Mel Rowlands


2023 was a year of contrast for Mel Rowlands. For the first half, she was group general counsel for the FTSE100 company Smiths Group, a diversified industrial conglomerate with 20,000 employees. Following 10 years in a 170-year-old manufacturing business, Rowlands made the jump to Sonnedix, an international sustainable energy producer which has been around for a decade.

Rowlands heads up sustainability at Sonnedix as well as legal, compliance, government affairs and regulatory. So far, she has signed power agreements with Amazon, attended three board meetings and visited eight energy sites – from the Atacama Desert to the Alps. When not recovering from chronic jet lag, Rowlands works on bringing her lawyers closer to the business and getting under the skin of her owner-led, people-driven culture.

Looking ahead to this year, Rowlands seeks to refresh Sonnedix’s sustainability strategy and focus on real business value. She hopes to implement a global compliance program, learn how technology can support and reshape the business and step up Sonnedix’s non-financial reporting and regulatory advice.