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Winner Spotlight | Chris Landsburgh CEnv, 2020 Registrant Newcomer of the Year

The virtual 2020 SocEnv Awards held on the 5th June 2020 (World Environment Day) saw Chartered Environmentalist, Chris Landsburgh, awarded as the first ever Registrant Newcomer of the Year. Time to find out a bit more!

Based in Glasgow, Chris is the Environmental & Sustainability Manager at Wills Bros Civil Engineering Ltd, a Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) registered with IEMA, an ICE President’s Future Leader and a member of CIWEM. Chris is leading the Environmental and Sustainability Engineering Team with Wills Bros; and has recently led the organisation to become the World’s First Carbon Neutral Contractor – recognised by the United Nations.

Dr Emma Wilcox, judging panel member and Chief Executive of SocEnv, said: “The enthusiasm and strategic thinking across his work and commitment to greening the civil engineering sector with collaboration as a constant theme, whilst still in the early stages of his career, made Chris a very worthy first winner of the new Registrant Newcomer of the Year award.”
New for 2020, the Registrant Newcomer of the Year award is designed to highlight individuals who have really hit the ground running having recently achieved their CEnv or REnvTech registrations (since 1st January 2019 in this instance). Chris gained his CEnv registration alongside MIEMA in March 2019.

Following the announcement, Chris reached: “this award is more for my team than myself. They are embedding it [environmental thinking] within the heart of their operations, I’m just the one leading it along the pathway.”

Chris is spearheading the development of an Environmental Practitioner Graduate Apprenticeship Scheme for Scotland, he has co-ordinated a Pledge to Net Zero for Wills Bros and confirmed the organisation as a CEnv Employer Champion. Other achievements include leadership on:

  • Supply Chain Sustainability School Gold Standard Organisation.
  • Surfers Against Sewers Plastic Champion Organisation.
  • Environmental and Sustainability Lead for our 10 Projects.
  • Introduction of Biodiversity Net Gain and Carbon Management Policies in the Business.
  • Encouraging and mentoring staff aiming for CEnv through IEMA, ICE, CIWEM and CIEEM.

Chris’ Line Manager and Managing Director of Wills Bros, Charles Wills, said: “I have worked closely with Chris as he has moved from Coordinator to Manager within my company. His willingness to work hard, take on new challenging tasks and excel in what is asked of him highlights Chris’ ambition to succeed. This has served him well as a Chartered Environmentalist but also as Manager of our Environmental Engineering team. He has led our team through an array of complex environmental situations, and I believe Chris is worthy of the Registrant Newcomer of the Year Award.

Chris wishes to use this platform to encourage the younger generation to seek innovation within the challenging world we live in at present; as well as inspire others to become Chartered or Registered Environmentalists.”

As part of the live Winner Q&A during the virtual awards event, Chris was asked what advice he would give to aspiring environmental professionals: “Just keep pushing your managers, your leaders and your professional bodies, and continue embedding environment stewardship in your working. If you are presenting environmental or sustainability ideas to them, keep the benefits for organisation in mind. For example, tender appeals, public image or commercial return.”

In response to winning the award, Chris included a rallying call to organisations, professional bodies and individuals: “There’s a lot of innovative work going on in this space, and I’m glad to be a part of it. This morning I was looking at my LinkedIn account as I normally would, and I saw a flood of posts relating to World Environment Day – with net zero target announcements, pledges to build back better and charities putting nature at the heart of their operations. We’re in challenging times, but we need to ensure that these pledges, promises and plans continue throughout the year.

I think that the Society for the Environment alongside all of its professional bodies are in an excellent position to ensure that we come out with a green recovery post COVID-19. I’m certainly glad to be part of the journey and to be recognised for it. Happy World Environment Day and thank you for the award.”

The Highly Commended Finalists for the first Registrant Newcomer of the Year award was James Hicks CEnv, Senior Ecologist at Atkins.

The two other winners at the virtual event were joint 2020 Environmental Professionals of the Year winners, David Symons CEnv – UK Director of Sustainability at WSP – and Mandhy Senewiratne CEnv – Director at Fyrefly Global Sustainability Ltd. Find out more about David and Mandhy in their Winner Spotlights by clicking on the appropriate name.