A dynamic force: highlights of 2023 and the impacts for the year ahead

1st February 2024


Lisa Pool reflects on the highlights of the past year and what they mean for the future

Each year, IEMA continues to grow as a dynamic and influential force within the sustainability landscape, despite challenges in almost every industry. In 2023, we saw an 11% increase in individual memberships, reaching a total of 21,813 by the year’s end. This expanding community shows that the profession is growing in credibility, with robust professional accreditation at its heart. The attendance of 3,187 professionals at our award-winning IEMA Connect 2023 conference and an impressive 11,870 registrations for our webinars underscore the value members place on continuing learning and networking, and demonstrates a keen interest in staying informed and engaged with emerging sustainability topics.

Green skills development continued to be a key focus for us in 2023. The final global stocktake at COP28 refers to the necessity of skills development and training to tackle climate change, which we, and more than 40 other organisations, campaigned for throughout last year. This proactive campaign, to ensure that negotiations recognised the crucial role of green skills and jobs in tackling the world’s climate crisis, emphasises IEMA’s commitment to influencing global discussions on climate action.

Some 7,407 individuals took our certified training courses in sustainability and environmental management, a 6% increase on 2022, signifying a commitment across industry to building expertise in sustainable practices. The addition of 3,007 new members via training courses, comprising 2,164 AIEMA and 843 PIEMA members, highlights the importance of education in our membership growth.

Other initiatives, such as the launch of the Green Careers Hub’s second phase and the collaboration with Stickerbook and CBRE – both nominated for a 2024 edie award – are already working hard to foster a skilled and informed workforce through diverse content and innovative approaches to education.

The effort and resources invested in the IEMA jobs board (www.iemajobs.net) exemplify our commitment to supporting individuals in their career journeys in the sustainability and wider environment sector. The growing number of advertised roles showcases the board’s effectiveness in connecting jobseekers with opportunities in these fields.

Throughout 2023, IEMA’s direct impact could be seen through training, education and workforce development. But its biggest, furthest-reaching impact is consistently made through our individual members, who use IEMA to learn, grow and network. Each guidance document, webinar, regional event or new toolkit provides valuable resources and examples of best practice that unite our profession across the globe.

The growth in membership and educational initiatives solidify IEMA’s position as a key player in shaping the future of environmental management and sustainability practices. The range of engagements, from events and webinars to educational courses and media presence, reflect a multifaceted approach to creating a positive impact in the field.

Lisa Pool AIEMA is head of marketing at IEMA.

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