Guy is an environmental policy specialist with a broad background, working in policy advice, consulting and research roles. His comparative study of environmental decision-making in New Zealand and the Nordic countries (with collaborators at the University of Helsinki) highlighted the power of collaborative governance for integrating economic and environmental outcomes. He subsequently championed the adoption of collaborative governance practices in New Zealand, as well as researching their operation in several case studies. He has worked as a convenor, project manager, adviser and participant in a range of consensus-building policy processes in both rural and urban settings.
Guy has held many appointments providing policy advice to successive Governments, and the boards of Crown entities. He is a member of the Advisory Group on Green Growth, and of the Land and Water Forum. He has previously served on the boards of Landcare Research Ltd and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, and as a Trustee of the Cawthron Institute. He has been a member of the Technical Advisory Group on the Resource Management Act, and of two previous Review Groups on the Act, as well as of the Working Group on Environmental Administration. He has worked as a consultant policy adviser to governments on climate change, water management, electricity markets, fisheries, forestry, land transport and overseas development assistance. He has worked in developing countries in the Pacific, especially in Papua New Guinea.
His research activities are focused on collaborative governance studies, and on urban issues as a member of the University of Otago's research team on Resilient Urban Futures. He has advised local government in Auckland and Wellington on urban future issues. He has consulted to businesses in New Zealand and Australia on environmental strategies, collaborative solution-finding, and eco-labeling, working in diverse sectors including retailing, fishing, agri-food, mining and waste management.
A third-generation conservationist, Guy co-founded the Native Forests Action Council in 1975. He led the native forest conservation movement in many campaign successes, culminating in the abolition of the Forest Service and creation of the Department of Conservation in 1987. Since then, as chief executive of the Maruia Society and later the Ecologic Foundation, he has focused on the challenge of integrating economic and environmental perspectives in decision-making.