IEMA launches 2013 graduate award

9th August 2013

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IEMA's annual search for the best of the profession's emerging talent is now open

The IEMA graduate award – sponsored by Land Securities and supported by edie and Sustainable Business – aims to recognise the most outstanding environmental graduate, achieving unrivalled success in his or her first role.

Now in its seventh year, the award scheme highlights the important contribution of environment professionals to the UK economy and helps businesses to understand the vital role that environmentalists, at all levels of experience, play in their organisation. IEMA, Land Securities, edie, Sustainable Business and the 2013 judges are now seeking nominations for this year’s award.

Ideal candidates may have achieved significant financial savings by applying their recently acquired environmental knowledge to a particular project, for example, or have notably reduced their organisation’s carbon emissions through an innovative approach. Others may have successfully engaged stakeholders with their organisation’s environmental strategy.

If you know a recent environmental graduate who is really making a difference in his or her first role, we want to hear about their achievements and how they are working to transform their organisation.

Over the years, winners of the graduate award have come from a broad range of organisations, industries and sectors. Shortlisted candidates have included graduates ranging from volunteers to career-changers. The common thread binding them is that they each demonstrated exceptional dedication and ability, using their environmental knowledge and talent to create sustainable solutions to their organisations’ challenges.

Winning or being shortlisted for the IEMA graduate award provides a great CV boost for anyone embarking on their environment career. For employers it demonstrates that they recruit forward-thinking graduates and invest their time in innovative sustainability projects.

Last year’s winner, Lorna Pilbin, environmental assistant at British Gypsum (pictured receiving her award), said: “Winning the IEMA graduate award was an amazing feeling. I was delighted to be shortlisted and attending the awards ceremony in London was a real honour.

“When my name was read out as the winner I really was in shock. I couldn’t believe that my work had not only been recognised within British Gypsum, but also by the judging panel. The award made me realise that my choice of a career in the environment was the right one.”

The judging panel is seeking nominations from managers, mentors and clients of graduate practitioners who have made cost savings, added value or successfully driven change in their role.

Candidates do not have to be an IEMA member, because they will receive a year’s membership if they are successful, but they must be nominated for the award – they cannot enter themselves.

So if you work with a new environmentalist who has made a difference in their first job and deserves some recognition for their achievements, why not nominate them for the 2013 IEMA graduate award?

Award prize package

A shortlist of three nominees will be invited to the Sustainability Leaders Awards* ceremony on 21 November. One will be named as the winner of the 2013 IEMA graduate award and will receive a £1,000 prize, a trophy and one year’s free IEMA graduate membership. The two runners-up will receive one year’s graduate membership.

* Nominees must be available to travel to London on 21 November to attend the ceremony. Provision towards overnight stay in London will be provided if required.

Award ceremony

The Sustainability Leaders Awards, organised by and Sustainable Business, are the UK’s premier awards for those demonstrating leadership in sustainability across the private and public sectors, with prizes for best practice in water, waste and energy management, as well as stakeholder engagement and product innovation.

This year the awards will be held at The Grand Connaught Rooms in London, on Thursday 21 November 2013. The winner in each category will be announced at the ceremony, with the IEMA graduate award being presented by IEMA’s chief executive, Tim Balcon, and Neil Pennell, head of sustainability and engineering at Land Securities.

The three shortlisted nominees will be welcomed with a champagne reception, a three-course meal and entertainment. The nominees will sit at the IEMA and Land Securities table with Balcon and Pennell.

To find out more about the Sustainability Leaders Awards, including how your organisation can book a table, visit

How to nominate

To be eligible for the IEMA graduate award, candidates must have completed a degree course in an environment-related topic within the past two academic years – ie they must have graduated on or since 1 July 2011 – and be nominated by a colleague, manager or client using the online forms.

Detailed evidence must be submitted in support of the nomination, and it is this documentation that will be used by the judges in deciding the shortlist of nominees and the award winner.

For more information, all the necessary documents, guidance, timings and submission details for the 2013 IEMA graduate award, visit

Schedule for the awards

  • Nominations deadline - 5pm, 30 Sep
  • Judging period - 1–11 Oct
  • Shortlist notified - 14 Oct
  • Awards ceremony - 21 Nov

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