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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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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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