University honours top Hemel businesswoman

Dr Vivienne Cox
Dr Vivienne Cox

An internationally celebrated businesswoman who has made a significant contribution to the harnessing of renewable and alternative energy sources has been honoured by the University of Hertfordshire.

Dr Vivienne Cox, who lives in Hemel Hempstead, received the honorary award of Doctor of Science at a ceremony at St Albans Abbey.

Vivienne began her career with BP straight from Oxford University, where she read chemistry, and stayed with the company for 28 years, becoming executive vice-president and chief executive of its gas and renewables side.

Vivienne spearheaded a £4 billion investment into renewable energies, leading to the creation of BP Alternative Energy, which by 2009 had grown to make BP the largest investor in renewables among global oil and gas companies.

Vivienne, who retired from BP in 2009, holds a number of non-executive positions, including with the Department for International Development, and with the world business school INSEAD, from where she received her Master of Business Administration (MBA).

She has won many awards, including the Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of the Year, in 2007, regarded as the ‘Oscar’ for women in business.

From 2005 to 2007, Vivienne featured in Fortune magazine’s list of the World’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business.

She was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2016 New Year’s Honours, for services to the economy and sustainability.

As a chairman mentor at Chairman Mentor International Ltd, she mentors CEOs of international companies.

Locally, she gives of her time and expertise as a patron of Berkhamsted’s Hospice of St Francis.