John Scotcher has worked in both regional government and one of South Africa's leading corporates, for the last 31 years. He spent 10 years as a research officer and regional scientist in the then Natal Parks Board, during which time he graduated with an M.Sc. (Natal) degree on the food preferences of hippo in the Ndumu Game Reserve and a Ph.D. (Wits) on the interrelations of vegetation and eland in the Natal Drakensberg. He then moved to management, and occupied the position of Chief Conservator Midlands for five years and Chief Conservator Drakensberg for another five years.

John then left the Natal Parks Board and joined Sappi Forests as their Environmental Manager where he worked for five years, successfully piloting the implementation of the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System into that operation - a first for Africa and one of the few multi-site certification systems in the world at that time.

After five years John moved to the Sappi Head Offices in Johannesburg, where he headed up the Southern African environmental operations. During the next five years, John helped develop Sappi's first world-wide group environmental policy, and ensured implementation of ISO 14001 as the environmental system of choice for the Southern African operations. He also managed the implementation of an environmental legal compliance review at all Sappi operations which resulted in the development of the first regional environmental management plan for Southern Africa.

When he left Sappi Forest Products in December 2003, John was heading up the EIA team for the proposed expansion to Sappi's Ngodwana Mill outside Nelspruit in Mpumalanga.