Graduate consultant scoops £1,000 IEMA prize

22nd November 2013

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Coco Smits, a graduate environmental consultant at Royal HaskoningDHV, has been named as IEMA's graduate practitioner of the year at the Sustainable Leaders Awards

Smits, who graduated last year from her MSc in environmental sciences, was praised by the judges for her exemplary work on the engineering firm's trans-Adriatic pipeline project as well as her professionalism and ability to demonstrate her knowledge.

“Coco represents the very best of early-career environmental talent,” said Martin Baxter, IEMA’s executive director of policy. ”She demonstrates how the right mix of knowledge, dedication and skills can transform a project’s success. I’m delighted to be able to present Coco with this year’s prize and welcome her into our membership.”

Baxter and Neil Pennell, from the award’s sponsor Land Securities, presented Smits with her award at’s annual Sustainable Leaders Awards in London (21 November).

As well as recieving her winner's trophy Smits was also presented with a £1,000 cash prize and a year’s membership to IEMA.

The award’s judges also commended this year’s runners-up, Lee Collier, an energy and environment adviser at Linklaters LLP, and Hanna Hayward, a sustainability advisor at BAM Construct, as great examples of the quality of environmental graduates.

Both Collier and Hayward also receive a one year’s free IEMA Graduate membership.

Smits’ success was celebrated alongside that of organisations such as Virgin Media, Dairy Crest, Sainsbury’s and Skanska, which all secured awards for their sustainability efforts.

Virgin Media won the award for best waste and resource management, while Skanska scooped the energy efficiency prize and Sainsbury’s was recognised for its carbon management efforts.

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