July/August connect

4th July 2019

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Sarah Gibson

Social and community news from IEMA.

IEMA New Zealand going from strength to strength

During the past couple of years, New Zealand has seen a step-change in ambition around a range of sustainability issues. On the climate front, we have seen the introduction of the Zero Carbon Bill (bit.ly/2JjIyp9), providing a framework for New Zealand's contribution to the Paris Agreement's aim of limiting global average temperature increases to the 1.5°C target above pre-industrial levels.

The country has established the Climate Leaders Coalition (bit.ly/2D90uyt), committing over 80 organisations, representing more than half of the country's gross emissions and 25% of private sector GDP, to climate action. The government has also launched its first 'wellbeing budget', focused on intergenerational outcomes, sustainability, inclusivity and productivity.

This is a positive reflection on the sustainability professionals who have worked hard to raise the profile of these issues in New Zealand. It has also led to an increase in demand for individuals with the broad sustainability skillsets required to deliver change. In 2017, a formal IEMA regional group was established to support the growing network of IEMA-accredited professionals working in New Zealand. Since then, the group has organised a number of networking events, and seen increased interest in the work of IEMA more broadly.

As the group builds its profile, we would welcome contact from IEMA members based locally and beyond who are willing to help broaden our impact. We are currently looking at options to bring IEMA-accredited skills training to the local market while also continuing with a programme of localised networking and knowledge sharing.

For further information, contact [email protected] and/or follow the group's activities on twitter


Environmental Professional of the Year

The Society for the Environment is pleased to announce that Jerome Baddley FIEMA is its Environmental Professional of the Year. Baddley is a Chartered Environmentalist and head of unit at the National Sustainable Development Unit for the NHS, Public Health and Social Care at the NHS and Public Health England.

Baddley has worked in the environmental sector for 20 years. He chairs the National Working Group for Low Carbon Inhalers, and co-chairs the National Task Group on low-carbon anaesthetics.

“I have been blessed to work with amazing teams, supportive management and great leadership,“ he commented. “Really, this is an award for them.“

What's on this month

GESA Meeting:

Financing green, sustainable or circular economic transition – does ESIA help? 9 July 2019

The concept of transitioning to a new economic model is not new, but this session aims to 'follow the money'. It will look at at how donors and international finance institutions put their weight behind these concepts, and what the role of environment and sustainability practitioners is in supporting that. This event will give the perspective of practitioners who are working with donors and lenders, and introduce some of the tools and frameworks that those institutions are using to steer investment towards a more sustainable future. To book, go to bit.ly/GESAFinGreen


Environmental impact assessment for infrastructure projects 16 July 2019

This focused one-day masterclass will provide in-depth practical guidance on how to develop an EIA for your project. Hear the latest insight on recent regulation changes and learn how to overcome the common challenges and issues you will encounter in the process. This interactive event will bring together environmental experts to share first-hand knowledge, innovative ideas and to address the biggest challenges you will face throughout the process. To book, go to bit.ly/EIAMaster

Book Club Webinar:

Don't Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change 18 July 2019

Most of us recognise that climate change is real, and yet we do nothing to stop it. What is this psychological mechanism that allows us to know something is true but act as if it is not? George Marshall's search for the answers brings him face to face with Nobel Prize-winning psychologists, the world's leading climate scientists and the people who denounce them, liberal environmentalists and conservative evangelicals. Join us on this webinar, in which we'll be discussing key concepts of the book with our host, Marek Bidwell. To book, go to bit.ly/IEMABookclub

Fighting air pollution on a local level

More than 30 members attended a thought-provoking evening event in Manchester on 4 June, hosted by IEMA's North West Steering Group.

Sanja Potgieter-Vermaak, senior lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), opened the debate with an overview of MMU's research into air pollution and an insight into some of the issues that are yet to become mainstream. Her talk covered projects on environmental forensics, aerotoxicity, airport-related investigations, air pollution monitoring and assessment, and health. The latter projects included studies of inhalable urban road dust on Oxford Road in Manchester, which revealed surprising results. The take-home message was that the fate of environmental particles is complex, and the general assumption that assessments can be based on total (bulk) concentrations needs to be reconsidered.

Amy Stidworthy, principal consultant at Cambridge Environmental Research Consultants (CERC), introduced air quality forecasting for Manchester using CERC's ADMS-Urban software, which is integrated into the new Clean Air Greater Manchester website and produces three-day air quality forecast maps. While residents can sign up for air quality alerts via SMS text, email or recorded message, it was stressed that air quality forecasts will not solve the city's air quality problems. They can, however, mitigate short-term health effects by helping people who are vulnerable to poor air quality to prepare.

Megan Black, head of logistics and environment at Transport for Greater Manchester, outlined Greater Manchester's proposed Clean Air Plan, which aims to address illegal levels of NO2 in the shortest possible time. The main proposal is to target vehicles with older diesel engines with a clean air zone, rather than a congestion charge that targets all vehicles. Attendees were encouraged to visit cleanairgm.com to comment on the proposals. The Clean Air Plan proposals will then be developed in more detail, informed by responses.

Boosting mental health and resilience among sustainability professionals

By Mike Thakoordin

On 23 May, IEMA's East of England Regional Committee held a 'social and workshop' event on the theme of mental health and resilience for sustainability professionals. Myself as speaker and four other IEMA colleagues enjoyed working through the interactive materials as we dealt with what is a fairly deep subject, happily sharing our different experiences.

This is a subject that can affect many environmental and sustainability professionals, if only because so many of us work alone and are dependent on key individuals within our organisations for assistance. Everybody felt that, through the event, they had gained an understanding about what help is available to individuals. There was also a recommendation that the regions should look at putting on similar events, and that there should also be a national lead on this issue from IEMA.

Mike Thakoordin is a trainer and consultant specialising in mental health in the workplace. For more information, contact [email protected]


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