The profession needs a pro-business, pro-growth focus going into 2017.

From Brexit to Trump, 2016 was a socio-political rollercoaster, and the hard reality is that last year’s uncertainty is a long way from being resolved. I admit that I, and the rest of the IEMA Futures team, have found it incredibly difficult to consistently stay positive about what lies ahead.

But we cannot dwell on that. Positivity from the environment and sustainability profession and this generation is vital going into this year. We must learn from 2016 and evaluate our approach to environment and sustainability issues to make sure we achieve the world we want.

Now, more than ever, sustainability needs a pro-business, pro-growth focus. It should be about growing and innovating, creating new business opportunities, and challenging the status quo – everything the IEMA Futures generation embraces and celebrates.

One area that will drive significant carbon reduction and have a positive impact on the environment and society is investment in sustainable infrastructure. Meeting climate change targets rests on the capacity to create and invest in infrastructure, in cities and elsewhere, that will enable the transition to a low-carbon economy. This requires joined-up systems thinking and a creative approach to tackling some of the challenges ahead.

IEMA Futures believes that young environment and sustainability professionals are well placed to be the future innovators, helping to lead the way towards achieving sustainable infrastructure solutions. That is why we have chosen this challenge as our focus for 2017 and look forward to hosting discussions and events on this topic. We would encourage all IEMA Students, Graduates and early career professionals to follow us on social media and get involved.

Here’s to a year of innovation and action to save our world for future generations – join the movement.