An AGM Update, World Environment Day and the EPF
An insightful set of presentations from Severn Trent Water before our AGM and Council meetings commenced. Photo: Phil Underwood
The Society's Council met on the 2nd July 2018, following which we held the Society's 2018 AGM, which approved the 2017/18 Annual Report and Accounts.
A big “thank you” to our Constituent Bodies – this AGM was the best attended in recent years, with 17 of our 25 Constituent Bodies physically present and 5 members present by proxy – a nearly 90% turnout. The meeting was kindly hosted by water utilities company, Severn Trent Water, which has its headquarters in Coventry, UK, just around the corner from the Society’s office. The attendees received very interesting and exciting presentations from Severn Trent on its approach and action plans for Corporate and Social Responsibility, Catchment Management and integration with DEFRA's 25 Year Environment Plan, and water use efficiencies. The latter was especially relevant at that time in the UK, of course, because of the recent heatwave and lack of rainfall.
During the AGM, I was pleased (and proud) to be re-elected as Chair of the Society, thank you all so much for that. Elections also included:
- Vice Chair – Dougal Driver CEnv (ICF)
- Honorary Treasurer, Committee Chair – Ian Byrne CEnv (EI)
- Honorary Secretary, Committee Chair – Alan Harper CEnv (IChemE)
- Registration Authority Chair – Martin Baxter CEnv (IEMA)
- Honorary Fellows Panel Chair – Carolyn Roberts CEnv (IES)
- Remuneration Panel Chair – Peter Matthews HonFSE CEnv (CIWEM)
- Audit and Risk Chair – Alan Harper CEnv (IChemE)
The AGM saw an excellent turn out from our Constituent Body representatives. Photo: Phil Underwood
However, the most substantive business was for the AGM to receive the report and recommendations of the Task & Finish Group on the 2nd 5-year Governance Review for the Society. This work was requested by the Council Members at the July 2017 meeting. There was a thorough consideration of the proposals, after which the AGM resolved unanimously to seek Privy Council approval to amendments to the Society's Royal Charter and Bylaws.
Away from the AGM, the Society held a very successful event on the 5th June – the SocEnv Awards and Lectures on World Environment Day. UN Environment’s annual flagship day – World Environment Day – is championed by the Society, and this year we utilised the day to present a number of new Honorary Fellows of the Society (HonFSE), and the coveted 2018 Environmental Professional of the Year award. Attendees also heard some exceptional HonFSE Lectures and expert insights, which challenged the thinking around a number of issues, Brexit, plastics and environmental governance included.
Awards and Lectures on World Environment Day at Arup, London. Photo: Phil Underwood
To add to recent activities, the Society continues to work with colleagues in the Environmental Policy Forum (EPF) to pressurise for the maintenance (or indeed, improvement, ambitious though that might be) of environmental standards, post-Brexit. The headlines have focused on Brexit again recently due to the high-profile resignations, but we hope these are replaced with positive environmental steps on the front pages soon.
Thank you to all those involved in the AGM and Council meeting, our Awards and Lectures on World Environment Day and the EPF.
Professor Will Pope HonFSE CEnv - Chair of the Society for the Environment.