The UK’s environment agency has announced that Ed Mitchell will take on the responsibility of Director of Environment and Business. Mitchell, who is said to have vast experience in both the public and private sectors, replaces Tricia Henton, who has held the position since March 2005.

Mitchell will now lead Environment Agency regulation programmes on water, waste, climate change, sustainable development, land and the natural environment. “We know that it’s been a tough time for business, and we want to make it as easy and efficient as possible for businesses to comply with their environmental obligations.  I want to cut red tape so that they can concentrate on their bottom line while performing well environmentally,” he said.

“We’ll make it less burdensome for the majority of responsible businesses, concentrate our efforts on persistent polluters, and take robust action against businesses that flout the law.”

“We’ve achieved great things for the environment over the past 10 years, but there will always be new challenges to meet. Among these priorities are helping the nation meet new water quality targets, supporting local authorities and communities in planning and adapting to climate change, and reducing the causes and impacts of pollution.”

Mitchell was previously Director of Environment and Corporate Responsibility at RWE Thames Water and worked in environmental management for GlaxoSmithKline. He is also a non-executive Director for Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor, a not-for-profit company he helped set up that provides water services to people living in poverty in the developing world.