Further and Faster Agreement November 2019

28th February 2020


The climate emergency and ecological crisis require urgent action by all organisations, especially those in the sustainability sector. This agreement forms a statement of intent for targeted collaborative action between SOS-UK and IEMA. It outlines the priority challenges we intend to substantively progress over the next three years in response to the environmental emergency.

1.0 Diversity in the sustainability sector

In 2018 IEMA and NUS collaborated on a research project that quantified the lack of diversity in the sustainability sector. Our research found that the average percentage of VME (visible minority ethnic) staff and trustees in the UK's leading environmental charities and agencies was 3.1% compared to 19.9% of the general public. This builds on the findings of the Policy Exchange report in 2017, which found that environmental sector was the second least diverse sector in the UK, after farming. As well as ethnicity, the sector has a problem with gender balance in senior roles and is also underrepresented by people who are differently-abled. Progress to date:

  • 2018/19 research and House of Lords sector roundtable
  • One of the three workstreams of SOS-UK

Our plan:

  • Reconvene key sector individuals and organisations in the first half of 2020 and develop a sector-wide statement of intent
  • Follow-up diversity research and report 2020
  • Secure major funding for sector-wide action-based programme

2.0 Getting sustainability out of subject silos

Secondary schools routinely compartmentalise sustainability into geography and science, presenting it as a subject. Universities often teach sustainability as a bolt-on through separate modules. We should be teaching students that sustainability is fundamental to everything we learn and that, when it comes to climate change and the ecological crisis, everything is connected. We need to liberate sustainability out of its subject silos and weave it through all disciplines, like a golden thread. Sustainability should be framed in the same way as equality is, in that it is a right and a learning entitlement Progress to date:

  • NUS IEMA-accredited training for Green Impact auditors (800 college and university students per year from all different disciplines)
  • NUS and UKSCN launched Teach the Future supported by IEMA

Our plan

  • Secure official review of education system through Teach the Future
  • Run a high-level event for professional bodies across all disciplines in 2020 and develop a sector-wide statement of intent
  • Develop impactful resources for professional bodies to embed sustainability into the curriculums they accredit
  • Carry out primary research into how college and university courses are embedding sustainability and publish it in 2021

Zamzam Ibrahim - President, SOS-UK

Toby Robins - Interim CEO, IEMA

Subscribe

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


Transform articles

Renewables account for almost half of Britain’s power generation

Solar power generation hit a new high in the last quarter as renewables accounted for almost half of Britain’s energy production, according to a report from Montel Analytics.

18th July 2024

Read more

Only a third of the emission reductions required for the UK to achieve net zero by 2030 are covered by credible plans, the Climate Change Committee (CCC) has warned today.

18th July 2024

Read more

Tell us what you think about your membership magazine and you can enter the draw to win a £50 voucher for the Ethical Superstore!

15th July 2024

Read more

Almost three-fifths of UK environmental professionals feel there is a green skills gap across the country’s workforce, or that there will be, a new survey has uncovered.

4th July 2024

Read more

Climate hazards such as flooding, droughts and extreme heat are threatening eight in 10 of the world’s cities, new research from CDP has uncovered.

3rd July 2024

Read more

Three in five British adults want more public involvement in the planning system, which could be at odds with Labour’s plans to boost economic growth, IEMA research has found.

3rd July 2024

Read more

Ahead of the UK general election next month, IEMA has analysed the Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, and Green Party manifestos in relation to the sustainability agenda.

19th June 2024

Read more

Nine in 10 UK adults do not fully trust brands to accurately portray their climate commitments or follow the science all the time, a new survey has uncovered.

19th June 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