Commercial Director, Sustainability

Who we are:

Sagentia Innovation provides independent advisory and leading-edge product development services to a broad range of companies from some of the world’s leading and best-known brands, to start-up disruptors. We operate projects ranging in scale from £10k to £10m and serve customers across the medical, industrial, chemicals and energy, food and beverage, and consumer industry sectors. We are part of Science Group (AIM:SAG), which has more than ten offices globally, two UK-based dedicated R&D innovation centers and more than 400 employees.

Our focus on sustainability:

Sustainability is a significant theme for Sagentia Innovation’s clients and across Science Group as a whole. In 2022 we launched Science Group | Sustainability, a groupwide practice helping clients realise their sustainability ambitions through strategy, sustainable innovation and product stewardship. Working with our sister companies TSG Consulting and Leatherhead Food Research, both of which have significant regulation and compliance consulting offerings, we have the rare ability to bring technical, commercial, and regulatory perspectives to sustainability-related issues.

We were proud to launch our “Net Zero Playbook”, developed by Science Group in conjunction with technical leadership from Amcor, Bayer Crop Science, Mars, PepsiCo, P&G, Solvay and Stepan. This Playbook is a tool that R&D leadership can use as they tackle the challenge of reducing carbon.

Within Sagentia Innovation, our primary focus is on innovation and technology development. We look at opportunities for our clients to harness the power of science and technology to deliver value for the business and to benefit the planet. Recent examples of our R&D Consultancy work:

  • Strategy: how will pressure to adopt significantly more sustainable practices impact the product portfolio of a global chemical company and therefore what will their future needs be and where should they focus R&D effort?
  • Reformulation and water reduction: What technologies can be used to produce a sustainable solid format for a personal care product?
  • Enabling the use of new materials: How can a grease and water-resistant coating be applied in an effective and economic manner to enable the use of a more sustainable alternative material to plastic which offers the same essential functionality
  • Reducing waste: what are the opportunities for upcycling a food waste stream into new products or ingredients to both reduce waste and also capture value
  • Carbon capture: What are the most applicable carbon capture & utilisation technologies for use with a specific industrial process, also considering demand, location and transport and applicable business models
  • Sustainable foods: Could you formulate and prototype a range of plant-based dairy products?
  • Reducing chemical usage: can you design and develop a novel approach to delivering a lower quantity of pesticides more accurately on crops?

The opportunity

We are looking for the right person to take up the commercial leadership role for our sustainability practice within Sagentia Innovation. You will have a good understanding of the sustainability agenda, especially in the context of environmental issues. You’ll engage with our existing clients and work to grow our business portfolio in this space.  You will need to be comfortable talking about sustainability with senior leadership in various industry sectors – from food and beverage through to Oil & Gas. Explicitly we are looking for a thought leader who is passionate about sustainability initiatives as opposed to a business developer with a passing interest in ESG. Being commercial-savvy and scientifically literate and articulate on the issues of sustainability,l, you will be able engage with senior leaders in the R&D and innovation function of existing and new customer to facilitate the growth of our ‘Practice’ within our R&D Consultancy Division. Reporting to our Managing Director, and working closely with our President, Advisory Services, you will be accountable for expanding our Sustainability portfolio across the Division’s four industry segments. This is primarily a commercially focused role with an explicit sales target although it will involve some time spent consulting on client projects, you will work closely with our VP for Sustainability Consulting, who leads the skill group responsible for managing and delivering of these assignments.

The Sustainability Practice is a key part of the Division’s growth strategy. As Director you will:

  • Work with the VP Sustainability to:
    • Set the R&D Division’s Sustainability market agenda and strategy
    • Guide the growth and developments of the Sustainability capability (both for Advisory and Product Development)
  • Engage and work with with the sustainability leads within our other business divisions to realise wider business opportunities
  • Collaborate with the Managing Partners for each of our four industry segments and with the SVP for New Business to plan and action a sales and marketing strategy for Sustainability market development
  • Partner with our Marketing team to grow the visibility of our Sustainability capability
  • Develop and deliver pitches to existing and new customers across the Division’s four industry segments
  • Supervise and direct team members as they work with clients to frame engagements
  • Operate as a Consultant on assignments requiring high value input

The Division has a strong platform in Sustainability and with a wide portfolio of key account relationships and proven services spanning advisory and product development we have a great opportunity to grow in this space. Sustainability is central to the Division’s growth plan and this role has been created to capitalize on the opportunity.

You will have the opportunity to travel overseas to visit our clients; it is expected that you will be travelling 25 – 50% of your time (UK, Continental Europe and US).

The role will be based at either one of our Harston (Cambridge) or Epsom R&D centres.

Key responsibilities:

Sales and Marketing

  • Support Sustainability sales activities to existing and new business accounts (this will be a pro-active role with the successful candidate initiating customer engagements as well as being ready to follow-up introductions
  • Promote Sustainability services to new business targets in order to win new customer accounts. The role will involve a mix of targeted lead generation (in collaboration with the New Business team) and client face-to-face meetings
  • Attend and present at industry/sector meetings, webinars and conferences
  • Listen to the needs of our clients and translate these into appropriate programs of work (in consultation with the Consumer team, skill group managers and consultants)
  • Understand and manage the cost of selling and delivering work and allocate resource appropriately


  • Agenda setting and alignment with peers in operations and running industry sector verticals and business development functions
  • Ownership of key performance indicators (principally sales contribution) relating to the Sustainability practice
  • Operating as a Consultant with time spent working directly on sold projects, delivering high value insights, strengthening our client relationships and having oversight of the project team
  • Act with senior managers cascading company messages, policies and behaviors

Service Offering Ownership

  • Inspire and promote our strengths as a provider of R&D services in the fields of Life Sciences and/or application of life sciences technology.
  • Reflect on and revise service offerings as markets and customer’s needs change
  • Identify market opportunities where internal IP development could create new service offerings/business models
  • Pilot the roll out of new Advisory service lines

Experience & qualifications

  • An understanding of R&D strategy & execution in blue-chip businesses
  • Experience of working on sustainability projects within companies and/or consulting to this sector
  • Experience in a consulting environment
  • Customer-facing and selling experience in relationships valued >£1m per year
  • Evidence of energy and drive
  • Science postgraduate degree qualification in Life Sciences relevant discipline

Career development

We are committed to career development and make a focused effort to offer bespoke training and mentoring to allow each individual to thrive within their environment and realise personal potential.


We offer a highly competitive salary and benefits package.

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