After a PhD in Astrophysics and an energy and environment MSc at Glasgow Caledonian University. After working for CSV and Strathclyde Regional Council, he was appointed Head of Research at FoE Scotland in 1994. He worked on issues as diverse as climate change, bathing beaches and fish farming. He moved to become Head of Policy with WWF Scotland in 2002 and Richard became Director of WWF Scotland in July 2005.
He helped set up Transform Scotland and Stop Climate Chaos Scotland coalition. In 2011 WWF Scotland won the Great Places to Work award for best charity workplace in Scotland. In January 2013 Richard became Director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, where he continues to work on energy and climate issues, as well as air quality. He serves on the boards of SEPA, Stop Climate Chaos Scotland and SNIFFER.