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    Pl​anet Before Profit

Derek Wilson - ZCC Founder and CEO

Planet Before Profit - Our founder's journey

Inspired by his dad's love of the sea and the early television documentaries by the pioneers of the undersea world, Hans Haas and Jacques Cousteau, Derek spent most of his early teenage years snorkelling and scuba diving all around the west coast of Scotland, exploring reefs, wrecks and the never-ending kelp forests full of seals, salmon and the occasional shark!

This expensive hobby needed funding and Derek's entrepreneurial flair enabled him to fund his expeditions and scuba gear costs by selling a "hand-picked" selection of scallops, lobsters and fish to high-end seafood restaurants, which resulted in a rather lucrative first venture! 

By the time he was 18 and saved enough money from scallop diving, he expanded his horizons to more exotic locations and set off backpacking through Israel, from Tel Aviv down to the Dead Sea and eventually to the Red Sea paradise of Eilat. The breathtaking beauty of fireball desert sunsets, jagged mountain peaks and highly specialised desert plants and wildlife were all incredible, but the real highlight was the astonishing marine biodiversity thriving in the Red sea.

When surfacing from a reef dive and looking back onshore to the vast expanse of empty, silent sand dunes, deserts and mountains beyond, the contrast with the life below was astonishing... 1,000's of multi-coloured fish all different shapes and sizes bristling with spines and fins, tails and teeth!

Columns, branches and fans of coral covered the rocks "popping" with life and the surrounding sea bed was patrolled by numerous sea urchins, starfish and molluscs. Radiantly coloured Sea anemone and fern corals were filter feeding in the rich plankton soup, while a passing stingray and lions mane jellyfish floated past under the watchful eye of a majestic sea turtle.

Paradise Lost.

An unforgettable life-affirming day, but one which tragically can never be repeated. This marine paradise has been decimated by fossil fuel-driven climate change, ocean acidification, sea temperature rise and pollution from 10,000 cruise ships and the sprawling coastal tourist resorts pumping waste directly into the sea.

Today the Red sea reefs are grey and barren wastelands, silent and devoid of life or colour, home only to trapped plastic bags and discarded fishing nets waiting to snare the last of the bewildered reef survivors in a deadly nylon embrace.    


The tragic loss of this marine paradise reinforced Derek's determination to find solutions to the problems driving the biodiversity extinction. So Derek started "EarthCall Telecoms", an ethical telecoms company which donated 50% of its profits to a range of environmental and humanitarian charities. EarthCall became the fastest growing telecoms franchise in the Cable and Wireless group and despite C&W's decision in 2001 to close down the UK reseller programme, it proved to Derek that his Planet Before Profit ethical model was the future of sustainable business and the best way he could contribute to protecting ecosystems and biodiversity.

Green hydrogen shoots.

Derek spent the next decade researching and developing his utopian vision of a zero carbon / zero pollution, hydrogen-based economy, where every country could generate its own abundant and affordable clean energy. Using just the sun and the wind to power PEM Hydrogen electrolysers, everyone on Earth could benefit from clean energy and be able to desalinate almost unlimited volumes of seawater, which could irrigate parched arable land and in many countries "green the desert". 

In Derek's mind there was now only one game in town: Simultaneously decarbonise global energy, solve the freshwater & food shortages, halt the biodiversity extinction crisis and reverse ecosystem destruction, all with one silver bullet...The green hydrogen economy. Ambitious stuff!


Keep fossil fuels in the ground, replace them with Hydrogen and Protect, Restore and Fund biodiversity 

Not everything is as black and white as it appears

For some, sea-level rise is already an issue 

Jacob Haynes - ZCC strategy and COO 

The young generation 

Having trained as a scientist & researcher across multiple disciplines, Jacob has multiple years of experience in business strategy and product development and sits at the junction between business and technology. With a background working in corporate consulting and at C-level within a tech startup, he aligns high-level business goals and innovative ideas with the right technology to create truly economical and viable green power and fuel solutions. 

Angus Walker 

ZCC is proud to be working with Angus Walker of BDB Pitmans. Angus specialises in acting for clients who wish to promote or oppose applications for development consent orders (DCOs) for nationally significant infrastructure projects under the Planning Act 2008, with a leading practice in this field. "The leading infrastructure lawyer of his generation, there is no one with his experience or expertise in nationally significant infrastructure projects." LEGAL 500 UK 2020.

Dr Dallia Ali

ZCC is proud to be working with Dr Dallia Ali (Robert Gordon University) PhD, MSc, BSc (Honours), Chartered Engineer CEng, Associate of the UK Higher Education Academy (HEA), Member of the UK Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET), Member of the US Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Power & Energy Society (PES) and the Smart Grid Community. Dr Dallia's expertise includes energy efficiency, renewable generation and storage, Hydrogen technology, fuel cells, green buildings, energy management, power systems analysis, and subsea power supply. 

"All energy is only borrowed and one day we must give it back”                 James Cameron- Avatar 2009

“All we can do is decide how to spend the time we are given”           J.R. Tolkien – Fellowship of the Ring 1945

“Man did not weave the web of life, we are merely a strand in it…Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself"   Chief Seattle 1846

“All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the children of the earth” Chief Seattle 1848

“Within every adversity lies the seed of an equal or greater benefit” Chief Seattle 1849

“Happiness is just an illusion unless it is shared with someone you love” Christopher McCandless - His last words 1992