London signing marks official start of the IEMA-GACSO relationship

2nd May 2014

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After the event last month celebrating IEMA officially taking over the Global Association of Corporate Sustainability Officers (GACSO), the Institute is now using feedback raised by members to develop a programme of activity that will grow and enhance the corporate sustainability profession

Members of IEMA and GACSO met at Stationers’ Hall in London on 10 April where the Institute’s chief executive, Tim Balcon, its vice chair, Richard Powell, GACSO founder Alan Knight and chair Stuart Poore signed a memorandum of understanding (pictured above).

During a question-and-answer session, members of both organisations had the opportunity to inform IEMA’s CEO about how they want the Institute to use its leadership and resources to develop GACSO. Some crucial themes emerged from this session, giving IEMA a clear member-led direction about what its priorities should be for GACSO.

The first is to create a “sustainability lexicon”, which will establish a shared understanding and defining narrative for IEMA–GACSO members. A second key priority is for IEMA to use its experience to provide a route for professionalisation and recognition for those working in corporate sustainability roles – this is currently missing, and is something GACSO members believe would be valuable in the development of practitioners.

Balcon advises members that IEMA has already established a plan of action to address these critical issues: “We’ve got a great and unique opportunity to develop something pretty incredible,” he said. “We’ll scope and build on the shared experience of IEMA and GACSO members, and grow a sustainability profession that is rooted in, and informed by, our leading-edge practitioners.”

In the months ahead, members of both organisations will be updated on GACSO’s development and programme of events.

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