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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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Summer 2020 Update

Posted By Sarah Ridgeon, 02 July 2020


 Photos taken by our Engagement Manager, Phil Underwood, as part of his participation in the Wildlife Trust's

'30 Days Wild' initiativewhich ran throughout June



This is a joint update from SocEnv’s Chair, Professor Will Pope HonFSE CEnv, and Dr Emma Wilcox, Chief Executive. 


May and June are always an exciting time for the Society, as we celebrate World Environment Day and our fantastic award winners. The current UK measures on social distancing may have meant our activities moved online, but that didn’t stop us from having a big impact!

Not only did we successfully deliver our first virtual awards announcement event and AGM, with some amazing feedback received, we also saw some fantastic developments on a number of initiatives and projects helping to increase the impact of the environmental professional community. We have selected some particular highlights for this update:


Outstanding winners of our first virtual awards: Our annual showcase celebrating the achievements of registered environmental professionals saw an extremely high standard of nomination across the board. This was reflected in the Environmental Professional of the Year award being presented to two registrants for the first time.

Another first for the SocEnv Awards was the introduction of the Registrant Newcomer of the Year award, with the quality of the nominations received showing the future is bright!

You can find out more about the amazing environmental professionals recognised via our ‘Meet the Winner’ features.

These successes coincided with the amazing, landmark news of the registration of the 10,000th Chartered Environmentalist to date, showing there has never been a better time to get registered.


Development of a leading biodiversity campaign: Launched in time for World Environment Day (5th June) – a UN Environment initiative which we champion – SocEnv and key partners are running a 12-month campaign to shine a spotlight on the importance of Biodiversity.

At the heart of the campaign is the ‘Biodiversity Hub’ – a dedicated section of our website containing tons of resources and inspirational ideas on what everybody can do to help biodiversity, whatever your age or profession: biodiversity2020


50 organisations make the Pledge to Net Zero: Alongside key partners, we developed ‘Pledge to Net Zero’. The initiative showcases the leadership of the environment sector in tackling greenhouse gas emissions, with signatories committing to setting science-based targets to help the UK meet its 2050 net zero target. The number of pledged organisations has now reached 50, with many leading names in the environmental sector represented, including WSP and Jacobs!

Find out how you could join them at


Make sure to follow us on social media to stay up to date all our news! You can find us on Twitter as @SocEnv_HQ and ‘Society for the Environment (SocEnv)’ on LinkedIn.


Also, a reminder that our team is working remotely but as otherwise normal, so please do contact us with any general queries or opportunities you have.


Until next time – take care and stay safe.



Tags:  awards  biodiversity  CEnv  Chair  Chief Executive  climate action  pledge to net zero 

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April 2020 Chair & Chief Executive Update

Posted By Sarah Ridgeon, 30 April 2020


This is a joint update from SocEnv’s Chair, Professor Will Pope HonFSE CEnv, and Dr Emma Wilcox, Chief Executive. 


Since our last update in February a lot has changed, and we have all had to adapt to a challenging environment as a result of the spread of COVID-19. However, the wider environmental issues and opportunities we face have not gone away - and indeed there will be new opportunities which will now present themselves in the post-Covid times to come.

Here at SocEnv we have adapted to ensure we can continue to act as a champion of the environmental profession. As ever, we are here to support you as you carry out your hugely important work.

We know that Continuous Professional Development (CPD) is vital in ensuring a strong environmental profession and is a requirement of registration for Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) and Registered Environmental Technician (REnvTech). During this time, we are working hard to ensure we continue to provide registrants with CPD opportunities and facilitate learning and shared good practice across the profession.

To meet the increasing demand, we have further expanded our popular webinars. In addition to the latest series of our regular webinars, running throughout May on the topic of ‘Climate Change’, we are also running a special series of webinars during the week commencing the 1st June, in celebration of this year’s World Environment Day theme of Biodiversity. As ever, these webinars will feature expert insight and analysis from Chartered Environmentalists across a variety of sectors and organisations with the opportunity for viewers to ask questions. More information is available at webinars.

During this difficult time, we feel it is vital that we continue to highlight and congratulate those doing amazing things for our environment through the SocEnv Awards. This year, in addition to the annual Environmental Professional of the Year award, we have introduced a new category - Registrant Newcomer of the Year – designed to specifically highlight those who have hit the ground running since recently achieving CEnv or REnvTech registration. Both awards close for nominations at 12:00 BST on the 14th May, with the awards being presented virtually on the 5th June. To enter yourself or someone you know, please visit SocEnvAwards20.

For further information on how we have adapted to the current circumstances and can provide support, please view our COVID-19 statement.

Take care, stay safe and continue to social distance - we look forward to speaking with you soon!


Tags:  awards  CEO  chair  CPD  webinars 

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Spring 2020 Chair and Chief Executive Update

Posted By Administration, 27 February 2020


This is a joint blog update from SocEnv’s Chair, Professor Will Pope HonFSE CEnv, and Dr Emma Wilcox, Chief Executive. 

As an umbrella body tasked with championing and registering the expertise of environmental professionals, professional competence and collaboration is at the heart of everything we do.

That’s why we have teamed up with IEMA, the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE), AECOM, the Environmental Industries Commission (EIC) and WSP to found the ‘Pledge to Net Zero’ initiative - the first industry commitment in the UK requiring organisations to create rigorous, science-based targets for reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.

The initiative is particularly targeted at the environmental sector. This reflects SocEnv’s core conviction that in a time when urgent climate action is required, it is environmental professionals – those who have demonstrated their expertise, skills and commitment through their work and registrations – who should lead delivery of the transition to net zero.

Since our last update, the first pledge window deadline has come and gone and thirty-four organisations have now signed the pledge – with a combined total of approximately 20,100 employees between them and representing multiple different sectors, including private sector consultancies, public sector organisations, professional bodies and non-consultancy companies working in fields such as contracting. They also vary in size from locally based SME to UK based but internationally operating organisation – reflecting a wide impact.

By joining these organisations to make the Pledge to Net Zero, you can:

·         Showcase your dedication – help the UK achieve its commitment to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050

·         Demonstrate your leadership – encourage collaboration in the environmental sector to fully harness the expertise of its professionals

·         Make a difference – provide inspiration for other organisations to follow.


If you haven’t yet made the pledge, don’t worry – there are five deadline windows throughout 2020 where you can sign-up, with dates scheduled around key environmental events such as World Environment Day and the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26). The next window to pledge closes on the 30th April.

Similarly, if you’d like to make the pledge but would like more information on what’s involved, you can access guidance documents via the website at or catch up with our webinar: A guide to pledging’. Another webinar will follow this Spring – details to be confirmed shortly so keep an eye on our social media channels.

Next week we will both be speaking at FutureBuild (3rd – 5th March) – the annual built environment event which brings together influencers and shapers from across the industry. You can find out more about Emma’s talk on the importance of environmental competence and professional standards via this link, with Will to speak on the value of professional collaboration – with specific focus on activity focused around adaptation and resilience – more info here. SocEnv also has a stand at the event – so please do come and see us on STAND B157 where you can find out more about our work, professional registration and ask any questions you may have.



Tags:  CEO  chair  climate action  climate emergency 

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December Chair & Chief Executive Update

Posted By Sarah Ridgeon, 18 December 2019
Updated: 19 December 2019


 This is a joint blog update from SocEnv’s Chair, Professor Will Pope HonFSE CEnv, and Dr Emma Wilcox, Chief Executive. 

Welcome to the December update, in which we review the last two months and look ahead to 2020.

SocEnv is continuing to centre its activities on tackling the Climate and Environmental Emergency via the championing of environmental competence – achieved through professional registration and by facilitating the sharing of good environmental practice. Our aforementioned governance review has provided us with an excellent platform as we move into 2020, with the development of our 2020-25 strategy which will be published early next year.

Our newly established Advisory Council recently held its first meeting – a Committee created to provide advice to the SocEnv’s Board and made up of our CEnv and REnvTech registrants, Honorary Fellows, Licensed Members and the wider environmental professional community. The meeting was praised by delegates for providing a fantastic platform to debate the environmental profession’s response to the Climate and Environmental Emergency, with insight provided from different sectors including the built environment, consultancy and Professional Body perspectives. To ensure SocEnv continues to provide a space for debate and good practice sharing, we will look to hold another Advisory Council event in the Spring of 2020.

As part of our climate action work, we have also co-founded the ‘Pledge to Net Zero’ initiative alongside AECOM, the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE), the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA), the Environmental Industries Commission (EIC) and WSP. Signatories to the pledge commit to setting science-based targets to tackle greenhouse gas emissions – the first industry commitment of its kind in the UK. The deadline to pledge is 31st January – with more information available on the website A webinar is also taking place on the 16th January, providing a straightforward guide to help organisations make the pledge.

For 2020 and beyond, we will be working to channel the expertise of our CEnv and REnvTech registrants via a range of other activities, including:


 Thank you to all who helped make 2019 a success. We look forward to the many opportunities that lie ahead in 2020 – but in the meantime, best wishes for a great festive period from all at SocEnv! 



Tags:  CEO  Chair  climate action  climate emergency  Governance 

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October Chair & Chief Executive Update

Posted By Administration, 24 October 2019

This is a joint blog update from SocEnv’s Chair, Professor Will Pope HonFSE CEnv, and Dr Emma Wilcox, Chief Executive. 



Welcome to the Autumn update.

In our previous updates we have reported on the hugely positive governance review SocEnv has recently enjoyed. With a new Board taking responsibility for SocEnv’s governance, we have assured our registrants and wider contacts of our sound governance (more details on these changes can be found on our website).

In September, these changes reached full fruition with the holding of the first Board Strategy Away Day – in which SocEnv’s direction and priorities for the coming twelve months were set out.

SocEnv’s key focus remains on championing environmental competence through professional registration. Over the next year, our activities will therefore focus around channelling the expertise of our Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) and Registered Environmental Technician (REnvTech) registrants to the maximum benefit of the environmental profession – and society as a whole.

Integral to this is maximising the role of environmental professionals in the response to the Climate and Environmental Emergency. The skills, experience and competence of environmental professionals is key if we are to successfully address the challenges in front of us – via the sharing of good practice and encouraging others to apply expert knowledge into action.

To facilitate SocEnv’s response we have established a separate Sub-Committee of the Board on “Climate” and the first meeting of our new "Advisory Council" – made up of our registrants, Honorary Fellows and Licensed Bodies – will be focused around the environmental profession’s response to the Climate and Environmental Emergency and will take place this December.

To ensure that environmental professionals can translate their competence into real impact, we are also currently surveying our registrants on their 'change agency' – exploring how much of a difference they feel they are able to make, including any barriers setting them back. In addition, we are conducting sector research into the experiences of employers – exploring how their sustainability skills requirements match up against the workforce, as well as the role of Chartership in ensuring staff competence. For more information on this research, please contact Sarah Ridgeon.

In our next update, we will be reporting back on our activity and further ways you can get involved. In the meantime, make sure to stay up to date with developments by following us on social media – you can find us on Twitter @SocEnv_HQ or as 'Society for the Environment' on LinkedIn. 



Tags:  CEO  chair  climate action  climate emergency  governance 

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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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