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Updates from Our Chair, Prof. Will Pope HonFSE CEnv
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Spring Chair and CEO Update

Posted By Sarah Ridgeon, 26 April 2019
Updated: 26 April 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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