Jonathan Essex

Principal Consultant, Cities and Resilient Development

Twenty years of experience in international development, sustainable construction and enterprise development, civil engineering.

Jonathan Essex is a Chartered Environmentalist and Civil Engineer with over twenty years of international and UK experience in low and zero carbon development/transition in developing and developed country contexts. This includes focus on resource management and embodied carbon, sustainable construction and investment, and policy/strategy development.

Jonathan is experienced both in working with private sector and donor agencies to mainstream sustainability into delivery,  including working with NGOs and entrepreneurs to trial new enterprises and approaches. Jonathan was Project Manager for the production of Green City Guidelines for a green and inclusive urban development strategy for secondary cities in Rwanda. He also managed two small studies for the Government of St Helena, investigating export of hazardous waste and recommendations for a green budget for the island.  

Jonathan returned to IMC after eight years focused primarily on sustainable construction, reuse and embodied carbon, developing  business cases for social enterprises and entrepreneurship and working to maximise sustainability during the demolition and construction phase of the London 2012 Olympics.

“Long-term sustainability requires our actions to improve resilience through climate adaptation and DRR to leverage strategies that reduce rather than lock-in greenhouse gas emissions. This transformational development must mainstream solutions that ‘leapfrog’ our current fossil fuel dependency.

Half of our climate impact is in what we build and what we buy. Addressing this requires a shift from investment that expands infrastructure to investment that creates inclusive and low-impact livelihoods.”


  • Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv)
  • Chartered Civil Engineer (MICE, CEng)
  • Fellow, Royal Society of Arts (FRSA)
  • MSc Environmental Decision Making, Open University
  • MSc Development Management, Open University
  • BSc Civil Engineering, Durham University