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Growing Our Green Pounds

An essay by By Dr Peter Matthews CBE, C.WEM, C.Env, C.Chem, FCIWEM, FIW, HonFCIWM, HonFSE

An essay on growing our green economy.
Making the UK greener and richer.
Making sense of the green jigsaw.
Money for green rope.

By Dr Peter Matthews CBE, C.WEM, C.Env, C.Chem, FCIWEM, FIW, HonFCIWM, HonFSE
Honorary Vice President CIWEM
Immediate Past Chair Society for the Environment

The Society for the Environment is proud of the positive work and dedication of Chartered Environmentalists, Registered Environmental Technicians, Honorary Fellows of the Society and our highly valued volunteers. Dr Peter Matthews CBE HonFSE CEnv won’t mind if we suggest that he has shown such commitment to the environment and the Society over numerous decades, which results in us being delighted to share his essay – ‘Growing Our Green Pounds’.

As of 2019, Peter is the immediate past Chair of the Society and current Chair of the Remuneration Committee. He is a Chartered Environmentalist, Chartered Chemist, and Water and Environment Manager. He has held a variety of senior positions in the environmental field, in both the private and public sectors. After a career in the water industry spanning almost 35 years, he retired from Anglian Water International as Deputy Managing Director International in 1999. And after serving on the board of the Environment Agency and as Chair of the Northern Ireland Utility regulator, he was appointed in August 2012 as Founding Chair of the Welsh Government’s new body for managing natural resources in Wales, Natural Resources Wales (NRW), a position he held until December 2015.

Alongside the above, Peter was part of the group who initially formed the Society for the Environment and helped the Society achieve its Royal Charter in 2004.

In this essay Peter draws from his experience, environmental knowledge and keen interest in environmental policy and provides his views on the key environmental themes from recent years. In time for Green GB + NI Week, and following the recent IPCC Report, this is an extensive and thought-provoking analysis of environmental policies, strategies, concepts and issues from across sectors in the UK and beyond. Across 397 pages, Peter discusses topics including, but not limited to:

  • SDGs in the UK
  • Green growth
  • The Industrial Strategy
  • The 25 Year Environment Plan
  • Cross cutting management concepts
  • Agriculture and rural management
  • Forestry, woodlands and trees
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Ozone layer depletion
  • Green finance, and;
  • Green infrastructure.

Providing his reasons behind this essay, Peter says; “After writing a series of articles in The Environment for CIWEM, it became clear to me that an overarching essay was necessary on our green economy. During 2017 these articles focussed on matters such as the relationship of behaviour changes in our culture and regulation. I decided to draw these together and examine the framework of our green economy and to exemplify this with the most current news articles.”

Peter concludes with positivity alongside a plea, but also states, “I have a feeling that it is going to be all hands to the pump over the coming years!”


A September 2019 Update

Peter: “Since I completed the essay in October 2018 there have been developments in our green economy although the thrust of the essay still remains relevant and nothing of what I wrote has been gainsaid. I have contemplated doing an update, and I have been spurred to do so by the rise of mass protest movements on the climate and ecological crises and of public personalities as mass influencers. We are all (well at least most of us) fretting about the ice cap melts and fires in the Amazon and Artic tundra. The thrust of this addendum is discussing the expansion of our roles that we have as individuals alone and together. I am now of a view that the role of individuals will have a much greater contribution in future to our green economy than I gave credit for last year.”

The below link has now been amended to the updated version of Peter’s essay.

Grab a comfy seat, and enjoy.

Download Peter's Essay

Peter welcomes comments and questions, which can be directed to [email protected]