Top graduate scoops £2k IEMA prize

16th November 2011

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An environmentalist working to inspire and engage young people with the issues of sustainability has been named as the winner of the 2011 IEMA graduate award.

Heather Poore, youth volunteering project manager at behaviour change charity Global Action Plan (GAP), was presented with the top prize at IEMA’s 2011 conference for her exceptional work in helping to turn environmental messages into action.

Dave Farebrother, chairman of the award’s judging panel and director of environment at Land Securities, said: “Heather is an outstanding example of how environmental graduates are bringing the skills that will embed environmental thinking into business practice.

“Her work at GAP, where she has shown outstanding commitment to inspiring young people, is an excellent example of this.”

Poore, who has won a £2,000 cash prize and a year’s free membership to IEMA, reacted to the announcement by praising the work of her fellow finalists.

“I am delighted to be recognised by IEMA and for the kind comments of the judges,” she said. “When I heard about the work of the other finalists, I couldn’t believe that I had been chosen as the winner. The award has been a great experience, especially because it has enabled me to meet other graduates and learn about what they are doing."

Farebrother presented Poore with her award after recognising the work of this year’s two runners up for the prize who each received £1,000 and a year’s free graduate membership.

Laura Duggan, environmental executive at George Best Belfast City Airport, was praised for her role in developing and implementing the airport’s environmental management systems, while Charlie Symonds, knowledge transfer associate and sustainable development engineer at Stannah Stairlifts/Oxford Brookes University had been nominated for his creation of a framework for his company’s sustainability strategy for the next five years.

Paul Suff, editor of the environmentalist and a member of the award’s judging panel, confirmed the quality of the standard of entries for the year’s award was particularly high.

“Although the judges were unanimous in our decision as to which of the nominees should be finalists, we were presented with a range of excellent examples of graduates working to design effective environmental management systems, improve resource efficiency and engage stakeholders with environmental messages.

“All of the nominees should be rightly proud of themselves as embodying the skills and commitment that is so vital for the future of the profession and a sustainable economy.”

Claire Lea, IEMA’s director of membership services, agreed: “IEMA’s graduate award winners and runners up are leaders in their field and are shining examples of the future potential of the profession.”


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