Shaun McCarthy OBE begins work as Chair of IEMA’s Professional Standards Committee

An influential name from sustainability leadership has just been named as the new Chair of the environment and sustainability profession’s governing standards committee.

Shaun McCarthy OBE, Director of consultancy Action Sustainability, has just been confirmed as the Chair of IEMA’s Professional Standards Committee. The representative group has responsibility for ensuring IEMA’s membership and professional standards are robust, upheld and future-fit. He brings a wealth of experience, expertise, connections and says he aims to add a new dimension of “rigour” to the panel.

McCarthy is Director of consultancy Action Sustainability. He brings over 20 years’ senior management experience with large companies and 11 years' experience as an independent advisor to a wide variety of corporations and governments around the world. He is an experienced Chair, with a current position at the Supply Chain School and former appointment to the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 - a ground breaking assurance body created to advise the Mayor of London and Olympics Minister on London 2012. Shaun is also a Full member of IEMA and was awarded an OBE for services to sustainability and the London Olympics by Her Majesty the Queen in the 2013 birthday honours list.

Shaun says that he was attracted to the IEMA Professional Standards Committee position after closely following IEMA’s development over the past three years; “I’ve been extremely interested in and impressed by what IEMA has been doing in recent years, and I really identify with IEMA’s mission to transform the world to sustainability. This is something the world really needs, and in order to do that we need some strong quality controls in place. I think that’s where the IEMA Professional Standards Committee can really support the profession towards some really exciting things”.

Sustainability as a concept and as a profession is only credible when it is evidence based and held to account, and I am pleased to be able to work with a committee that approaches the profession with this ethos at its heart,” he continued.

Shaun says the environment and sustainability profession” is ready to grow up”. “It’s a very young area compared to some of the more traditional, established professions like legal, accounting and engineering, and with that comes both challenges and chances to forge new territory. Sustainability is not a finite science in the way say, accountancy is which really reinforces the case for rigorous professional standards as new issues and challenges arise. We have some work to do there in what is a really exciting area”.

Upon Shaun’s appointment in March, IEMA’s CEO Tim Balcon said: “I would like to officially welcome Shaun to the Professional Standards Committee and by extension, to the IEMA Board. Shaun brings an impressive volume of experience to the committee and we are extremely lucky that will benefit from his expertise, now and in the long term.”

McCarthy replaces previous Chair Gillian Gibson, and joins Michael Nates (Director Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, ACWA Power), Lucy Candlin (Director, Planet & Prosperity), Jo Murphy (National Technical Advisor, Environment Agency) and Dr Paul Stookes (Solicitor-advocate, Richard Buxton Environmental & Public Law) on the committee.


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