Environmental organisations pledge to diversify sector

9th November 2023

Over 70 environmental organisations in the UK have signed up to a new campaign committing to make the green jobs workforce more diverse and inclusive.

Signatories to the Force of Nature campaign, led by the charity Groundwork, commit to developing an action plan to make their organisations more diverse and inclusive, adopt recruitment practices that boost diversity, and create entry-level roles with career progression prospects for diverse talent.

This comes after research from IEMA, SOS-UK, and the Natural Environment Research Council last year found that only 4.8% of employees in the environmental sector came from an ethnically-diverse background, compared with an average of 12.6% across all professions.

The RACE Report 2022 also revealed that only 7% of those working in the environmental charity sector come from an ethnically-diverse background, compared to the all-profession average of 14%.

“The diversity challenge for the environmental sector is well documented, and being addressed through a range of complementary initiatives,” said Groundwork’s UK chief executive, Graham Duxbury.

“Making sure our recruitment and development practices are inclusive and accessible is an important piece of the jigsaw.

“As a movement in the midst of a climate and nature crisis we need to be as effective as possible at engaging all sections of society in our work. We’ll only do this if our workforce better reflects and understands the diversity of the communities we’re working in and with.

WWF-UK, Wildlife and Countryside Link, RSPB, and The Wildlife Trust are among the environmental organisations that have signed up to the Force of Nature campaign.

It is built on the success achieved through the New to Nature programme, funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, that has seen 96 people from under-represented groups employed with various environmental organisations.

This comes after IEMA launched its Diverse Sustainability Initiative in 2021, which is dedicated to improving diversity and inclusion in the environment and sustainability sector.

Speaking at the launch, IEMA CEO Sarah Mukherjee MBE, said: “As a British Asian, speaking with diverse people in the sector, I am shocked and saddened by some of the stories I have heard of racial inequality within the environment and sustainability profession.

“We have a commitment to be far more representative of this country, and I urge people to sign up and pledge their commitment to joining us in supporting and encouraging new diverse professionals, wherever they are in their career.”

Image credit: Shutterstock


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

IEMA and IFoA publish guide to climate-related financial disclosures

IEMA and the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) have today published up-to-date guidance to help companies and individuals understand climate-related financial information.

22nd February 2024

Read more

Campaign group Wild Justice has accused the UK government of trying to relax pollution rules for housebuilders “through the backdoor”.

14th February 2024

Read more

Global corporations such as Amazon and Google purchased a record 46 gigawatts (GW) of solar and wind energy last year, according to BloombergNEF (BNEF).

13th February 2024

Read more

Three-quarters of UK adults are concerned about the impact that climate change will have on their bills, according to polling commissioned by Positive Money.

13th February 2024

Read more

All major housing developments in England will be required by law to deliver at least a 10% increase in biodiversity under new rules that came into force today.

12th February 2024

Read more

The number of UK environmental charities reporting on the racial diversity of their workforce grew by more than half last year, according to figures released yesterday.

6th February 2024

Read more

Tom Pashby reviews Anna Trompetas’s OffSet, a dystopian climate fiction novel that explores questions of morality, motherhood and class inequality

1st February 2024

Read more

This year’s climate conference served up mention of food systems for the first time. David Burrows explores the significance of this

1st February 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close