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Updates from Our Chair, Prof. Will Pope HonFSE CEnv
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The Society's Chair, Professor Will Pope HonFSE CEnv, provides his thoughts on current and future work at the Society for our email newsletter.

 

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Top tags: Brexit  CEnv  Fellow  HonFSE  25 Year Environment Plan  25YEP  AGM  Air Quality  Chair  Chairman  Chartered Environmentalist  EPF  EU  EU Withdrawal Bill  Governance  Registered Environmental Technician  REnvTech  Webinar  World Environment Day 

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 at Kew Gardens

 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, 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 elaine.rutherford@socenv.org.uk.

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 sarah.ridgeon@socenv.org.uk.

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February Chair Update

Posted By Phil Underwood, 20 February 2019

A Busy Start to 2019 With New Opportunities on the Horizon

 

The Society has had a busy 2018 and early 2019, with much work and time being focused around a governance review and re-structure.

When the new governance structure is in place it is the intention that the Society will have a revised and more nimble governance mechanism (the current Council comprising up to 50 members is not always so nimble!). Over recent weeks the Society has made significant progress with Privy Council. For more information on this, please refer to this month’s CEO update from Emma Wilcox.

Registrant (CEnv and REnvTech) recruitment in the early part of 2018 was not as strong as forecast, and although this picked up in the second half of the year with a strong year-end, overall new CEnv registrants whilst greater than non-renewals were lower than expected.  It is no compensation that other professional bodies have appeared to fare worse in the year, and that GDPR and Brexit appear to have been a distraction across the industry. We have initiatives in place to impact recruitment in 2019 - if you think you can assist, please do get in touch.

In December 2018, after an extensive pilot with IEMA and testing by the Society’s Registration Authority, the Society has approved a "Bespoke Route" to CEnv and REnvTech registration (I paraphrase), which it is hoped will be attractive to those individuals who might otherwise just not feel the urge to commit to the traditional and time-consuming route(s). Following approval, the bespoke route opportunity has been made available to all Licensed Bodies. Keep an eye out for bespoke route options from your professional body soon.

The Society continues to support and contribute to the Environmental Policy Forum (EPF), which had its busiest year ever, with 10 submissions influencing government and government policy in different ways, including actually getting the "Office for the Environment" on to the agenda and indeed likely delivery. Thanks goes to all professional bodies involved in EPF for their contribution to these efforts.

In other news, I have recently written to Prince Charles, who is an Honorary Fellow of the Society (HonFSE), inviting him to speak at the Society's annual World Environment Day event at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew on 4th June. A similar letter has also been sent to Michael Gove MP. We look forward to their responses.

With the above in mind, please keep Tuesday 4th June 2019 free in your diary to join us at Kew for an afternoon of celebration and knowledge sharing. The event will include expert CEnv lectures focusing on the umbrella topic of “biodiversity net gain”. Remember, it’s free for CEnvs and REnvTechs to attend - you can already register, here. I look forward to seeing you on the day.

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August 2018

Posted By Professor Will Pope HonFSE CEnv, 15 August 2018

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.

Tags:  AGM  Brexit  CEnv  Chair  Chairman  EPF  Fellow  Governance  HonFSE  World Environment Day 

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February 2018

Posted By Phil Underwood, 21 February 2018
Updated: 21 February 2018

A Busy Time Full of Opportunities

The start of the year is notoriously busy for many sectors and organisations, and this is also true for the Society for the Environment. And, to add to the usual workload the Society is pushing on with new developments and opportunities. 

There is an extensive programme of work in process and under development at the Society, particularly the impactful work which has been undertaken (some through the Environmental Policy Forum) around withdrawing from the EU, such as on the management of fisheries post-Brexit and calling for an independent body for environmental governance, as we did in September last year and for which the need has since been recognised with a consultation due imminently. We’ve also raised our concerns about the ‘Brexit Bill’ to Peers as they begin their line-by-line debates in the Lords today - find out more about the EPF briefing here. Industry engagement is also now an area on which the Society will seek to focus in the times to come, on which the team is busy.

I also am delighted that we are hosting our very first webinar this month on Tuesday 27th, February with the title ‘How to Become a Chartered Environmentalist’. This forms part of an initial four-part webinar series designed to inform and inspire future Chartered Environmentalists and Registered Environmental Technicians. Free registration is now open and available via our website and it would be really great if you would pass this on to those of your colleagues and network who may benefit. 

External to the Society, but something that we are keen to address and influence, is the recent release of the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs' 25 Year Environment Plan. I am pleased to see this much-awaited plan published, and the Society’s initial reaction can be viewed here. The 25 Year Plan and the consultations which it indicates are to come will be a key topic for discussion in future months with opportunities for our registrants to put their views forward and contribute. Keep an eye out for upcoming updates. 

Finally, to follow on from my last update, on behalf of the Society’s Honorary Fellows Panel and Council, on 4th December 2017 I presented the award of HonFSE to Professor Jim Longhurst CEnv, who then gave the Inaugural HonFSE Lecture 2017. Jim presented a really valuable, incisive and thought provoking review on the often contentious, challenging and important subject of air pollution:    

“Are We Really Serious About Managing Air Quality?” (And, what does our experience tell us we are good and bad at, and what should we do about it?). The slides from this presentation are now available here

For more updates, and some exciting statistics please jump across to the blog by the Society’s CEO, Dr Emma Wilcox

We look forward to 2018 and beyond, and to the opportunities before us. If there are subjects or matters which you think we should be embracing, please do drop me a line.  I look forward to hearing from you.


Professor Will Pope HonFSE CEnv - Chair of the Society for the Environment.

Tags:  25 Year Environment Plan  25YEP  Air Quality  Brexit  CEnv  Chartered Environmentalist  EU  EU Withdrawal Bill  Fellow  HonFSE  Registered Environmental Technician  REnvTech  Webinar 

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December 2017

Posted By Professor Will Pope HonFSE CEnv, 13 December 2017
Updated: 13 December 2017

A Year to Remember for the Society for the Environment

2017 has been a year of new beginnings, milestones and growth for the Society for the Environment. From welcoming new members of the team to championing World Environment Day, the last 12 months have provided a host of new opportunities and a strong platform for the Society midway through its strategy to 2020. 

My December blog post seems to me to be the perfect opportunity to highlight the Society’s accomplishments in 2017. 

Quarter one saw females make up over half of new registrants – the highest percentage of female registrants in a quarter to date. We are strong advocates for equality, making this milestone cause for celebration. 

A matter of days after the above milestone, the Society registered its 9,000th Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) since its introduction in 2004. Current registrations total just shy of 7,500. 

In March the Society recruited two new team members in two newly created job roles. These were Dr Tatum Matharu as Policy and Parliamentary Lead and Phil Underwood as Marketing Executive. Since joining, Tatum has taken a lead on the Society’s work within the Environmental Policy Forum (EPF), managed and created the Society’s response to the Industrial Strategy and is now developing a strategy for policy work until 2020. Phil has been successful in developing relationships with key partners, he introduced our e-newsletters, increased the Society’s presence at partner events and has continued to increase registrant engagement levels and opportunities. They are both proving to be valuable assets for the Society. 

One of the first challenges for our new colleagues was to welcome members of the European Network of Environmental Professionals (ENEP) to a Cardiff based general assembly and side event hosted by the Society. We continue to collaborate with our international counterparts and hope to further develop international engagement in 2018. 

During the warmer months of the year, we were delighted to present the 2017 Environmental Professional of the Year award to Dr Phillippa Pearson CEnv for her outstanding work and commitment to professional environmental practice with Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water and beyond. 


This month we met our target to register over 400 new CEnvs in the calendar year, which is testament to the work of the Society’s team and their hard work. As a result, the Society continues its run of year on year increases in registrant numbers since the launch of the CEnv register – something we are extremely proud of. 

Also in December, I had the privilege of presenting Professor Jim Longhurst CEnv with an Honorary Fellowship of the Society (HonFSE). An HonFSE is awarded to those who have shown exceptional contributions as a publicly recognised champion for the environment and rendered outstanding service to sustainability and/or to the Society. Well-deserved recognition for Jim!

The achievements and highlights above represent just a snippet of the positive work completed in 2017. I look forward to continuing our work to promote CEnv and REnvTech registration, engage with registrants, influence policy, safeguard our standards and provide opportunities for collaboration into 2018. 

Lastly, on a topical side note from 2017, I am very pleased to see the huge viewing figures for public facing programmes with an environmental focus such as Blue Planet II. The work that Sir David Attenborough and the team are doing can only inspire people from all walks of life to care about the environment and subsequently help to protect it. Will the series turn people towards a career in the environmental or sustainability in 2018? Only time will tell, but we hope so. 

Wishing you a happy and successful 2018. 

Professor Will Pope HonFSE CEnv - Chair of the Society for the Environment.

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October 2017

Posted By Professor Will Pope HonFSE CEnv, 19 October 2017
Updated: 13 December 2017

An Introduction and Views on a Bright Future Ahead

To begin my first newsletter update, I want to take the opportunity to briefly introduce myself as the newly elected Chair of the Society for the Environment – an organisation that I have been involved with from the very beginning. In fact, I had the honour of being a founding Council Member in 1999 and Chair between 2001 – 2005. During this time as Chair, the Society was successful in gaining its Royal Charter. This is therefore my second spell as Chair of the Society. 

I gained my Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) registration in September 2004 through the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES) following the Society’s success in gaining a Royal Charter earlier that year. The experience that made me eligible to become a CEnv comes from managing and developing environmental technology companies over many years, alongside being an active member of the IES Council and numerous other roles. 

Since the inception of the CEnv registration, I have continuously championed the registration to peers, colleagues and associates with the aim to showcase their expertise in their roles that impact the environment. A professional, Chartered registration provides credibility and a standardised benchmark of knowledge and competence. I am therefore proud to be involved in steering the organisation towards its aims outlined in the 2020 Strategy. 

Since my election as Chair at the Society’s AGM in July, I have been delighted with the positive, proactive work that is being completed and planned for by the Society’s team. The team is striding forwards with its policy work by working collaboratively with stakeholders on a number of key projects. The engagement levels with our 24 Licensed Bodies, registered environmental professionals and aspiring registrants are ever increasing, and the continued refinement of the CEnv and REnvTech standards is great to see. 

We have spent some considerable time developing the Governance Review and the task and finish group which the Society’s Council requested. We'll hear more about this at a consultation session for Council members on the 9th November, which I am looking forward to – please encourage as many of your Council members as possible to attend.

We have also: 

  • worked hard to develop and implement our strategy for engagement with fellow environmental professionals throughout Europe and indeed around the world; we expect outcomes from this work in the early part of 2018
  • developed and issued a number of communiques with colleagues regarding Brexit and related "EU Withdrawal" issues, seeking to protect and enhance the hard-won environmental gains of recent years.

We are aware of challenging times ahead, but I won’t dwell on the potential implications of Brexit, and indeed the upcoming GDPR, in this update. However, I do encourage you to sign up to the Society’s e-newsletter to keen up to date with the latest goings-on and our responses to key items. Please be aware that current and new CEnvs and REnvTechs will not automatically receive these newsletters, so please opt in here

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