Jonathan Smales

Jonathan Smales

Jonathan Smales was formerly MD of Greenpeace (UK), a sustainability adviser to the government, and developed some of the UK’s first major sustainability projects.

Hands-on with all aspects of the business from masterplanning to policy, engagement and structuring, Jonathan transfers his experience leading and advising on some of the UK’s largest development and regeneration projects to his leadership of Human Nature – including the groundbreaking Phoenix project in Lewes.

He is a champion of deep collaboration and its role in shaping the social imagination, Human Nature’s purpose.



From Greenpeace director to green developer



Jane Attenborough Studio

In 1989, as managing director of Greenpeace, Jonathan Smales oversaw the refurbishment of a 1920s animal testing laboratory, which became the charity’s new HQ. Naturally, the ambition was to create London’s first green commercial building – despite no one quite knowing what a green building was at the time.

More than 30 years on, developers are at pains to emphasise their green credentials – but how many truly sustainable homes, offices and neighbourhoods are actually being built? In this talk, Jonathan will discuss how a lifelong interest in urbanism, architecture and sustainability has led him to believe in the power of place – and why breakthrough models of development are needed to tackle the climate crisis.