The Society for the Environment hosted another successful World Environment Day event on the 4th of June at Kew Gardens. Read on to find out more about the nine informative talks delivered by our esteemed guest speakers!
Introductionby Dougal Driver CEnv, Vice Chair
Commemorating the 15th anniversary of Society for the Environment, Vice Chair Dougal Driver ascribes the growing fortitude of the organisation to its 24 Constituent Bodies. He proclaims the beginning of festivities for World Environment Day 2019, which aims its spotlight at air pollution (#BeatAirPollution) and biodiversity net gain. To honour this special day dedicated to raising awareness for sustainability as well as celebrating the indispensable work of environmental specialists, Dougal presents the audience with a day filled with invigorating talks and events.
Kew in the 21st Centuryby Richard Deverell, Director at Royal Botanic Gardens
Richard Deverell maps the role of Kew and similar botanic gardens in addressing contemporary international challenges including extinction, food security and urbanization. Although Kew’s core objectives remain faithful to those of its outset, the means employed have been expertly adapted to accommodate new developments of the 21st century. In particular, Kew strives to advance the public’s understanding of biodiversity with encapsulating exhibitions, in view of the fact that surges in public interest imply increased government engagement with such pressing areas of environmental concern.
Banking seeds for the future: the work of Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank Partnershipby Michael Way CEnv, Partnership Coordinator (Americas), Conservation Science Department, Kew
Michael Way celebrates seed banks as a practical and cost-effective ex-situ response to the threats facing biodiversity. With over 200 partners worldwide, the Millennium Seed Bank endeavours to ensure the stable utilisation and quality of conserved material on an international scale through the establishment of online databases and a shared conservation standard. As a Chartered Environmentalist, Way concludes his lecture by reflecting on the implications of Environmental Chartership in his work, its outreach ranging from best practice developments to capacity building projects.
Biodiversity Net Gain: the next big thing for UK nature conservation?by Claire Wansbury CEnv, Associate Director of Ecology: Infrastructure │ UK & Europe, SNC Lavalin’s Atkins
Claire Wansbury sheds light on the underlining politics of biodiversity net gain, defined by the CEnv as ‘development that leaves biodiversity in a better state than it was before’. Industries have been active advocates of biodiversity net gain, specifically given that it serves as clear evidence for their commitment to sustainability. Among its most prominent industry leaders are CIEEM and IEMA, Constituent Bodies to SocEnv.
From Biodiversity to Environmental Gain - Principles and Ambitionby Nick Blyth CEnv, Policy & Engagement Lead, IEMA
Chartered Environmentalist Nick Blyth inspects the pathway from biodiversity to environmental gain, paying close attention to means of expanding its scope of discussion. In an effort to ‘resolve’ (rather than ‘balance’) the links between environment, society and economy, he emphasises the importance of a natural capital approach en route to sustainability—securing the prosperity of the biosphere organically facilitates the implementation of sustainable practices in our society, and in extension the economy. ‘Environmental net gain needs to be more than just a point-in-time assessment on a single development’, he concludes, ‘it’s more about the challenge of how it links to broad sustainability.’
The 25 Year Environment Plan and Net Gain—An Update from Defraby Dr Thérèse Coffey MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Dr Thérèse Coffey stresses the significance of continuously evolving our sustainability measures and policies in accordance to improvements in our understandings of the environment. The 25 Year Environmental Plan holds even greater significance in this sense, as it is representative of government efforts to achieve sustainability and identify opportunities with biodiversity net gain (a developing issue) at the core of its concern. She then takes time to highlight the paramount importance of environmental professionals throughout this process— ‘we do need your vision to rethink the environments in planning, your expertise to deliver this successfully and your passion to inspire a future generation of experts to keep us on track.’
Employer Champions—Official Launchby Dr Emma Wilcox Chief Executive, Society for the Environment
Dr Emma Wilcox, Chief Executive to the Society for the Environment proudly announces the launch of the Employer Champions scheme. As part of the Society’s commitment to develop relationships with key employers, better comprehend their standards in hiring and ensure the competency of individuals and teams in making prudent environmental decisions, Emma recognises and thanks the Employer Champions who willingly took part in its pilot programme.
Six organisations were announced as the first Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) Employer Champions and one as the first Registered Environmental Technician (REnvTech) Employer Champion. Find out more about the CEnv Employer Champions here and the REnvTech Employer Champions here. For more information on the simple process of becoming an Employer Champion, take a look at the How To Become an Employer Champion page.
CEnv Employer Champions:
REnvTech Employer Champions:
New Honorary Fellows & Special Lecture by Sir Graham Wynne by Prof. Carolyn Roberts CEnv, Chair of the Honorary Fellows Committee
The Society took to the World Environment Day celebrations to present three new Honorary Fellows of the Society for the Environment (HonFSE). In no particular order, the newly appointed Honorary Fellows are Jennifer Blumhof CEnv, Keith Lawrey and Sir Graham Wynne.
Shortly succeeding the announcement, Sir Graham Wynne HonFSE delivered an inspiring lecture on the value of pragmatic action to combat environmental challenges, notably placing emphasis on the gravity of land usage in attaining net zero. As he eloquently states, ‘natural assets are humanity’s first line of defence against climate change’—however, only rarely are such considerations strategically evaluated in national policy frameworks, and even less so on an international scale. It is therefore the responsibility of environmental professionals to be transparent about any outliers, trade-offs and contradictions, actively aiding policymakers in making the most favourable decisions for their respective countries.
Environmental Professional of the Year 2019 Announcementby Prof. Will Pope HonFSE CEnv, Chair of the Society for the Environment
Preceding the concluding awards ceremony, Will Pope, Chair of the Society for the Environment, recognised the contributions of Elaine Rutherford to the Society, having dedicated a decade of distinguished work to the organisation.
Two Highly Commended Finalists and the Winner of the 2019 Environmental Professional of the Year Award were selected after careful deliberation.
In no particular order, the Highly Commended Finalists were announced to be Diana Pound CEnv (Director and Lead Dialogue Designer/Facilitator at Dialogue Matters) and Professor Carolyn Roberts CEnv (Self-employed Environmental Consultant and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Keele University).
After much anticipation, this year’s winner of the prestigious award was revealed as Jerome Baddley CEnv, Head of Unit for the National Sustainable Development Unit for the NHS, Public Health and Social Care at the NHS and Public Health England. Jerome showcased admirable dedication to sustainability throughout his twenty-year career in the environmental sector, most recently having produced the UK’s first city-wide energy and carbon strategy in Nottingham City, resulting in a 50% reduction in their carbon footprint. Read more about Jerome’s inspiring career here.
As the events came to an end, special thanks were dedicated to Event Sponsor Severn Trent, Venue Sponsor Kew and Clean Air Day, of which the Society is an Official Supporter. A final warm round of applause was devoted to Dougal Driver CEnv for Chairing the day’s proceedings.
A big thank you to our sponsors, Severn Trent and Kew, who made the event a great success!