About Us / Background
Goal7… what’s the name all about?
No, we have nothing to do with football! Our name comes from UN Sustainable Development Goal for Clean and Affordable Energy, Goal7. We feel this goal embraces the combined challenge of global energy inequality whilst transitioning to cleaner energy sources. This is the challenge that Goal7 has been set-up to play a part in addressing.
About Us / Our Purpose
Interesting… but what is it Goal7 actually does?
Goal7’s purpose is to work with greenhouse gas emitting companies to identify, quantify and reduce their impact on our climate, including transition to clean and affordable energy.
We believe that decisions and actions should be based on sound science, well-engineered and consider the impact, allowing rapid improvements whilst minimising the impact on economies. We do this by committing significant resources to research into the latest developments applicable to our business.
About Us / Our Values
Can you tell me about some of the things you really care about?
Based on our values, there are themes and objectives which overarch our work.
People first and foremost
We want to attract, recruit, develop, excite and retain exceptional employees from a diverse background
Great teams working together
Build effective teams recognising that collectively, we achieve more. We freely collaborate and share to achieve this.
Sustainability is central
Sustainability will be at the forefront of our minds in the advice we give our clients, how we run our business and how we live our personal lives.
Science at our core
Science guides our work and informs us as to what we need to do to address the climate emergency and that technology advancement will allow us to accelerate improvements. We will always follow a rigorous scientific process and be at the forefront of technology advances in our area.
Service quality second to none
We want to consistently produce work that we are proud of and that our clients will come back to us for.
Rule of 15
We like to take inspiration from things and in this case, the All Blacks First XV has contributed to our business values. There may be a few rugby fans on the Goal7 team. Adapted for the business world, these are the values Goal7 believes are important as a basis for sustainable business.
About Us / People
I’d like to get to know the
team… who are they?
As a kid I loved the outdoors. I worked on local farms, went hillwalking and, by what ever means I could, traveled up to the Scottish ski resorts to go skiing. Life out doors seemed a life well spent and life indoors revising did not. My shrewd father decided that a summer working for a construction company would be a good idea. This was a unique experience. Someone cutting the tree branch I was sitting on during site preparation and the back breaking process of installing a sewage outfall on my own for two weeks was character building but did make me realise that life without qualifications may be a hard life.
A bit more time spent at my desk resulted in going to University to study mechanical engineering. At university I got really interested in a emerging industry, subsea. It seemed very cool installing things in hundreds of metres of water, and controlling them miles and miles away. With good luck I managed to get a job with an oil company who had a very active subsea programme. The work was really interesting and led to a very enjoyable career building complex facilities, both underwater and on the surface.
Following this, founding a new business was a ‘scratch I had to itch’. With some colleagues we built a consulting business-up that we sold to one of the big oilfield services companies. This was a big challenge but very rewarding. The most rewarding aspect was working with a group of people and collectively setting a culture that was different, enjoyable and allowed people to flourish.
Sale of the business allowed me few months out to spend time with my family and to reflect on life. It gave me time to research the world around me and I became both alarmed and excited about the changes taking place. Alarmed because humans impact on our environment was not only something I could research, my life had provided the evidence too. Travelling around the world the appalling pollution in many major cities, the fact that my children can’t enjoy (or more accurately endure) the same Scottish skiing I did, our cars no longer have the thick layer of squashed insects on them that used to take hours to remove and that my mother lives in fear she will be flooded the next time there is coincident heavy rain and a high tide. Excited because I believe there is growing momentum to change how we interact with our environment, we have the capability to address it and the solution will be complex and one, being selfish, I can have a role in.
Part of the complexity is there is no one thing that we can do to solve the challenge. Energy provision on our planet should be considered multidimensional and a continuum. Where I grew was rural but we had the good fortune of having access to mains natural gas – many of the major trunk and feeders lines were installed within a few hundred metres of our house. It was a great privilege to have access to what was considered at the time clean and affordable energy. I am sure that in 40 years time the energy that we class as green energy today will have some undesirable impacts that have not yet been identified and the challenge will continue.
Whilst I now live on a working sheep farm, I grew up surrounded by heavy industry. I was born on Teesside, I can still taste the smell of ammonia and chlorine from the ICI Billingham factory - but at least we had plenty of fertiliser bags for sledging. Then we moved to Brunei – living on an oilfield: nodding donkeys on street corners; pipelines running along the sides of the roads; I used to pester my dad to detour and drive by the new LNG train getting built nearby; and I could see an old offshore platform from my bedroom window. I wasn’t surprised when my career path headed towards the oil and gas industry.
Growing up in the 1970’s, I saw the shipbuilding industry in North East England rapidly decline. My parents’ friends were either made redundant or went off to work in the Middle East, mainly in the oil and gas industry. When I started working in the early 1990’s in Leeds, the Yorkshire textile industry quickly moved offshore and I saw another UK industry collapse. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the common link!
So when people start talking about the death knell of the oil and gas industry, that moved me to action. I believe passionately that the oil and gas industry has a key role to play in Energy Transition - highly skilled people managing and executing technically demanding, complex projects often incorporating new technologies – that’s what we do.
At Goal7, I want to bring together the range of skills and technical backgrounds to help transform the industry - developing, scaling up and combining technologies to make a significant impact on reducing emissions.
I started my career as an environmental consultant on the wee isles of Orkney. It became apparent to me early in my career whilst assessing the impacts of all things oil and gas related, that if I could get involved in the project teams, with the engineering, then things could be different. There, I had a chance to influence the decisions being made. If we could figure out a way of not releasing the stuff in the first place, or making it less, I could stop assessing the impact of it on the world around us. I also much preferred engineering and technology. This is where I’ve found myself happiest; on project teams helping influence improvements in energy efficiency, reductions in emissions and developing technology.
15 years later after working in consultancy, various operators and building up different teams, I decided it was time to change course. James Paton and James Robinson contacted me out of the blue in mid-2020 and said many things I agreed with. These were two like-minded people I could see myself working with. So, in the middle of a pandemic, sitting in my office box working from home, the decision was made.
I announced to my husband, “I think I’m going to hand in my resignation, I’m joining a start-up, they want to do what I want to do!”
I’m sure at that point, he choked up his coffee, questioned my sanity, caught himself before uttering expletives, saying instead, “That’s great! Whatever makes you happy!”
My former boss asked me once, “How do you work where you do with the views that you have?”
He meant, how do I support oil and gas when I strongly believe that we need do things differently? The answer is simple. If you want to be part of change, then the best place to help that happen is within the industry, its supply chain and other organisations where change is needed. As a society, we are reliant on oil and gas and it will play a part in our energy mix and products in the future. We need to find a way to help this industry change how it operates and tap into its wealth of resources in people and technology. There is exceptional talent, skills and expertise in the engineers, scientists, and other disciplines that support the sector who can play a critical part shaping the future.
It’s clear to me the world is moving quickly, and we need to move with it. There is a climate emergency, and we can’t continue doing things how we’ve always done them.
Growing up in the Highlands of Scotland I was surrounded daily by some of the very best nature had to offer. This resulted in a privileged expectation of a clean environment but over the years it became apparent this is a select privilege and one that I wasn’t comfortable hoarding. Couple this with a sprinkling of prominent engineers in my life and I soon found myself at Heriot Watt, Edinburgh to begin my training as a Chemical Engineer. Throughout my degree the more I learned about the implementation of sustainability the more driven I became in understanding the challenges associated with it and the development in altering new and existing practices.
After graduating I found myself as an environmental engineering consultant working within the depths of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). Before I knew it was able to talk in a whole new language of acronyms and understand the merits and failings of the system. However, ultimately when it came down to it I didn't feel like I was doing enough. To this many will laugh and say don't take things so seriously. Now they probably have a point but when it boils down to it, I want to be part of the difference that I want to see in the world.
Now as an engineer I have to admit I love a graph and yes I do have a favorite. It’s a relatively simple one that illustrates energy consumption per person and the quality of life index per country. The reason I love this graph is because it perfectly illustrates how access to energy can drastically improve someones life, whilst also highlighting that quality of life stagnates after a certain level of consumption. Both highlighting the need for affordable energy in the countries with low energy consumption per person and energy efficiency within the countries with excessive energy consumption per person. Essentially it perfectly illustrates the need for UN SDG 7.
So when I was contacted by Goal7 mid pandemic their goal quite literally struck home with me and I decided to take a chance. It's amazing to get to go to work and feel like a kid in a sweetie shop albeit less tooth decay inducing and more a kin to an engineers paradise. Where research, industry knowledge and economics merge to propose real strategic change. Now I know that this may all sound quite dreamlike and ambitious, perhaps you are already chuckling at my young naivety and I wouldn't blame you, a degree of scepticism in the world is not a bad thing. But I would like to invite you to stop and let yourself dream even for a second. Now take that idea and apply sound advice and just maybe, that can be a step towards creating the energy system of tomorrow.
Work hard, is an ethos my dad instilled in me from a young age. That resulted in a few jobs that don’t make it to my CV these days: paper boy, shelf stacker, removal man, tele sales, fish factory worker, taxi driver, barman. Then came university, followed by something a little less hard work (a gap year, or two travelling the world).
I started my professional career in a traditional Accounting role. I quickly realised this didn’t really fit well with me. The confines of a prescribed financial statement format didn’t leave much leeway for excitement, and we all know that adding creativity to accounting doesn’t end particularly well.
Fast forward 15 years, I’d experienced a vast array of different roles in the oil and gas industry, with E&P companies, a small consultancy and the worlds largest oilfield service provider. I was afforded opportunities that allowed me to spread my wings; work with some outstandingly talented people, learn, make mistakes, manage teams, as well as learn new skills along the way. My experience in accounting was supplemented with data analytics, economics, commercial and project management
During an enforced sabbatical, waiting for a work visa, I was seriously considering both an industry and career change. Being outdoors has always been a happy place form me, from mountain biking in the highlands of Scotland, to hiking in the Appalachian trails in the US. I decided that an RV road trip with my dog Lucy and my trusty mtb, would be an ideal way to clear the cobwebs and formulate a plan. To paraphrase Rabbie Burns, the best laid schemes gang aft agley. Before the planning phase had even begun, James Paton threw a spanner in the works.
When both James's outlined their vision for Goal7, and offered me a role, I was incredibly excited, but also acutely aware that I had no direct experience in the world of energy transition and reducing emissions. "To have an influence we need to be successful" were some words from James, that echoed in my mind for quite some time. I strongly felt they wanted to help make positive change in the oil and gas industry, and with luck beyond.
Alas, I couldn’t accept the offer at that point. With no visa yet approved, the road trip was back on, but with a different purpose. Research research research…Energy transition, the science of global warming, policies, and an ever growing number of new acronyms. I loved it, happily going down rabbit holes, resurfacing hours later. The more I read the more fascinated I became. The realisation that there is so much more to the climate challenge than I anticipated is a little overwhelming at times, but I feel with the application of sound business principles in conjunction with science, technology and hard work we can make a difference.
would’ve thought a suggestion from my physics teacher when I was 16
would define so much for me? “Since you like physics and maths Debbie,
have you considered engineering?” Intrigued to find out more, I went on a
short course organised by Smallpeice Trust and was subsequently
hooked. I absolutely loved the problem solving! I had just enough
qualifications to get into uni so ditched the last year at school and
went to study engineering. Engineering society site visits to nuclear
submarines at Rosyth and St Fergus Power Stations only served to fuel my
interest! Looking back, I feel very lucky that I had such a clear idea
of my career path.
30 years on, I’m still certain I chose well and
cannot understand why more people don’t choose to study engineering. My
interest in how & why things work the way they do continues and the
reward I get when I see what I’ve been designing for months being built
is so very special.
I hate pollution, I hate chemicals. I’m scared
of the unseen, unknown damage they are causing. I used to feel
embarrassed about holding my breath as I pass behind a vehicle to avoid
the exhaust fumes and took many years to tell anyone this! I no longer
feel this – I see the kids animatedly doing the same thing – and that’s
without asking them to do it! We all know that they would only breath
in deeper at the back of the car – if their parent suggested not to do
it!! Only now do I feel that electric car technology and life cycle
emissions have reached the stage that we can begin to drop the internal
combustion engine. Maybe my breath holding can finally stop! Watch this
My life for the past 20 years has revolved around children, but as they are beginning to plough their own furrows, I have been contemplating for the past 2 years what I do next. What is the world going to look like for them, their children and grand-children? I don’t have these answers but I do know the world takes a long time to change and we can start now because every difference adds up. We can all make efficiencies in our everyday lives but working with Goal7 means I can be part of effecting even greater changes in our world.
I’ve always enjoyed problem solving, perhaps because as a kid I was often creating problems. Not in a mischievous or malicious sort of way, but more from my curiosity and sense of adventure. Maybe it came about from fiddling with something I probably shouldn’t have or an injury which resulted in a trip to A&E.
So, when I excelled at physics, maths and geography in school I naturally focused on STEM. Pushed on by enthusiastic teachers, this progressed towards a degree in Mechanical Engineering. I wanted to study and work in a field which makes tangible impacts to the world we live in. So, after leaving school I moved to the big smoke and studied for five years at the University of Strathclyde in central Glasgow, where I became heavily involved in the mountaineering and kayaking clubs.
Between climbing, kayaking, and skiing, I seem to have a knack for picking “dangerous”, expensive hobbies. But I wouldn’t have it any other way! I love the sense of adventure, pushing myself to develop new skills and master them when there’s very little room for error. However, I think the most fulfilling element of these outdoor pursuits comes from the communities that surround them. Whether it’s the trust you develop with your belay partner before racking up for your next challenge or the person you’ve just met on the pub night, everyone is a friendly face who shares the same passion for the outdoors.
Scotland is the perfect playground for these activities and shows us why we need to work so hard to preserve it. Returning back to Grampian each summer I would watch as the fields and forests I grew up in were swallowed by the inexorable march of progress. And living in the shadow of Aberdeen everyone has been affected by the North Sea oil and gas industry. Combined with my passion for the Scottish outdoors this has fuelled my ideas for a more sustainable future. It is clear we need to accelerate the energy transition and reduce worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.
As a graduate engineer I wanted to work in an industry which could shape this development, overcoming challenges in society, economy, and the environment. So, after graduating mid-pandemic without ceremony and a couple months into the job hunt, I was delighted to be contacted by Goal7. Through my research and interviews with both the James’ it was clear Goal7 aligned with my ideals, with a collaborate team highly passionate about building a more sustainable future. Becoming immediately involved in projects with clients has been incredibly exciting and rewarding. I look forward to continue learning and growing with a focus on future energy solutions to provide clean and affordable energy for all.