
  • Working for a Greener Future
  • The Environment and Profit: Conflict or Compliment


"He was perfect for the nature of the conference and had clearly done research around the event and organisation. He was approachable and an excellent public speaker." - Hundredth Monkey

"Jonathan was fantastic - his speech was captivating and all of the feedback from delegates was extremely complimentary. I think its fair to say that Jonathan gave our event credibility on a huge scale!" - Corporate Express Ltd

Testimonial for The World We Made: "In a world where doom and gloom surrounds us everywhere, Jonathon Porritt shows us that another future is possible. Jonathon is arguably more responsible for helping to create that positive future than anyone I know." - Jeffrey Hollender, Co-founder of Seventh Generation/Co-chair of Greenpeace US

Testimonial for The World We Made: "The futuristic look in The World We Made is a powerful reminder of the many global challenges we must address today if we want to create a sustainable and equitable planet in the near future. As a business leader, I am evermore convinced after reading The World We Made that building a sustainable future urgently requires collaboration, technological innovation, and a shift to sustainable lifestyles being commonplace, but above all it needs leadership." - Kees Kruythoff, president of Unilever North America

Books By Jonathon Porritt

  • How to Save the Earth (1992)
  • Sex, Sin and Survival (1994)
  • Seeing Green: The Politics of Ecology (1984)
  • The Coming of the Greens (1988)
  • Where on Earth Are We Going (1990)
  • Captain Eco (for children) (1991)
  • Save the Earth (1992)
  • Playing Safe: Science and the Environment (2000)
  • Capitalism as if the World Matters (2005/2007)
  • Living Within Our Means (2009)
  • The World We Made: Alex McKay's Story from 2050 (2013)

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