Sophie Hooper LeaAssociate

    What is she like then?

    Sophie has been working in sustainability and business ethics since 1998. She is committed to the principles of the circular economy and to helping organisations to act with purpose.

    A clear thinker and pragmatic decision-maker, Sophie understands the complexities of balancing profits and principles within businesses. She is both professional and personable – she is proud of her ability to work effectively with client teams and a wide range of internal and external stakeholders. She gets on well with people and is equally comfortable in the boardroom and on the shop floor.

    Sophie is a creative problem-solver with a real attention to detail. She enjoys digging below the surface of an issue to uncover effective solutions that work for all stakeholders. She is a sustainability enthusiast who is keen to find and explore ways to build better futures for all of us.


    What has she done?

    Sophie is an experienced consultant and writer who has worked predominantly in the private and third sectors. Her key areas of expertise include sustainability strategy, delivery and reporting within organisations; business writing and publications editing as well as developing and delivering business ethics programmes for organisations. She is an adept project manager and board level adviser as well as a speaker, chair, facilitator and trainer.

    Sophie is the Consultant Publishing Editor and a writer for the Institute of Business Ethics (IBE). She has written, edited and advised on IBE business ethics and corporate governance publications since 2017 and has worked with the IBE since 2002 in a range of roles. For example, she worked with the IBE to develop and deliver an e-learning programme for employees and business ethics workshops for 200+ senior managers at RWE npower. She also project managed an initiative with the Council for Industry and Higher Education and universities to produce guidance for higher education institutions on developing ethics programmes.

    Another example of Sophie’s work is strategic consultancy, advisory and sustainability reporting work for housebuilder Taylor Wimpey plc from 2002 – 2016. This included working at senior management and board level on strategy and policy development and implementation. She advised on and wrote Taylor Wimpey’s first ever corporate responsibility (CR) report in 2002 and continued to write the company’s CR/sustainability reports until 2016. She also had responsibility for Taylor Wimpey’s participation in annual benchmarks such FTSE4Good, the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and the Carbon Disclosure Project.

    Other organisations Sophie has worked for include WWF-UK; the RSA; the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants; Ethical Corporation magazine; the Sustainable Development Commission; Cohn & Wolfe communications agency and The Economist Group.


    Why does she bother?

    Sophie jumped corporate ship and became an independent consultant in 1998 in order to help push for a more sustainable and ethical world. She believed then that businesses could find a way to balance profit with principles and she wanted to help them to do so. Over the years, as the world changed and public opinion shifted, the business case for sustainability has become increasingly clear. Now that the majority of governments and businesses have accepted the realities of climate change, it has become more critical than ever to help organisations to find their paths towards environmental, social and economic sustainability.

    Alongside paid work, Sophie is also involved in a wide range of charitable and voluntary initiatives. For example, she has been Chair of Trustees for the Bath & West Community Energy Fund (BWCE Fund) since 2018. Funded by BWCE, the BWCE Fund provides grants to charities, volunteer organisations and community groups for projects that reduce carbon emissions and/or address fuel poverty.

    As an active Fellow of the RSA, Sophie values creativity and innovation. She is keen to see more of the creative arts in society, business and education. Sophie is also a library campaigner and has a particular interest in disability issues.


    Is she qualified?

    BA(Hons) 2:1 in Philosophy from University College London.


    Some quotes to know her by…

    “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness” Chinese proverb

    “It’s not just about ‘saving’ this planet, but about learning how to live on it.” Michael Braungart

    “When the forest and the city are functionally indistinguishable, then we know we’ve reached sustainability.” Janine Benyus

    “Leave the world more interesting for your being here.” Neil Gaiman