Meet the team

Simon Barnard

Chief Executive Officer

Simon is a dynamic, innovative business leader with a passion for growing successful businesses.  Starting out in the construction and real estate industry, he was quick to realise the importance of sustainable development. He became one of the youngest Partners at Davis Langdon where he led technology + sustainability innovation, helping the firm become a leading global consultancy and which, following rapid growth, was acquired by Aecom, a New York Stock Exchange listed business.

With extensive experience at Board level, Simon has participated in joint ventures and industry partnerships in both public and private sectors. These successfully delivered asset optimisation programmes and renewable energy generation assets in UK and the Peoples Republic of China. Prior to joining ISL as CEO, Simon was Chief Operating Officer at Capita PLC’s real estate business where he was a Board member for 4 years.

Sugra Ewing

Finance Manager

Sugra is an experienced Finance Manager, she joined the company in December 2006. Providing a full range of financial accounting services, financial forecasting and budgeting. Production of statutory annual accounts.

Sugra has over twenty years of experience working within the financial arena and has achieved the advanced AAT Accounting qualification, an internationally recognised standard. Extensive experience of working both in the private and public sectors ensures she brings a comprehensive skill set to support the organisation.

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Ian Humphreys

Director of Operations

An experienced operations manager and environmental professional with a BSc Honours degree in Chemistry, Ian joined the NISP delivery team in August 2007.
Since completing his degree at the University of Sheffield, Ian has gained 17 years of experience within the Food and Drink sector. His career has seen him take up a number of diverse roles in operations, project management and sustainability.

Ian’s main achievements within this field have included the installation and maintenance of an ISO14001 management system. He’s designed and implemented a number of resource efficiency projects including an anaerobic digestion plant with an associated biogas collection facility.

He managed the successful application for a site PPC permit, has practical experience of waste management and licensing, energy management, carbon accounting, delivery of environmental training packages and managing key stakeholder dialogues on a complex industrial site. Ian is a qualified senior environmental auditor and NEBOSH certified health and safety practitioner. He is a chartered environmentalist and has achieved full embership of IEMA. His current responsibilities include leading the strategic and operational delivery of NISP Network in the UK and acting as lead consultant for a BP sponsored project centred on the Iskenderun Bay area of Turkey.

Martin Kirkham

Business Consultant

Prior to joining International Synergies in February 2018 Martin was a proprietor of a consultancy services company, providing companies and organisations energy saving measures within the renewable energy sectors.

His extensive skill set enables Martin to provide his expertise to Co-operative Energy. Creating and building a separate division (Co-operative Energy Saving CES) with its main purpose to serve members and customers with energy saving products and services. In addition to this, to form working partnerships with local authorities, housing associations, commercial and community organisations to promote a wider offering for circular economy initiatives.

Prior to this, Martin worked with the Climate-KIC Pioneers project, as a pioneer for transition change and innovation. Involving International Partnerships in Valencia, Spain and Wroclaw Poland and a further private sustainable fuel project with Shropshire Council, involving an Italian manufacturer in Stoke on Trent.

Additionally, Martin has undertaken a European Regional Development Fund (Retrofit Project) with Accord Housing Group. The focus and delivery of the project required engagements with over 100 small to medium enterprises. Creating 30 new jobs and assisting 10 new businesses start-us across the West Midlands region.

Peter Laybourn


Peter is the founder and Chairman of International Synergies. Peter devised International Synergies’ flagship project the National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (NISP) and has since helped to see similar projects established in over 20 countries around the world.Peter graduated with a degree in Economics and Ecology from the University of Southampton and spent 18 years in the aerospace manufacturing industry as contracts and commercial manager at GEC Marconi, Smiths Industries and Meggitt Aviation & Marine before completing a second degree in Marine Environmental Management.

He established the Business Council for Sustainable Development-UK in 2002 and held the position of Deputy Chief Executive for four years before leaving to establish International Synergies. Peter is the driving force behind International Synergies, and works tirelessly to advocate the benefits of industrial ecology and symbiosis around the world.  Peter was the Sustainability Leader of the year in 2013/14 and is often asked to be a keynote speaker on industrial symbiosis and the circular economy. He has provided expert evidence to many bodies including the House of Lords, House of Commons and European Commission; leading to the inclusion of industrial symbiosis in a number of policies and to the G7 making industrial symbiosis the first themed workshop under the new ‘Alliance on Resource Efficiency’.

Most recently, Peter has joined the UK Manufacturing Symbiosis Network Plus (UKMSN+) as Chair of their advisory board.

Dr. Rachel Lombardi

Director of Business Development

Rachel has been involved in sustainability and business issues for more than two decades, largely from an industrial ecology (or systems) perspective, with experience spanning both academia (Yale University, USA and University of Birmingham, UK) and business (IBM, McKinsey & Co., and International Synergies Ltd.).

As Director of Business Development for International Synergies Limited, she works internationally with practitioners and policy makers through participation in regional and international workshops, workshop and conference organisation and facilitation, bespoke training, traditional academic journals and conferences, and course development at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels.

Claire Menzies

Non-Executive Director

Claire’s professional experience span across 30 years in the creative sector, including senior roles at agency giants MICE, C-Beck and board level at RTH Group.

Claire’s role at Istoria Group allows her to combine a career-long passion for entrepreneurship and sustainability, alongside 12 years as Non-executive Director of circular economy experts, International Synergies.

Claire is a Fellow of the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) which believes in a world where everyone is able to participate in creating a better future. The RSA has been at the forefront of social change for over 260 years. The work of the RSA focuses on supporting innovation in three major areas: creative learning and development, public services and communities, and economy, enterprise and manufacturing.

In addition, Claire mentors a diverse range of entrepreneurs across creative and industry-wide sectors.

Joan Smith

Business Consultant

Prior to joining International Synergies in May 2018, Joan has extensive knowledge, and experience working for Business Link and the Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce.

Over the last sixteen years Joan has provided business consultancy services in the Birmingham & Solihull areas. Advising and supporting companies in areas of business support, including training, apprenticeships, funding and grants to website development to name a few. Joan is very passionate about working with businesses from all sectors and sizes, and continually drives businesses to grow and succeed

Joan consistently acts as an impartial broker in all areas of support by signposting companies to many partners and experts she has built up, through a network of contacts and events.

Adrian Whyle

Non-Executive Director

Adrian has 30 years International experience gained working in the speciality chemicals industry in a number of roles ranging from pure R&D to New Product Development, Manufacturing, Technology & Knowledge Transfer, Innovation Leadership and International Marketing & Communications.

In recent years he has combined his experience within these roles to help minimise the impact of society’s behaviour by specialising in the area of Resource Efficiency; working as an Innovation manager in the area of industrial symbiosis with the ESKTN out of Oxford University. From here he was seconded to the innovation teams in the UK Regional Government Agency’s in the South West and the West Midlands to stimulate growth within green sector businesses.

Today he is the Senior Resource Efficiency Manager with PlasticsEurope promoting and implementing their strategy for Zero-Plastic to Landfill by 2025 through the development of sound Waste Management Infrastructure in European Member States that maximise the recycling and recovery of all plastics.

James Woodcock

International Manager

James is a Project Manager with extensive experience both in the UK and internationally, working with funders and delivery partners. He has extensive environmental and industrial knowledge gained from over 20 years in roles that crossed industry boundaries. With five years international working experience, James works to identify and progress new industrial symbiosis programmes throughout the world and is currently managing projects in a number of countries including Belgium, Brazil, China, Hungary, Poland, and Turkey.

James has worked as a Key Account Manager on the National Industrial Symbiosis Programme in the UK. His duties included identification and management of industrial symbiosis projects within a number of regions. James worked in the water industry for 15 years in a wide range of customer focused roles that could often require balancing conflicting requirements. Areas of work included trade effluent control, revenue and debt management, resolving pollution incidents and responsibility for the management of a team of technicians.