Obituary: Stephen Lings

Creative Director for Energy Efficiency Awards passed away on Saturday after long illness


Published 21 days ago (2nd Apr 2024 12:01)
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It is with much sadness that we report the passing of Stephen Lings, the Creative Director behind the Energy Efficiency Awards and editor of the Energy Efficiency Handbook.

Steve was an exceptional person whose endless enthusiasm for the natural world was an inspiration to all who knew him.

Born in Middlesborough in 1961, Steve showed an early artistic ability. This talent was fostered by his mentor, Sir Peter Scott, co-founder of the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (now known as WWF), who encouraged Steve to paint the local wildlife found around the North East of England.

At art college, Steve developed a skill for graphic design, and went on to win the Youngblood Young Designer of the Year prize several years running. This led to him moving to London to work for the major advertising and marketing agencies including Saachi & Saachi, BBH, and Ogilvy & Mather.

His work has been seen by millions of people, in ad campaigns for the likes of British Airways, or in the form of the Pegasus flying horse for TriStar Entertainment movies.

As an illustrator he worked on hundreds of books, and for most of the national newspapers. He was a copiest for cartoon strips and comics which led to his becoming the illustrator of the Thomas the Tank Engine books, and an originator for Disney.

Working for travel company Kuoni, Steve travelled the world illustrating travel brochures. This allowed him to indulge in his passion for studying wildlife in the countries he visited.

His wildlife paintings are highly regarded and can be found in some of the greatest art collections around the world.

He painted commisions for many famous people including Princess Anne, Sir David Attenborough and The King of Nepal.

Recognised as an expert entomologist, Steve was obsessed with moths, butterflies and bugs of all kinds.
A PADI diver, he also contributed to the the UN Commission on Oceans and Reefs.

 

As a conservationist Steve was an outspoken activist for action. He was heavily involved in Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Born Free Foundation, Rainforest Concern, and the RSPB, as well as WWF. 

During the 1990s Steve pioneered affinity business models, creating insurance companies and telecom companies that passed a percentage of customer savings over to charities. He also developed a business to promote environmental and sustainable businesses. Big Green Book went on to become the largest business network for sustainability in the UK.

 

As Creative Director and Editor-in-Chief for Greener Times Media, Steve was responsible for creating the Sustainability Handbook, the Energy Efficiency Handbook, Social Housing Today, and Greener Times magazines.

The world has lost a truly unique man, and we have lost a friend and inspirational leader.