Uniting for a common purpose

3rd May 2019

P4 tim balcon 3 0

Related Topics

Related tags

  • sea ice loss ,
  • Biodiversity ,
  • Global ,
  • Pollution & Waste Management


Rhys Jelfs

If we're to successfully tackle the significant threats to our environment, we're also going to have to address unfairness and inequality in our society.

“Focusing on inequality will play a major part in addressing environmental restoration“

With social divisions and factions on the increase, it's incumbent on all of us to focus on building trust and action on the issues that unite us.

Whether you look at economic status, politics or culture, divisions are growing – and with them, the risks exacerbating climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss. Focusing on inequality and inclusivity will play a major part in addressing environmental restoration.

Globally, divisions are getting in the way of tackling climate change and the environment – and these need to be challenged. As professionals, we have a role to play in highlighting and seeking to overcome areas of division, be they local or international.

We recently ran a faith-based webinar, and afterwards I went to see the Bahu Trust in Birmingham. They told me why they place so much importance on breaking down barriers of division, relating a story about a brook that ran through their community. The brook was once a source of clean water; now it is not. For this brook to be restored, communities upstream and downstream must work together.

Our common purpose is the environment – something we all share, enjoy and have responsibility for. Our beliefs, principles and values align here. And yet, ironically, some of the most developed countries are creating the antecedents for greater division rather than greater unity.

A harmonious society will play a huge role in protecting the environment. This is one of the reasons for IEMA's change in recent years to embrace social sustainability as well as environment management. IEMA is where we can celebrate and build on successful initiatives to address inequality.

As an example, in this issue we investigate how the NHS' Healthy New Towns standard is targeting lower-income groups with environmentally friendly housing and green spaces. We also ask how 'rewilding' conservation can help improve social cohesion, health and wellbeing, and how best to tackle air pollution in cities across the world.

Tim balcon, CEO of IEMA


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

How much is too much?

While there is no silver bullet for tackling climate change and social injustice, there is one controversial solution: the abolition of the super-rich. Chris Seekings explains more

4th April 2024

Read more

One of the world’s most influential management thinkers, Andrew Winston sees many reasons for hope as pessimism looms large in sustainability. Huw Morris reports

4th April 2024

Read more

Alex Veitch from the British Chambers of Commerce and IEMA’s Ben Goodwin discuss with Chris Seekings how to unlock the potential of UK businesses

4th April 2024

Read more

Regulatory gaps between the EU and UK are beginning to appear, warns Neil Howe in this edition’s environmental legislation round-up

4th April 2024

Read more

Five of the latest books on the environment and sustainability

3rd April 2024

Read more

Ben Goodwin reflects on policy, practice and advocacy over the past year

2nd April 2024

Read more

In 2020, IEMA and the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) jointly wrote and published A User Guide to Climate-Related Financial Disclosures. This has now been updated to include three key developments in the field.

2nd April 2024

Read more

Hello and welcome to another edition of Transform. I hope that you’ve had a good and productive few months so far.

28th March 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close