Julia Hailes MBE

Sustainability Pioneer


My mission is to challenge current thinking and change mindsets.

Nearly 40 years ago, when I started my environmental career, I was convinced that ‘sustainability’ was the answer. Now, I don’t think that’s enough. We need system change and must embrace regeneration, restoration, renewables, recycling, repairing and rewilding.

In Summary

I’ve been described as one of the leading lights of the environmental movement. I’m a change-maker, a campaigner, a speaker, an eco-entrepreneur, a consultant, a writer and an activist.

In 1987 I co-founded, with John Elkington, one of the UK’s first environmental consultancies and think tanks – SustainAbility Ltd. And, I’ve written or co-written nine books, including the million-selling Green Consumer Guide, published in 1988.

In 1992, I was elected to the UN Global 500 Roll of Honour for my ‘outstanding environmental achievement’ and in 1999 I was awarded an MBE for my environmental work.

Current Projects

Wilding Weekend

I’m organising the third annual Wilding Weekend at my home in Dorset – it will be on the 15th & 16th of June 2024. There will be tours, talks, stalls and local food & drink. In 2023 I interviewed Isabella Tree at the Bridport Literary Festival.

Solar Punk

I love the vibrant and optimistic vision of the future embodied in Solar Punk where technology and nature exist in harmony. I have initiated a project – in its early stages – to see how this might be put into practice with a regenerative, circular, climate-positive, collaborative development. More to come….

Rubbish Ideas

I’m a director of Rubbish Ideas, a company whose mission is to create a waste-free world. They have developed a state-of-the-art tracking system, for companies that want to put the circular economy into practice.

Rainforest Trust

I’m a Trustee of the Rainforest Trust whose mission is to save endangered wildlife and lock up huge carbon sinks by creating rainforest reserves. It breaks my heart that we are destroying the world’s rainforests and it was witnessing this in action in 1983 that kick-started my environmental career – and changed my life.

More About Me

Speeches & Events

I’ve made speeches all over the world mainly to business audiences, but also to schools, government, political organisations and NGOs. I love sitting on panels and participating in workshops and I can be quite challenging! Find out more about what people have said about me by clicking here.


Today, it’s possible to be overwhelmed by social media, blogs, podcasts, videos and books. However, I’ve found some really inspiring information sources – click here to see some of my recommendations.

My Videos

In the last couple of years, I’ve started making a few videos of things I’ve been doing – and have set up a YouTube channel. It features my Wilding Weekends, my Scything Day, me interviewing Isabella Tree as well as lots of archive TV footage from my Green Consumer days.

My Books & Blogs

Between 1987 and 1992, I co-authored eight books with John Elkington, including the best-selling Green Consumer Guide, The Young Green Consumer Guide and Holidays that don’t Cost the Earth. And, in 2007, I wrote The New Green Consumer Guide as sole author. Find out more by clicking here. Now most of my writing is blogs written for my website because I reflect my current thoughts and cover a wide range of issues.