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Updates From Our Chief Executive, Dr Emma Wilcox
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The Society's CEO Dr Emma Wilcox provides an update on key work and plans at the Society for our email newsletter. Initially posting once every two months.


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December Chair & Chief Executive Update

Posted By Sarah Ridgeon, 18 December 2019
Updated: 19 December 2019


This is a joint blog update from SocEnv’s Chair, Professor Will Pope HonFSE CEnv, and Dr Emma Wilcox, Chief Executive. 

Welcome to the December update, in which we review the last two months and look ahead to 2020.

SocEnv is continuing to centre its activities on tackling the Climate and Environmental Emergency via the championing of environmental competence – achieved through professional registration and by facilitating the sharing of good environmental practice. Our aforementioned governance review has provided us with an excellent platform as we move into 2020, with the development of our 2020-25 strategy which will be published early next year.

Our newly established Advisory Council recently held its first meeting – a Committee created to provide advice to the SocEnv’s Board and made up of our CEnv and REnvTech registrants, Honorary Fellows, Licensed Members and the wider environmental professional community. The meeting was praised by delegates for providing a fantastic platform to debate the environmental profession’s response to the Climate and Environmental Emergency, with insight provided from different sectors including the built environment, consultancy and Professional Body perspectives. To ensure SocEnv continues to provide a space for debate and good practice sharing, we will look to hold another Advisory Council event in the Spring of 2020.

As part of our climate action work, we have also co-founded the ‘Pledge to Net Zero’ initiative alongside AECOM, the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE), the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA), the Environmental Industries Commission (EIC) and WSP. Signatories to the pledge commit to setting science-based targets to tackle greenhouse gas emissions – the first industry commitment of its kind in the UK. The deadline to pledge is 31st January – with more information available on the website A webinar is also taking place on the 16th January, providing a straightforward guide to help organisations make the pledge.

For 2020 and beyond, we will be working to channel the expertise of our CEnv and REnvTech registrants via a range of other activities, including:


Thank you to all who helped make 2019 a success. We look forward to the many opportunities that lie ahead in 2020 – but in the meantime, best wishes for a great festive period from all at SocEnv! 



Tags:  CEO  chair  climate action  climate emergency  governance 

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October Chair & Chief Executive Update

Posted By Sarah Ridgeon, 24 October 2019

This is a joint blog update from SocEnv’s Chair, Professor Will Pope HonFSE CEnv, and Dr Emma Wilcox, Chief Executive. 



Welcome to the Autumn update.

In our previous updates we have reported on the hugely positive governance review SocEnv has recently enjoyed. With a new Board taking responsibility for SocEnv’s governance, we have assured our registrants and wider contacts of our sound governance (more details on these changes can be found on our website).

In September, these changes reached full fruition with the holding of the first Board Strategy Away Day – in which SocEnv’s direction and priorities for the coming twelve months were set out.

SocEnv’s key focus remains on championing environmental competence through professional registration. Over the next year, our activities will therefore focus around channelling the expertise of our Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) and Registered Environmental Technician (REnvTech) registrants to the maximum benefit of the environmental profession – and society as a whole.

Integral to this is maximising the role of environmental professionals in the response to the Climate and Environmental Emergency. The skills, experience and competence of environmental professionals is key if we are to successfully address the challenges in front of us – via the sharing of good practice and encouraging others to apply expert knowledge into action.

To facilitate SocEnv’s response we have established a separate Sub-Committee of the Board on “Climate” and the first meeting of our new "Advisory Council" – made up of our registrants, Honorary Fellows and Licensed Bodies – will be focused around the environmental profession’s response to the Climate and Environmental Emergency and will take place this December.

To ensure that environmental professionals can translate their competence into real impact, we are also currently surveying our registrants on their 'change agency' – exploring how much of a difference they feel they are able to make, including any barriers setting them back. In addition, we are conducting sector research into the experiences of employers – exploring how their sustainability skills requirements match up against the workforce, as well as the role of Chartership in ensuring staff competence. For more information on this research, please contact Sarah Ridgeon.

In our next update, we will be reporting back on our activity and further ways you can get involved. In the meantime, make sure to stay up to date with developments by following us on social media – you can find us on Twitter @SocEnv_HQ or as 'Society for the Environment' on LinkedIn. 



Tags:  CEO  chair  climate action  climate emergency  governance 

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August Chair and Chief Executive Update

Posted By Phil Underwood, 20 August 2019

New Apprenticeships, Employer Champions, Podcasts and Even a New Website!

This is a joint blog update from the Society's Chair, Professor Will Pope HonFSE CEnv, and Dr Emma Wilcox, Chief Executive. 

It has been another two very busy and positive months for the Society for the Environment - something we say quite often! Think new environmental apprenticeships, Employer Champions, podcasts, registrant profiles and even a new website. 

The Society is committed to working with employers to advance the competence of environmental professionals. In our June update, we noted the launch of our new Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) and Registered Environmental Technician (REnvTech) Employer Champion recognition programmes. Being recognised as a CEnv or REnvTech Employer Champion highlights an organisation’s support they provide to their staff to excel via environmental professional registration. This month, we are delighted to announce two new CEnv Employer Champions – Wills Bros Civil Engineering Ltd and Locogen. If you would like to showcase your organisation’s commitment to ensuring high standards through registration, click here to find out more about how you can become recognised as an Employer Champion. 

We are proud of the excellence, commitment and diversity of our registrants and showcase their achievements via our registrant profiles and monthly podcasts. Our latest profile highlights Helen Keenan CEnv, an Environmental Consultant registered as a CEnv via the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). Find out more about Helen and registrants from across the environmental profession via our website. You can also catch up on the two latest episodes of our podcast series, ‘Interviews with Environmental Professionals’, as we explore the careers of Steve Coles REnvTech and Jerome Baddley CEnv, registrants with the Institute of Water (IWater) and the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) respectively. Listen and subscribe to our podcasts here

Taking an active role in supporting the new Environmental Practitioner degree apprenticeship - the first level six apprenticeship for the environment sector - has been a rewarding experience and opens up a new path towards more competent environmental teams and professional registration. We champion all routes into the environmental sector that equip aspiring professionals with the necessary knowledge and experience to begin a successful and rewarding career in their desired discipline. Launched earlier this summer, with the first intake next month, now is the time to plan ahead to ensure your organisation doesn't miss out on employing an environmental apprentice in September 2020.

As always, we would urge you to keep a close eye on the Society's website and social media channels as we have a raft of exciting developments coming up (be sure to find us on Twitter @SocEnv_HQ as well as LinkedIn). This includes a new dedicated website for the Environmental Policy Forum (EPF) – going live to all this autumn. This new website will provide the perfect platform for showcasing the forum’s key policy projects and submissions as we bid to influence environmental policy and its formulation. We are also introducing two new Special Interest Groups led by our registrants, looking at the Climate Emergency as well as ‘Soil and Stones’, the latter encompassing the use and movement of soil and stone within a range of different sectors including forestry, construction and agricultural management. In September, SocEnv’s newly developed Board will also hold its Strategy Away Day, where they will decide on SocEnv’s direction and priorities for the coming twelve months. An exciting Autumn ahead!

Dr Emma Wilcox – Chief Executive, Society for the Environment

Professor Will Pope HonFSE CEnv - Chair, Society for the Environment

Tags:  Apprenticeship  CEnv Employer Champion  Climate Emergency  Degree Apprenticeship  Employer Champion  Environmental Apprenticeship  Environmental Policy Forum  Environmental Practitioner  EPF  Locogen  Profiles  Wills Bros 

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Summer Chair and Chief Executive Update

Posted By Sarah Ridgeon, 26 June 2019

This is a joint blog update from the Society's Chair, Professor Will Pope HonFSE CEnv, and Dr Emma Wilcox, Chief Executive.

Jerome Baddley CEnv with the 2019 Environmental Professional of the Year Award

Welcome to the Society’s Summer Update, wrapping up what has been a very busy and hugely positive two months for the Society.

June is always an exciting month for us, with the Society having acted as a leading champion of World Environment Day (5th June) in the UK for a number of years. Once again we have been heavily involved in the World Environment Day Awareness Campaign, this year focused around tackling one of the most significant environmental challenges that we face – air pollution. The campaign has been hugely successful, driving public engagement with the issue via social media and the collection of good practice case studies which can be found on our website. As part of the campaign, we also launched the air-pollution themed first podcast of our new series ‘Interviews with Environmental Professionals’, which you can listen and subscribe to here.

The Society’s World Environment Day celebrations were marked by our annual World Environment Day Awards and Lectures. Held on the eve of World Environment Day at the beautiful Kew Gardens, the event was attended by more than one hundred people and saw the presentation of a number of honours and an expert line-up of topical talks. We were delighted to crown Jerome Baddley CEnv as the recipient of our prestigious Environmental Professional of the Year award. Jerome is currently Head of Unit - the National Sustainable Development Unit for the NHS, Public Health and Social Care at the NHS and Public Health England. Amongst his many achievements, he produced the very first NHS carbon reduction plans and the UK’s first city-wide energy and carbon strategy for Nottingham, resulting in significant reductions in carbon use. A full round- up of the event and all those recognised can be found here.

 At this year’s Awards and Lectures we also celebrated the Society’s fifteenth birthday and we are grateful to all those who have contributed so much to the Society over the years. We also look to the future, as this landmark marked a new beginning for the Society, with the handing over of responsibility for the Society’s governance to our new Board. The changes implemented in this governance review provide assurance that the Society is well governed. More detail on these changes can be found via our website.

 Continuing to look ahead, the results of our Environmental Professionals Survey are now live and reveal a profession looking to the future with optimism. When compared to the results from the last survey in 2017, environmental professionals were more confident of their impact in delivering environmental protection and reported employers placing greater value on professional registration. The role employers play in championing professional registration has been recognised with the launch of our CEnv and REnvTech ‘Employer Champion’ recognition programmes, highlighting organisations that support their staff to excel. You can find out more about becoming an ‘Employer Champion’ here.

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Spring Chair and CEO Update

Posted By Sarah Ridgeon, 02 May 2019

This is a joint blog update from the Society's Chair, Professor Will Pope HonFSE CEnv, and Dr Emma Wilcox, CEO

Welcome to the Spring Update. It is wonderful to be able to report that following our receipt of Privy Council approval (without amendment) to the governance changes as approved by the Society’s last AGM in July 2018, "Her Majesty's Gracious Gift" was unanimously approved by our Constituent Bodies in the EGM on 24th April 2019.

Together with the unanimous approval of the “kick in” time/date proposed for these changes (00:01 BST on 4th June 2019) and the appointment of the new Board all as proposed, this sets us up well for the future.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our retiring Cabinet and Council members for all their sterling work and contributions over so many years (celebration details to follow), without which we would not be where we are today, and also to welcome our new Board members. The new Board of 15 replaces both the existing "Cabinet" of 10-12 persons, and the existing "Council" of nearly 50 members, helping achieve two of the objectives of the governance changes, which were to be both "refreshed and more modern" in our governance arrangements, and also to be "more agile and nimble" as we grow the Society in the future. As required by our Constituent Body members, the new Board must comprise a majority with CEnvs, and indeed the first Board is over 80% CEnv qualified.

The fifteen new Board members, which includes roughly 1/3 from the existing Cabinet, 1/3 from the existing Council and 1/3 new members - a good balance to ensure both fresh blood and continuity. 

Following the EGM on the 24th April, there will now be a "handover meeting" on the 15th May 2019 between the "old Cabinet" and the "new Board", in a joint meeting, and then the new Board will meet in its own right for the first time prior to the Society's AGM on the 4th June 2019.  We will then go on to hold a "new strategy and development" event in September 2019, as the new Board begins to develop its new strategy for 2020-25 and also starts a journey to mature in an organisational development sense, as a new Board.


Constituent Bodies will still meet in General Meeting, normally at an annual AGM to approve the accounts and the normal AGM matters (but can also meet at any time by calling an EGM) and can in extremis remove Board members - or indeed the whole Board. 

There will also be a new "Advisory Council" to be formed in 2019/20, which will not have a governance role, but which is intended to comprise those CEnvs, REnvTechs, HonFSEs and indeed laudable others who may wish to advise the Society on current environmental issues (e.g. environmental policy, or indeed any specific "wicked issue") - and we will be seeking Advisory Council members in the months to come. Your suggestions and indeed your willingness to volunteer would both be much appreciated, and you can do this by emailing

The Society's AGM will be held at Kew Gardens on the 4 June, on the eve of World Environment Day, and featuring a keynote speech from Dr Thérèse Coffey MP. One hundred and twenty people have already registered to attend. There will also be a number of lectures and presentations, including the HonFSE Lecture and the presentation of the 2019 Environmental Professional of the Year award. Make sure to register your place today (free for CEnv and REnvTech Registrants).

Finally - you may recall the Society’s well received 2015 publication Environmental Priorities for the next Government. We have now begun working on our next iteration of this document for 2019. We will gratefully receive suggestions for inclusion in this new document, and if you have a contribution you would like to make or suggest, please do email

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February CEO Update

Posted By Sarah Ridgeon, 21 February 2019

A Governance Update from Our CEO, Dr Emma Wilcox

Welcome to my February update which I am writing on a unseasonably sunny February afternoon. 

In 2017 the Council elected to review the Society’s governance to ensure continued good practice and sound decision making. A working group was created for this purpose led by the Honorary Secretary of the Society.

The exciting news for the Society is that the Society’s amended Charter and Bye Laws have been approved by Her Majesty The Queen and we are now moving to implementation.  Our new Board will assume responsibility at this AGM which is being held on the eve of World Environment Day at the beautiful setting of Kew Gardens. The Society is fifteen years old this year and we will certainly be taking the opportunity to celebrate the success of both the Society and its registrants. If you would like to join us please do let us know by contacting 

The Society’s new governance structure contains two key elements; the Member Bodies (members) in ‘General Meeting’ and a Board that the Member Bodies appoint to run the organisation on their behalf.  A standing Committee of the Board is our Registration Authority, with responsibility for development of Registration Standards and all Licensing decisions. In addition to the formal governance structure, our Council will also exist as a forum for debate of Society policies and advise the Board on broader issues, taking advantage of the breadth of the Society’s membership.   

Joining the Society’s Board promises to be a rewarding position. Our Board Members will be team players with a genuine commitment to the Society's vision, mission and values. 

For further information on the new governance arrangements, the new Board or any other elements of the Society for the Environment please do get in touch.

Dr Emma Wilcox, CEO

Tags:  governance  Policy 

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December 2018

Posted By Phil Underwood, 20 December 2018

A Merry Chief Executive Update from Dr Emma Wilcox

Hello, and welcome to the December update. I am very pleased to see that the number of people signed up to receive our newsletter updates are still growing significantly for each edition. Feel free to share the newsletter with your peers, networks, colleagues and friends – being a CEnv or REnvTech isn’t a requirement. I very much hope that you find the content useful.

Firstly, I’d like to wish you a very happy festive season and all the best for 2019. Throughout the year, we have been fortunate to see some wonderful work by our CEnv and REnvTech community to improve and enhance our environment. We know that 2019 will be challenging due to the dreaded ‘B’ word, but we are still confident that progress is being made to reach the UK Government’s ambition to ensure we leave our environment in a better state than we inherited it. Elsewhere in the world, we are seeing mixed messages, but we hope that countries will align their objectives for a greener future.

With the above in mind, we are pleased to include our new report on Greening the Industrial Strategy in this e-newsletter. The report evidences the work already underway to deliver on the Industrial Strategy and Grand Challenges. This work is illustrated by good practice case studies produced by Chartered Environmentalists – environmental experts in their sectors. The report has been sent to relevant Ministers and teams at Defra and BEIS to highlight the positive work that is taking place to protect and enhance our environment. 


the Society for the Environment’s office, we are pleased to welcome our new Policy and Communications Officer, Sarah Ridgeon. Sarah will be busy compiling the expertise of our registrants for policy responses and influencing policy makers. She will also be playing a key role in communicating our work and the positive work of CEnvs and REnvTechs. 
Plus, we are saying thank you to our Summer Intern, Rob Turner, who has since continued to work with us for one day a week whilst studying for his Masters in Chemistry and the University of Warwick. He is now dedicating his time to studying, which we wish him all the best with. Rob has made an excellent contribution to our efforts to offer the high-quality service the we aim for. He has made particular progress in improving the user experience on our website and bringing the registrations to life with some insightful CEnv profiles. Thank you Rob! 

Once again, I wish you a jolly and environmentally friendly festive season, from the team and volunteers at the Society for the Environment. If you’d like some top tips to have a more sustainable Christmas, please take a look at IEMA's Twitter feed - an idea a day!

Dr Emma Wilcox – CEO, Society for the Environment

Tags:  CEO  Christmas  Industrial Strategy  Policy 

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October 2018

Posted By Phil Underwood, 31 October 2018

A Governance and Brexit Update from Our CEO, Dr Emma Wilcox

It is certainly an interesting time to be an environmental professional. With our exit from the EU now imminent, the Society is focussed on ensuring that the UK’s environmental protections do not diminish, but are instead, enhanced. 

An ambitious Environment Act is required to give legislative backing to relevant elements included within the EU Withdrawal Act and the overall outcomes of the 25 Year Environment Plan, alongside the creation of a new governance body outside of the EU. For this reason, the Society is supporting the efforts of the Broadway Initiative, which is developing ideas and proposals for how to make the ambition for enhancing the environment a reality over the longer term. Broadway members include senior representatives of organisations from business, NGOs, professional bodies, and policy thinktanks and nationally recognised environmental, legal, regulatory and governance experts.

I am also pleased our next webinar series has launched, with part one (of a three-part series) going live on Thursday this week (8th November). This is the first of a number of expert led series with the aim of increasing opportunities for cross-disciplinary learning and discussing different perspectives on a subject from a variety of sectors. The first series is titled ‘Waste Reduction: Six Months on from a Plastic Themed World Environment Day’. 

As we move to the end of the calendar year, we are coming to the end of the Society’s governance review. At the AGM in July, the members voted unanimously to request some subtle changes to our Charter and Bylaws to ensure our governance remains fit for purpose. The proposed changes are currently with the Privy Council for consideration, and we will update you further on their progress in due course.

Finally, I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of our volunteers who have supported the Society this year. They are critical to our work, and we would not be able to deliver the work of the Society without them.  

Dr Emma Wilcox – CEO, Society for the Environment

Tags:  Board  Cabinet  CEO  Charter  Chief Executive  Council  Governance  Royal Charter  SocEnv  Society for the Environment 

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August 2018

Posted By Dr Emma Wilcox, 14 August 2018

A CEnv’s Place in the Employment World

But first, a huge "congratulations" to the Nuclear Institute for being granted a licence to award the Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) and Registered Environmental Technician (REnvTech) professional registrations to their appropriately experienced members. Find out more here


With increasing numbers of CEnvs across a broad range of professions and sectors, I wanted to this month focus on the employers of CEnvs and how they interact with the professional registration. For example, we see many cases of employers utilising the CEnv competences within their organisations to support their sustainability strategies.

How do you, as an employer, ensure that your team has the current level of professional competence to sign off your environmental management system? How do you prove to your clients that the environmental decisions for a project have been made by an expert with up-to-date knowledge in their discipline? CEnv status provides the reassurance required.

We know some employers require environmental matters to be approved are signed off by CEnvs, either in their staff or supply chain. This isn’t as wide spread as for Chartered Engineers currently, but the trend is in that direction – which the Society overwhelmingly supports.

The CPD element of professional registration ensures our registrants have proven, and subsequently maintained, their competence and are therefore ideal for leading on environmentally related decisions. It also highlights their commitment to their professionalism and to continual learning.

Employers are now starting to lead on the need for CEnvs within their teams and future plans. Staff development includes paths to CEnv registration and job adverts include CEnv as a requirement. We very much look forward to this continuing, and we will be boosting our efforts to ensure that it does.

To add to this, the requirement for CEnvs becomes apparent when noting the number of high level positions that CEnvs hold, including; Director of Environment, CEO, Chief Policy Advisor, Director of Engineering, Head of Environment Strategy, Group Head of Environment and the Managing Director of a bank. The likelihood of such individuals hiring CEnvs and creating company policy to ensure CEnvs are at the forefront of decision making is clear. 

From September, the Society is starting a programme of work to showcase those practices involving CEnvs, helping others learn and adopt a similar approach. Please get in touch to showcase the role CEnvs play in your organisation or if you would like to learn from others.

+44 (0) 345 337 2951

Dr Emma Wilcox – CEO, Society for the Environment

Tags:  Careers  CEnv  CEO  Chartered  Chartered Environmentalist  CPD  Directors  Employer  Employment 

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June 2018

Posted By Phil Underwood, 29 June 2018

A Busy Time at SocEnv HQ

Graham Powell CEnv (right) - Environmental Professional of the Year 2018. Presented by Chair of the Society, Professor Will Pope HonFSE CEnv

Welcome to the June edition of our e-newsletter. 

It is hard to believe July is almost upon us, although the beautiful weather across the UK certainly is proof enough. June has been a busy time for the Society. At the beginning of the month we celebrated World Environment Day, a global UN initiative that, this year, focused on the theme “beat plastic pollution”. We celebrated with our annual awards and lectures evening, culminating with the presentation of the 2018 Environmental Professional of the Year award to Graham Powell CEnv. Huge congratulations to all of the finalists! We have had some wonderful feedback – especially relating to the expert lectures and networking opportunities – and we’re already looking forward to World Environment Day 2019, during which the Society will mark the 15th anniversary of our Royal Charter!

The audience enjoying the expert talks at our awards and lectures on World Environment Day. Centre - Dr Costas Velis.

We are also preparing for our upcoming Council meeting and AGM on the 2nd July kindly hosted by Severn Trent Water who will be showcasing their work, alongside our important meetings. Our AGM will consider the Society’s governance arrangements, looking to ensure that we continually take account of good practice and the Society remains to be governed in the very best way possible.  

Turning to our policy and parliamentary activity, the Society has been working together with the Environmental Policy Forum (EPF) to prepare our response to the Government consultation on environmental principles and governance following our exit from the EU. There are a number of tricky issues to work through here, not least the enforcement powers of a new environmental watchdog and its relationships with pre-existing institutions. Extensive effort is also being channelled into our forthcoming report on Greening the Industrial Strategy, which collates case studies of Chartered Environmentalists’ work that demonstrate how the UK’s productivity drive can be more closely stitched together with environmental protection and enhancement. 

Dr Emyr Roberts HonFSE, Former CEO of Natural Resources Wales, reflecting on Welsh environmental policy after receiving an Honorary Fellowship from the Society.

Last, but not least, over the next few months we will be speaking to employers, government, other decision makers and registered environmental professionals (CEnvs and REnvTechs) to understand how well our registration meets their needs and to determine what may need to change to ensure our registrations continue to meet such needs into the future. We will continue to update on this work through the e-newsletters and on our website. However, if you would like to contribute your views please let us know using the following methods: 

Email us:
Call us: +44 (0) 345 337 2951

Wishing you all the best for the summer months. 

Dr Emma Wilcox – CEO, Society for the Environment

Tags:  AGM  Brexit  CEnv  CEO  Council  Policy  REnvTech  World Environment Day 

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