Nicholas is currently the President of Clean Technology Systems, a small consultancy that offers services to support the development and deployment of energy systems that advance society to a cleaner and more sustainable future. He has been active in the clean technology and sustainability community for over 40 years, working as a senior executive for organizations – corporate and non-profit – in China, Canada, Sweden, France, Austria and Switzerland.
From 2005 until September of 2013 he was Executive Vice President at Westport Innovations Inc. and President of Westport Europe and Asia. Westport, based in Vancouver, is a leading global developer and supplier of engine and alternative fuel technologies that allow internal combustion engines to operate on clean-burning gaseous fuels such as natural gas, hydrogen, and hydrogen-enriched natural gas. From 2002 – 2005 Mr. Sonntag served as President of CH2M HILL’s operations in China and HK based in Beijing. From 2000 to 2002 he was President of CH2M HILL Canada, based out of Toronto. Prior to CH2M HILL he served for 4 years as the Executive Director of the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) in Stockholm, Sweden, an international research institute working on many aspects of sustainability in both developed and developing countries.
In 1991-92 Nicholas was the Chief of Staff to the Secretary General of the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Geneva where he co-led the international team that wrote the Agenda 21 document. He has also worked as Chairman/CEO of ESSA Technologies in Vancouver, Director of Partnerships at the International Institute of Sustainable Development (IISD) in Winnipeg, and Research Fellow at the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) near Vienna.
Nicholas currently spends his time between Gibsons, B.C. and Vancouver.