At the end of 2017, just as the fourth issue of TRANSFORM was published, a new group of members assembled to review the new look, direction, attitude and format of the magazine.
Formed to ensure that the magazine interests, informs, serves and celebrates the IEMA membership, the editorial advisory board (EAB) met for the first time on 1 December. Along with editor Sharon Maguire and IEMA’s head of PR and communications, Katrina Pierce, the 11 members of the EAB discussed the impact and future of the new magazine; essentially, what works well, which areas should be enhanced or extended, and what could potentially be phased out as the title develops.
The general view on the new magazine is that it is a clear improvement on the environmentalist, which was itself rated very positively by members. The EAB praised the new “snappier, punchier” and bold style and tone of articles, which help busy IEMA members to quickly get to grips with all the right news and updates.
The Big Question debates and Big Interviews with people such as Jonathan Bartley, co-leader of the UK’s Green Party, and sustainability expert Dina Hasan Al Nahdy were also positively reviewed.
The use of quotes, infographics and images throughout the magazine seem to be working well, as board members were enthusiastic about the “clean and crisp” layout. There were mixed views on some visual elements such as the Big Picture, included in the centre of every issue. Many members of the group see it as an important “pause point” in the magazine, which gives the chance to get an unusual pictorial update on serious ecological and societal issues; others felt the two pages could be put to better use, perhaps for a case study or how-to guide.
Feedback on the spread of content from the first four issues was largely positive. However, some areas – such as impact assessment and environmental management, which were felt to be served very well by the environmentalist – need to feature far more prominently in 2018. As a caveat, the group did say they appreciate that it is difficult for one magazine to cover the full breadth of issues and specialisms that interest the entire IEMA membership.
The board urged IEMA and the editorial team to feature content that appeals to a wider, international audience of members, and to look at issues surrounding global supply chains and new practice outside the UK, and contributed some excellent ideas. Also discussed was the option of moving the magazine towards a sustainable digital format. Some were in favour, while others felt the print magazine was a valuable marketing tool to attract new members.
IEMA and the TRANSFORM editorial team are now working to introduce some developments recommended by the EAB ahead of the next meeting in April.
Transform’s editorial advisory board
- Kirit Patel – environment manager, DHL Supply Chain
- Clare Topping – energy and sustainability manager, Northampton General Hospital
- Sandra Norval – managing director, Catalicity
- Katie Atherton – environmental advisor, John Robson
- Mike Lachowicz – director, Panagaea Consulting Limited
- Phil Cumming – senior sustainability manager, Marks and Spencer Plc
- Adrian Barnes – vice-president, sustainable finance, UK Green Investment Bank
- Andy Nolan – director of sustainability, Nottingham University
- Jae Mather – executive director, Clean Energy Association of British Columbia
- Georgina Stickles – environmental sustainability manager, United Nations World Food Programme
- Josh Fothergill – director, Fothergill Training & Consulting Ltd
30th January 2018