Nigel Topping


We Mean Business


Nigel’s approach to the world has been forged by his experiences as a rugby player, mountaineer, mathematician and industrialist.  After 18 years in industry, having built TMD Friction into the world’s largest manufacturer of brake pads, Nigel has now been immersed in the world of climate change for ten years.  His is passionate about the power of business to address the world’s most pressing and complex challenges.  He serves as the CEO of We Mean Business - a coalition of organisations working on climate change with thousands of the world’s most influential businesses and investors and was directly involved in the recent negotiations which led to the Paris Agreement last December.   He serves on the Energy Transitions Commission and on the board of the Grantham Institute.   

Nigel lives with his wife Ann and their cat Vegas in Totnes, Devon, in the South West of England, close to the coast and the Dartmoor national park, both great spots for walking and birdwatching.   He holds a BA in Mathematics from Cambridge University and an MSc in Holistic Science from Schumacher College.   Having climbed mountains in Greenland, cycled across Iceland and skied across Patagonia as a younger man, the spirit of adventure is still very much alive.  Nigel sailed across the North Atlantic from Greenland to Iceland a couple of years ago and can describe in graphic detail what it feels like to spend a week sailing into wilder and wilder waves and weather, alone on watch in the dark, with the skipper’s welcoming words ringing in his ears – ‘Just remember one thing.  If you fall overboard you are dead’.