This website uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some of these cookies are used for visitor analysis, others are essential to making our site function properly and improve the user experience. By using this site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Click Accept to consent and dismiss this message or Deny to leave this website. Read our Privacy Statement for more.
Environmental Professional Blogs
Blog Home All Blogs
Blogs and articles written by Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) and Registered Environmental Technician (REnvTech) registrants, as well as Honorary Fellows of the Society (HonFSE).


Search all posts for:   


Top tags: CEnv  Chartered Environmentalist  pollution  Chartered  Environment  HonFSE  25 Year Environment Plan  25YEP  CIWEM  CIWM  Plastics  Recycling  Waste  Articles  BBC  Biodiversity  Bioeconomy  Blue Planet  Careers  CEng  Chair  Chartered Forester  Clean Growth Strategy  Conference  DEFRA  Energy  Engineering  Ersatz-Plankton  FICFor  Flooding 

#iamCEnv with Eur Ing John Yarnall CEnv CEng FIMMM MISME

Posted By Phil Underwood, 08 September 2020

To contribute to #iamCEnv, I’m taking some time as a Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) to share and reflect on…

    • what I do
    • why I do it
    • what my career journey looks like so far
    • my advice for aspiring CEnv registrants
    • the impact of diversity.

To start with, my benefits of being a registered CEnv with SocEnv are to prove effective knowledge of sustainable environmental best practice via my surface engineering and industrial manufacturing technology consultancy.


What do I do and why?

As a professional materials scientist working as a consultant in the broad field of surface engineering (SE). I am involved in many areas of advising industrial engineers in best practice methods to help solve wear and friction issues in moving surfaces in contact with each other. To aid my selection of suitable anti-wear surfacing, I often advise on the use of effective lubrication and surface coating regimes to be applied to mating components and tools which are both cost effective, energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Many such surfacing technologies are thankfully fully compliant with current ISO and BS standards which meet most European regulations. However, there are still many surface treatment and coating processes which are clearly toxic and adversely affect the environment by causing damage to biodiversity and its human environs.

I find that my role as an industrial consultant provides me with much scope to help mitigate these challenges by providing informed knowledge as a CEnv to fellow engineers and manufacturing staff of the companies I visit on the best materials action plans for their manufacturing process routes. A typical scenario is my advice on REACH regulations (and its UK Brexit Equivalent) using alternative surface coatings to any which do not comply with current regulations, and/or are non-sustainable and pose a risk to human or water/animal ecosystems. My keen mission is to promote best practice surface engineering whilst having a scrutinising eye on the status of environmental and energy ‘net gain’ advantages of any new SE system I propose.

This scope to my consultancy was one of the reasons I wanted to become a Chartered Environmentalist registrant with SocEnv, and to develop my understanding of how engineering and science dovetails into our decisions for making parts and artifacts which do not adversely affect our planet’s resources or animal/plant ecosystems.


My career journey to date

My journey as a professional member of our materials community has taken me through many academic and manufacturing avenues. I have been involved with materials technology with several international group companies during the past 35 years. Many of my career positions have entailed the need to balance technology with health and safety and environmental awareness at senior management level. During the past seven years, I have headed up my independent consultancy to advise many sectors such as automotive, aerospace and medical/food/beverage, on many issues related to surface engineering. I am an active Fellow member of IOM3 and play an active role with our East Midlands Materials Society and a Council Member of the Institute of Sheet Metal Engineering, based in The West Midlands. I also play a volunteering role for the South Staffordshire branch of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT), based at Stirling University, Scotland.


Advice for aspiring environmental professionals

My advice to all environmental professionals engaged with manufacturing, engineering, food supply, bioengineering and energy is to always consider the environmental ‘e’ in the equation when designing a new system, or assessing an existing one to make a process more cost effective and less energy intensive.


The impact of diversity

Diversity of environmental systems is now becoming ever more important to help us understand our global responsibility to sustaining our animal and plant life on earth. Without diversity protection our sustainable resources will dwindle, and life forms will be affected beyond recovery as we are now experiencing with the loss of habitats for sustaining pollinating insects such as our bees, insects and butterflies. The economic affect to food production of fruit and crops because of the decline of pollinating insects in Europe is now running into many £millions per year! Diversity and its sustainability is paramount as we head towards 2050.


So, let’s keep our momentum as SocEnv registrants, and promote the mantra: to protect and sustain our environment in whatever field or activity and occupation we find ourselves in.

John Yarnall CEnv



To explore the world of Chartered Environmentalists more, visit the #iamCEnv hub or search for #iamCEnv on LinkedIn, Twitter or YouTube.


John is a Chartered Environmentalist through membership of IOM3.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Society for the Environment.

Tags:  Careers  CEng  CEnv  Chartered Environmentalist  Engineering  iamCEnv  IOM3 

PermalinkComments (0)

The Value of Professional Membership - Martin Ballard CEnv

Posted By Phil Underwood, 06 August 2020

I have personally and professionally driven membership from perhaps 1998 onwards. I am so delighted that an ex colleague and friend has gained her MIWater and CEnv, been brave and built her confidence in setting her own venture and gaining well due recognition as the joint 2020 Environmental Professional of the Year with SocEnv, alongside an environmentalist of a corporate giant.

Mandhy Senewiratne CEnv has been an exemplar candidate for “why bother” with environmental professional registration. Confidence, competence assurance and calibre validation – all virtues tested professionally with membership, resilience to career and test of Chartership. I know now that there are streams of colleagues lined up with IEMA and CIWM to do the same, and I do really hope that they have been able to focus on self, and their personal needs and career through the lockdown period, to liberate their potential with professional and chartership recognition. Time will tell!

I did not pass my driving test on the first time of asking. I failed on a hill start at a roundabout, driving up from the beach front at Barry Island (Wales). It was a tough challenge and one of the steepest hills in Glamorgan, outside of the Valleys, to test my clutch control. Why is this important? Connecting personally with the toughest challenges that we face in the environment we are operating in today will stand us well for the future. I was less than impressed with the driving test instructor on the day, but on reflection, I have yet to fail on a hill start anywhere in the country since, on steeper, icier or wetter roads.

If we’re to be the best that we can be for the present, the known future and the challenges that the future extremes will inevitably now place upon us as professionals in corporate and public roles, we need to challenge ourselves with our peers and test ourselves to be the best that we can be with resilience for the future.

Organisations need individuals with the breadth and depth of environmentalist professionalism, in a cross section of roles, which will allow them to be discipline focused on design, commercial, operational or corporate roles, whilst collaborating beyond their discipline sphere for personal and organisational resilience. Professional membership with member bodies of the Society for the Environment (SocEnv), which is an umbrella framework that represents interests transcending sectors and technical disciplines, provides the professional and corporate opportunity to commit to the principle aspects of the Triple Bottom Line for a sustainable future, with stronger environmental recognition of roles within all sectors across the five capitals.

- - -

Webinar: The Value of Professional Registration

Martin was one of our special guests on the recent webinar "The Value of Professional Registration - Insight from the Environment Agency and Willmott Dixon". The webinar is now freely available to watch as a recording below.

Martin is a Chartered Environmentalist through membership of IEMA.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Society for the Environment.

Tags:  CEnv  Chartered Environmentalist  CIWEM  CIWM  IEMA  Membership. Chartered  Professional Registration  Willmott Dixon 

PermalinkComments (0)

Biodiversity 2020 and the National Biodiversity Network at 20

Posted By Wilma Harper CEnv, 17 June 2020

Chartered Environmentalist, Wilma Harper, Talks to SocEnv 

Tell us about yourself

I’m a Chartered Forester and Chartered Environmentalist. When I retired from the Forestry Commission in 2016 I was keen to use my experience at Board level in non-executive roles in the biodiversity and forestry sectors.

I have been active in the local natural history society and had also become a director of The Wildlife Information Centre, the local biological records centre. I was thus pleased to be appointed a trustee of the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Trust.

Bioblitz at Cashel Native Forest. Wilma Harper CEnv


What is The National Biodiversity Network (NBN)?

The NBN is the UK’s largest partnership for nature, with over 200 members and more than 235 million wildlife records available through the NBN Atlas. It has been championing the sharing of biological data since 2000. 

As has been highlighted during the current Covid-19 lockdown, many people get great satisfaction from noticing the natural world around them. By recording what people see, it is possible to build up a picture of biodiversity across the country and how it changes through time. These biological records are verified by experts, curated by a wide range of organisations and then aggregated and shared regionally primarily by Local Environmental Record Centres and then nationally in the NBN Atlas.  

Much of the data comes from volunteers and citizen scientists, some of whom are considerable experts in their field.  But sharing and validating the data also requires professional environmentalists, biodiversity scientists and taxonomists whose work underpins this evidence base. Data held on the NBN Atlas is used by a variety of people and institutions from researchers in academia to the government agencies and local authorities in support of their statutory functions. How the data can be used is determined by the data owners who set the licence conditions.

Wood Mouse - Apodemus Sylvaticus. Wilma Harper CEnv


How do Chartered Environmentalists fit in?

Chartered Environmentalists come from a broad spectrum of backgrounds but all share a commitment to a code of professional standards and promoting charter level recognition of Environmentalist as a profession. In their daily work they may be carrying out or commissioning the ecological surveys which generate biodiversity data. They are often the decision makers who have to ensure that biodiversity information, including the data collated by the NBN, is part of the evidence base for major development projects.  

Evidence of Beavers - Aberfeldy. Wilma Harper CEnv


What would be your biodiversity message for SocEnv registrants?

I’d like to see more Chartered Environmentalists in the biodiversity sector to give greater recognition of their professional status.

Plus, from my NBN Trust Trustee role, I would encourage Chartered Environmentalists to share the biodiversity data they gather and make full use of the evidence base available - the data curated by the NBN over the last 20 years.

To find out more and help to support the work of the National Biodiversity Network, visit

Porcelain Fungus Oudemansiella Mucida on Beech Tree - Morton Lochs. Wilma Harper CEnv



For more biodiversity case studies, activities and materials, visit

Tags:  Biodiversity  CEnv  Chartered  For Nature  National Biodiversity Network  NBN  Wilma Harper  World Environment Day  World Environment Day 2020 

PermalinkComments (0)

Moving Biodiversity Forwards - World Environment Day 2020

Posted By Nigel Sagar CEnv, 21 May 2020

A Blog Thought Piece For World Environment Day 2020

By Nigel Sagar CEng CEnv MICE MIEMA, Senior Environmental Compliance Manager at Skanska

On the back of recent alarming reports on the declines in UK and global biodiversity, such as the UK State of Nature or the WWF Living Planet Reports, the issue of how to halt the decline and actually start to improve outcomes for biodiversity has never been more pertinent. 

In what will hopefully prove to be a momentous year for biodiversity, with the progress of the Environment and Agriculture Bills through UK Government as well as the (now postponed) Convention on Biological Diversity COP15 conference, United Nations World Environment Day on 5th June serves as the first big event of the year to highlight this global issue. 

Biodiversity provides us with an opportunity to not only mitigate our own work related impacts, but also leave behind a positive legacy for wider society through positive natural capital benefits such as flood prevention and cleaner air. Our food crops depend on our pollinator species, our timber is sourced from sustainably managed forests, our affordable and accessible clean water heavily relies on the environment for purification, and the health and well-being of our society is strongly related to the availability and access to green spaces. The links between the twin challenges of the climate emergency and declines in biodiversity are increasingly understood. 

Within the construction industry it is encouraging to see a shift towards tackling both of these issues head on, for example through the proposed mandatory biodiversity net gain requirement under the Environment Bill and with significant national infrastructure projects looking to achieve net gain.

Enhancing biodiversity also has a multitude of benefits to people, through engaging people in new skills, knowledge and activities through volunteering days, as well as the benefits that both ourselves and the local community receive from the enhancements. 

As we move forwards in a newly altered world post-coronavirus, it is encouraging to see how many people have managed to connect with nature or are rediscovering their love of the natural world as a result of spending time in lockdown. The economic and health benefits from good biodiversity and access to nature are well known and I hope they will form a key part of our recovery plans as a nation and globally.


The above blog is in contribution to our work to support World Environment Day 2020 - a global UN Environment initiative. The global theme for 2020 - biodiversity. To find more resources and ways to help biodiversity as a member of the general public or as an environmental professionals, click here »





Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Society for the Environment. 

This post has not been tagged.

PermalinkComments (0)

Commercialisation and Household Waste and Recycling Centres (HWRCs) - Brian Mayne CEnv

Posted By Brian Mayne CEnv, 18 May 2018

Commercialisation and HWRCs

Chartered Environmentalist Brian Mayne, and John Woodruff from the Resource Efficiency & Waste Management team at Ricardo Energy & Environment look at the options for commercialisation of HWRCs.

Against a backdrop of China’s Operation Sword, austerity and Brexit, local authorities are under ever-increasing  financial pressure to adopt a commercial and entrepreneurial approach to generating income while continuing to deliver high quality and efficient customer-focused services. 

One service that has been developed over recent years is the introduction of charges for commercial waste at household waste and recycling centres (HWRCs), which not only provides economic benefits but improves local services to small businesses as well as protecting the provision of HWRCs for residents.

Councils have introduced a range of ways they can charge traders including:

  • Pay by weight
  • Pay by container, item or volume
  • Pre-payment of sacks
  • Subscription

Often these charges are linked to benefits whereby the customer pays less if they separate their waste – often separated recyclable materials are charged at a lower rate than mixed loads.  Unsorted loads, whether they’re made up of recyclable materials or not, normally attract a higher rate resulting in better quality recyclate with additional economic and environmental impacts.

There are a number of additional benefits to Local Authorities in taking this approach at HWRCs including:

Continue reading at »

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Society for the Environment. 

Sources: »

Tags:  CEnv  Chartered Environmentalist  CIWM  Household Waste  HWRCs  Recycle  Recycling  Ricardo  Waste 

PermalinkComments (0)

Plastics and Recycling – Attitudes are Changing! - Dr Peter Matthews CBE HonFSE CEnv

Posted By Phil Underwood, 26 February 2018
Updated: 26 February 2018

Plastics and Recycling – Attitudes are Changing!

I have worked in environmental management for 53 years and I have never seen a time like this! Attitudes towards plastics and recycling are definitely changing.  

Until recently, many of my friends and relatives made relatively quick and independent judgements while deciphering what waste went into which bin. Any more detailed thinking and strategizing about this was simply viewed as “that sort of thing Peter does for a living.” But things have changed and I’m now persistently asked questions about these matters. But, to be quite frank, I’m not sure of the right answers.

The recycling information on packaging is often difficult to find, in very small print and it’s inconsistent and confusing. Which bin should the cling film that’s been soiled in use go into? Am I supposed to help solve the ‘Pringle tin problem’ by attempting to separate multi-material packaging? These are just some examples of the head-scratching that’s going on in many kitchens now.

The 25 Year Environment Plan

I was delighted to see recycling and plastics as well as many other popular issues picked up in the recently published 25 Year Environment Plan (YEP). It’s headline target of reducing avoidable plastic waste by 2042 is not the sort of commitment I would have expected a year ago. And, whilst there’s been some negative media focus on the Plan’s delayed publication, my own view is that the document is very welcome and it is comprehensive, perhaps more so for having incorporated issues that have come to the fore over the last couple of years. 

I think many initial reactions to the Plan had been given without detailed study of it alongside the Industrial and Clean Growth Strategies or perhaps because of the information-overload of this lengthy document with multiple goals and policies. Indeed, a standalone summary of these goals and policies would be helpful. 

Overall, though, I think the Plan does well to address and tie together people’s day-to-day worries and big, strategic themes. 

Media Influence

It’s interesting that the avalanche of media and public attention on the impact of plastic bags, food packaging, single-use bottles and coffee cups, straws and even tea-bags and glitter (!) is often attributed to the BBC’s Blue Planet II series, which is actually filled with images of turtles ensnared in plastic fishing nets, beaches strewn with things like discarded ropes and even a whale with a plastic bucket in its mouth. I talked about this kind of plastic waste in a previous blog, terming it ‘ersatz-plankton’ and arguing that, even with rigorous domestic litter control, there will inevitably be plastic waste that ‘leaks’ into the environment. 

We must prevent the continued ‘survival’ of these persistently problematic plastics, and I’m pleased to see the 25 YEP address their biodegradability. Seeking alternatives to synthetic plastics in the so-called ‘bioplastics’, such as starch- and cellulose-based products like bamboo fibre and cellulose micro beads, will also be absolutely crucial.  

There are, of course, many unanswered questions, such as whether such bioplastics are robust enough for products such as ropes and buckets and how easy these will be to reuse rather than recycle. Again, I’m pleased to see the 25 YEP recognise the opportunities for this kind of technological development alongside strategizing around the bioeconomy. Indeed, there are several strategies that underpin the Plan, such as on chemicals, biodiversity, waste and resources, litter and clean air. 

It seems to me, though, that there’s a missing piece in this jigsaw: a Plastics Strategy. Given how high-profile the topic is, it seems odd that there isn’t a specific strategy around it, and I advocate one. If strategies work for other parts of our green economy, then this should work for plastics. 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Society for the Environment. 

Tags:  25 Year Environment Plan  25YEP  Bioeconomy  Blue Planet  CEnv  Chartered Environmentalist  Clean Growth Strategy  DEFRA  HonFSE  Industrial Strategy  packaging  Plastics  Pollution  Recycling  Waste 

PermalinkComments (0)

Forestry Without Plastic - Stuart Wilkie FICFor CEnv

Posted By Phil Underwood, 26 February 2018
Updated: 16 March 2018

Forestry Without Plastic

Chartered Forester Stuart Wilkie FICFor CEnv, Environment and Certification Manager at Scottish Woodlands, talks about forestry without plastic.

Oceans of floating plastic, images of choking turtles, a ban on all ‘unnecessary plastic’ by 2042. The world is waking up to the environmental damage caused by oil-based plastics. I believe that while government may be moving on a 25-year timeframe, public opinion will make plastic use much harder to justify, in a much shorter timescale. Witness the rush by supermarkets and coffee shops to reduce plastic use.

Can we be in the forefront, championing wood and paper as replacements for plastic while relying on the co-extruded plant bag and tree shelter? Can forestry keep its environmental credentials unless we also act?

If the purpose of these blogs is to initiate debate, let’s take a critical look at forestry’s favourite plastic products especially the stuff we let fall apart in woodlands.

The Tree Shelter

 I must admit that I cringe every time I reach the north end of the new Queensferry Crossing over the Forth. Thousands upon thousands of tree shelters have been used in the landscaping. Was there not a more sustainable alternative, a better way of doing things?

Do tree shelters really degrade to harmless products? I know of some that are over 20 years old and stopped believing degradability claims years ago. Clients are not always willing to pay for the removal of shelters, so many are left to break down into ever smaller pieces. Can we really accept that there is such a thing as a harmless flake of plastic in the environment any longer? With animals and birds found emaciated and dying having ingested a stomach full, can we as foresters really fill the food chain with plastic?

It is not about the products of chemical decomposition, but the damage the physical presence of pieces of plastic does in the environment.

Encouraged by successive grant schemes, foresters have embraced tree shelters as a panacea for broadleaf establishment, but are they? Have we become lazy in their use? Derek Patch’s article in the last issue of Chartered Forester was an interesting reminder of an all too common problem.

Surely, as professional foresters, we can come up with alternative and innovative solutions beyond the tree shelter and demand more sustainable products when we do use them. The right tree shelter, and only in the right place?

It is not just tree shelters of course. What about all those little bits of bailer twine around bundles of plants. Do your planters pick them all up and bag them?

Plant Bags

There was a time, it seems not so long ago to some of us, before the co-extruded plant bag. Trees were bee-hived or sheughed in (heeled in) prior to planting. We got by without trees in plastic bags and I think we were much more aware of plant handling. Bags are cheap, convenient, and unlike tree shelters, most bags are recovered from site. Perhaps bags are not the same environmental problem as shelters, (although many go to landfill). But we don’t need them. So, what does “unnecessary plastic” mean in terms of the government’s commitment. At what level would a plastic tax make us think again on their use?

Accept the Age of Plastic is Over

Of course, things will not change overnight but we have a responsibility here. In the short term to reduce our plastic use and to recover plastic when we do use it. The challenge for the manufacturers of plastic products is to come up with a biodegradable (preferably wood fibre) alternative. As foresters we need to challenge the accepted way of doing things, lead innovation and put pressure on our suppliers.

Photo credit: Stuart Wilkie FICFor CEnv

A blog by Chartered Forester and Chartered Environmentalist, Stuart Wilkie FICFor CEnv. For more forestry related blogs, please visit the Institute of Chartered Foresters website

Stuart's blog inspired a response blog from ICF Associate Member, Simon Place. Simon defends the current need for plastic use within forestry, but highlights the need for the use to be properly managed. Read Simon's blog here »

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Society for the Environment. 

Tags:  25 Year Environment Plan  25YEP  CEnv  Chartered Environmentalist  Chartered Forester  FICFor  Forester  Forests  Plastic  Pollution  Tree  Trees 

PermalinkComments (0)

Eye of the Beholder - By Andrew Clark CEnv MIEMA

Posted By Andrew Clark CEnv MIEMA, 01 February 2018
Updated: 01 February 2018

“I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that” said Thomas Edison, in 1931.

Nearly 90 years on, we’ve made huge progress in global deployment of renewable energy, including solar. However oil and coal still account for around 62% of primary energy consumption, with renewables coming in just shy of 10%. Still a bit of work to do then Mr. Edison.

From a logical point of view it’s hard to deny the case for using renewables instead of their finite fossil friends. Why build dependence on a fuel that will run out?

But at what environmental expense do renewables come? Sure they reduce direct greenhouse gas emissions, and don't deplete finite resources, except in one sense they do. They have to be put somewhere.

"People must feel that the natural world is important and valuable and beautiful and wonderful and an amazement and a pleasure" said Sir David Attenborough, broadcaster and national treasure most recently known for the BBC's 'Blue Planet 2' which seemed to inspire the nation in 2017.

It’s a good point! Due to the nature of renewables however, it’s often by being placed in our most 'beautiful' and 'wonderful' spaces, as Attenborough puts it, they can have maximum output.

The rolling hillside exposed to high winds that turbines can harness, or the open fields which provide a perfect expanse for solar panels to harvest the sun’s rays. Now that is a tricky one from an environmental point of view. Is renewable energy or conservation more important?

On a recent trip to Iceland, I pondered this conundrum while stood in front of Gullfoss, one of the Country’s most amazing waterfalls. Gullfoss has almost been used for hydro power in the past.

Photo credit: Andrew Clarke, Some Green Guy. Location: Gullfoss, Iceland.

I’d like to think even the most committed renewables advocate would have some regret at the thought of such plans going ahead, given the detriment it would have to such an awe inspiring natural feature.

But Iceland is truly unique as the only country which sources 100% of its electricity and heat from renewables already, only using fossil fuel as back-up.

It wasn’t just its abundant resources in relation to its small population that motivated this transition. For Iceland the risks, given its remoteness, of energy insecurity and exposure to price volatility were too high. Also the cost of creating a national energy grid didn't make sense. Decentralised energy independence does makes sense, and is practically possible.

So what’s the lesson, this got me thinking…

There is an imperative to preserve our natural world, and we should do as little damage to it as possible while providing energy. But my gut says the greater need is to get off the fossil addiction.

If we don't, that's where way more damage to the natural world will accumulate down the line.

To echo Tomas Edison, I hope we tackle this way before fossil fuels run out. That is the lesson from Iceland, sometimes we need to view the risk as a bigger driver to act, rather than the opportunity. The longer we consider it an optional opportunity, the less choice we have.

For more blogs by Andrew, please visit »

This blog is intended to share opinion for informational purposes only, not to provide advice or represent any organisation. Facts and figures are accurate to the best of my knowledge but should not be relied upon.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Society for the Environment. 

Tags:  CEnv  Chartered Environmentalist  Energy  Environment  Fossil Fuel  Renewables  Solar  Wind Turbines 

PermalinkComments (0)

Professor Carolyn Roberts CEnv Talks Flood Control on BBC Radio 4

Posted By Phil Underwood, 27 December 2017
Updated: 03 January 2018

Here at the Society for the Environment we are always excited to find and share examples of the work and contributions of Chartered Environmentalists and Registered Environmental Technicians, even if it is from a few months or years ago.

With the above in mind, we couldn't help ourselves in sharing this interview with Professor Carolyn Roberts CEnv on BBC Radio 4 from March 2016. Carolyn discussed the role of water and environmental sciences in analysing and preventing flooding events, as well as using science in police investigations. 

Listen Here

To listen, simply press play on the audio player above. 


BBC Description:

"Barely a month goes by without news of another catastrophic flood somewhere in the world, like the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004 or the flooding of New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina a year later, and the role of climate change is often mooted. Here in the UK this winter, flood victims were once again caught in a cycle of despair and anger as they tried to make sense of why their homes were flooded and what could be done to prevent it happening again.

Jim talks to environmental scientist, Professor Carolyn Roberts, who is pre-occupied by problems like this. She applies water science, in particular, to work out why such events occur and the role we humans play in them. Her passion for problem solving in watery places also takes her into the intriguing world of forensics where she assists the police when bodies are found floating in rivers and canals."

Tags:  BBC  CEnv  Chartered  Chartered Environmentalist  Environment  Flooding  Forensics  IES  Interview  pollution  Radio  Science  Water 

PermalinkComments (0)

CEnv Registration – What it Means to One ICE Member

Posted By Phil Underwood, 08 August 2017
Updated: 01 February 2018

Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) member Kate Cairns CEnv is an Independent Sustainability Advisor based in the North East of England. She was awarded Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) status in June 2017 and took some time to tell ICE about her career and why she chose to apply for CEnv.

"I've always been passionate about the environment and followed my BEng in Civil Engineering from Bristol with an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College. Fresh from this, I worked at WSP on research into passive downdraft evaporative cooling techniques (PDEC) to help cope with rising temperatures and the heat island affect in cities. It was fantastic to work with partners in Spain, Portugal and Israel on such an innovative project; to tackle how we can adapt buildings to deal with increasing global temperatures, still a topical issue two decades later.

Later in my life, my professional mission was greatly influenced by a personal tragedy when my little sister, Eilidh, was run down from behind by a fully laden tipper lorry whilst cycling to work. She died two hours later from catastrophic crushing injuries. I soon learned that my (construction) industry was prevalent in cyclists and pedestrian deaths with a fatality on average once per month under HGV wheels."

A new focus

"50% of cyclist deaths involve an HGV but HGVs make up only 4% of traffic, and twice as many pedestrians are killed by HGVs than cyclists. Tipper lorries, cement mixers and skip lorries are the most lethal; and this is largely due to the massive blind areas all around the cabs.

Having seen the excellent on-site safety culture whilst working at Terminal 5 I set about to change off-site safety culture of the industry launching my See Me Save Me campaign; to eliminate lorry danger through challenging industry, policy and justice.

I went to the European Parliament twice and secured a change to the law (Directive 96/53) in cab design. We also convinced the London Mayor to introduce a Safer Lorry Standard.

I've worked too with industry on a national standard to manage HGV risk (CLOCS – construction logistics and community safety), which is being rolled out across the UK. The CLOCS standard is now included in Northumberland Council's procurement strategy, planning policy and fleet management. I continue to speak at industry events, on national media, TV and radio, and do interviews with trade, national and local press to promote road safety.

With 60% of our children obese or overweight, rising pollution and congestion, active travel is essential in maintaining the health of our populations, cities and planet. Change of off-site safety culture is crucial in assuaging the fears of the public, who say vehicle danger, especially HGV risk, is the biggest deterrent to cycling."

I applied to become a Chartered Environmentalist because…

"…sustainability has been at the heart of my professional and personal life since the beginning. I hate waste, always strive for efficiency and seek out synergies; in materials, energy, effort or time. I grew up on the beautiful wild beaches of Northumberland and have great respect for the ocean, weather, our planet and environment.

I love my job because of the diversity of tasks, projects and clients; and that I contribute to not only improving company practices but to stretching industry standards in safety, sustainability and responsibility. I work to bring out the best in companies and their operations ultimately to make a greater contribution to society through what it is built and how it is built.

Chartered status gives credit to my ambition and expertise in protecting and enhancing our precious and fragile environment. I strongly believe that engineers should not simply "harness the great sources of nature for the use and benefit of man" but should allocate an intrinsic value to its existence.

By attaining CEnv, I think I've also gained respect and credibility from colleagues and clients. It is too soon to say what this means in tangible terms (as I was only awarded the qualification a month ago at time of writing), but it's reassuring to have the recognition of my expertise and experience through this qualification."

What's next?

"My business helps clients in three areas; sustainable construction, safe logistics and equality and diversity or fairness inclusion and respect (FIR).

I have been involved in developing CEEQUAL, a tool for improving sustainability in civil engineering, since inception in 2000, spending eight years on the board of directors, working as a trainer, verifier and assessor, piloting the scheme on the Terminal 5 project and watching those teams then apply it at the Olympics and other major projects. CEEQUAL has recently been bought by BRE, a company with global operations and I am excited about the potential for it to become ubiquitous on an international basis as it gains recognition overseas, and to work on more projects using it.

The industry is now recognising the business risk of not managing off-site safety including cost, reputation, insurance premiums, driver trauma, as well as the human cost. As an expert in this field, I'm looking forward to helping more companies understand the risk and opportunities for their business and implementing policies and practices to ensure they have responsible, safe and sustainable operations.

Finally, I have just been appointed Chair of the ICE Fairness, Inclusion and Respect (FIR) Panel and am excited about the movement in this area and having the opportunity to work with industry leaders to bring about change."

» Find out more about becoming a Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) through ICE

Source - Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), a Licensed Body of the Society for the Environment. 

Author: Kathryn Denham-Maccioni, Marketing Specialist at ICE.

Tags:  CEnv  Chartered  Chartered Environmentalist  ICE  Institution of Civil Engineers 

PermalinkComments (0)
Page 1 of 2
1  |  2

Professional bodies licensed to award the Chartered Environmentalist registration:

Society for the Environment
Davis Building, 189 Railway Terrace, 
Rugby, UK, CV21 3HQ.
© Copyright 2020 Society for the Environment. All rights reserved.

Privacy Statement