Our team

John Aston
Managing Director

John Aston has over 20 years' experience in project management, design and communication, in countries including Ireland, UK, France, Austria, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Yemen and Canada. His areas of expertise are largely in natural resources, energy and infrastructure projects for the private sector, World Bank or national governments, and include project design, implementation, environmental management, social responsibility and capacity building. He is a member of the technical committee which created the international stakeholder engagement standard AA1000SES(2011), finalised in 2011 and a visiting lecturer at a number of universities. John graduated in civil and environment engineering in Ireland and France (1989-94) and has a Masters in Environmental Management from Imperial College in London (1998-99).

Edmond McLoughney
Project Director

Edmond McLoughney worked for the UN for over 30 years in 10 different countries in Africa, the Caribbean and eventually Europe where he headed three UNICEF country offices focusing on creating government – citizen – business partnerships to enable a better future for children. Edmond graduated with a Masters in Social Science from Birmingham University in the UK (1984).

Peer reviewer

Meredith Sassoon has spent the last 25 years involved in the socio-economic and environmental management of mining projects in the UK and internationally. Her work has included a number of World Bank missions for the restructuring of the mining industry in countries such as Ecuador, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Romania. She spent seven years in Papua New Guinea, four of which as Environmental Manager for the Government Department of Minerals and Energy. She has also run a number of training workshops and was Chair for the Review Committee on large volume mine waste, mine closure and abandoned mines for the MMSD (Mining Minerals and Sustainable Development) project.  Meredith graduated with a MSc in Rural and Regional Resource Planning from Aberdeen University, Scotland in 1991.

Sustainability advisor and assurance provider

Alan is a senior advisor to corporations, governments and civil society with over 25 years of experience with sustainability issues, specialising in corporate responsibility, stakeholder engagement, monitoring and evaluation, and sustainability assurance. Alan has worked with many major international corporations in the utility, manufacturing, oil and gas, mining, aeronautics, chemical, pulp and paper and financial sectors, and has written extensively on a range of related standards and sustainability subjects. He has been a member of numerous boards and advisory and technical committees related to management systems; he has also experience in auditing, environmental and social performance evaluation and reporting, working in many countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, and North and South America. Alan has been a Senior Fellow at AccountAbility in London, a Vice President with ICF International in Toronto and Washington DC, and an Assistant Professor at McGill University in Montreal. He has published a number of books, studies, monographs and articles on a wide range of sustainability issues. Alan graduated with a Phd in Social Sciences from the University of Alberta, Canada; he is also a certified environmental auditor and accredited impact investment advisor and assurance provider.

Kathryn Hardcastle
Project Manager

Kathryn Hardcastle has over 20 years of experience in international consulting as both an environmental scientist and a stakeholder dialogue practitioner. She has supported project delivery and engagement processes throughout the EU and in Australia and South Africa. Most recently Kathryn has been supporting local governments and the third sector build partnerships to address sustainability issues in infrastructure projects. She has over 10 years' experience in facilitated dialogue and tailored stakeholder engagement trainings including facilitation skills and conflict resolution. Kathryn graduated from Murdoch University, Australia in Environmental Science (2002).

Elena De Bortoli
Environmental Manager

Elena De Bortoli has over 10 years of international consulting and project implementation experience in the Italy, UK, Yemen, Romania, Liberia, Sudan, Philippines and Eritrea. Her experience comprises provision of environmental advice, technical solutions, project management and auditing. She has worked in the Oil and Gas, Chemical and Petrochemical, Mining, Humanitarian and Water Supply sectors. Elena's expertise includes ESIA management for bankable projects according to guidelines and standards of the IFC, Equator Principles and World Bank . Elena graduated with a Masters in Environmental Engineering and Hydrogeology from the Politecnico di Milano (2000).

Calin Hodor
Biodiversity Specialist

Calin Hodor (Field Ecologist) is a biodiversity expert who has considerable experience working for a national and Pan-European park in the Carpathian Mountains, and leading the biodiversity section of national and international EIAs. Calin graduated in Zoology from the University of Bucharest (Biology Department) in 2000.

Andreea Savu
Project Manager

Andreea Savu has over seven years' professional experience in Romania, the USA and Slovakia. Her involvement in projects has ranged from project management and co-implementation to stakeholder engagement, strategic corporate & community communication, and facilitation of multi-stakeholder forums, training and reporting. Andreea graduated in Communications from the SNSPA in Bucharest (2008) and has a Masters in Multi-sector Partnerships from the University of Florida (2011), where she was a Fulbright scholar.

Multimedia Specialist

Dani Crisan has over six years' professional experience in graphic design, video production, web design and TV presentation. In astoneco he uses his skills to facilitate stakeholder engagement and for community empowerment.

Krystyna Larkham
Project Manager

Krystyna Larkham has a professional background and seven years' experience in environmental science, social and environmental research, education, stakeholder engagement and development of agriculture projects and multi-stakeholder platforms. She has worked in the UK, France, Romania and Slovakia. Krystyna graduated in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge (2006) and holds a MSc in Ecological Management from Imperial College, London (2007).

Kinga Niculescu
Project Manager

Kinga Niculescu speaks most major European languages and has been a member of the team for over 10 years, working on project managing community projects, events and administration in and around Romania. Kinga studied tourism management in Cluj-Napoca and graduated in business management from the University of Petroșani in 2008. 

Implementation Partners, Austria

Gabriele Faber-Wiener and Barbara Coudenhove-Kalergi are founders of the “Center for Responsible Management”, focussing on awareness raising and consulting of Business Ethics in Management and Communication. Both have more than 20 years of management and communications experience in all areas of society: The non-profit sector, the profit sector, politics as well as in consulting. Both are lecturers at different universities in Austria and Germany. Gabriele is the former president of the Austrian PR association and, since 2011, elected member of the Austrian PR Ethics Council. Her book about Responsible Communication was published by Springer in September 2013. Barbara has a longstanding experience in CSR and Responsible Business Conduct in Developing and Emerging Markets. She is the CSR-Expert at the Federation of Austrian Industries.

Project Manager for the German market

Gabriela supports organisations in strategic clarity and helps them successfully address sustainability and societal issues. Gabriela brings to the team her experience as an editor and journalist for a large Austrian quality newspaper and as a freelancer for various print-magazines and newspapers. This is complimented by her earlier apprenticeship in photography, work in graphic design and in the tourism industry as well as Public Relation and underpinned by a university degree in communication science and history. She has subsequently taken courses in Integral Coaching, CSR management and integrative project design. Besides from her project support work, Gabriela is also our German language contact point.