Students get sustainable ID opportunity

12th March 2013


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IEMA is working with the national union of students (NUS) to challenge those studying at universities or colleges to design a new generation of IEMA membership identification

Through the ethical and environmental department at the NUS, IEMA is aiming to find an innovative alternative to the traditional membership card used by the Institute until 2010.

The results of a survey that year revealed that most IEMA members had concerns over the use and appearance of the existing cards and, owing to the associated costs and environmental impact of 15,000 cards being issued a year, the decision was made to cease production of physical cards until a more suitable, useful and sustainable method of ID could be introduced (an electronic version is already available on request).

With a variety of options available, each with its own environmental benefits and costs, the search for the ideal format has proved challenging.

Through the student environmental enterprise competition 2013, IEMA is now looking to those studying environment, design or business to pinpoint what members really need from their membership ID and what form it should take.

By combining environmental knowledge with design, creativity and teamwork, the Institute is asking students to transform the way IEMA members think about proof of membership.

The competition judges – James Thorne, head of membership service delivery at IEMA, Jo Kemp, green impact programme manager at the NUS, and Toby Hodgkinson, partner at Opus Print – will be looking for a business case that demonstrates excellence and creativity in the following areas:

  • Usability and appeal – how will it work in practice?
  • Feasibility on a large scale – at least 15,000 units.
  • Sustainability – evidence that potential impacts have been considered and minimised at each stage of the production, use and reuse/disposal phases.
  • Cost–benefit – does the new ID present any revenue or reuse opportunities at the end of its life instead of disposal?

The most outstanding entry will win £1,000, plus one year’s IEMA Student membership. The winner(s) will also be invited to one of IEMA’s “Leading the way” events to present their solution to the UK’s environment leaders. Following the competition, IEMA will assess launching the winning idea as the new format for membership ID.

To find out more about the competition visit IEMA's website. Members will be updated on the submissions and the winning entry through future issues of
the environmentalist and via


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