Annual Society for the Environment awards showcasing the achievements of environmental professionals continue with virtual announcement event and announce two IEMA members as winners.

The Environmental Professional of the Year award presented to two environmental professionals as joint winners for the first time.

Chartered Environmentalist becomes first Registrant Newcomer of the Year winner.

Annually the Society for the Environment (SocEnv) Awards showcase the outstanding work of Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) and Registered Environmental Technician (REnvTech) registrants, as part of the Society’s World Environment Day celebrations.

7,447 registrants all meet the required standards to highlight their environmental and sustainability expertise as CEnv or REnvTech, but some warrant further recognition for going above and beyond and are commended via the SocEnv Awards.

After much deliberation within the judging panel, the 2020 Environmental Professional of the Year award was presented to two registrants for the first time in the history of the award, with two further nominees announced as Highly Commended Finalists.

2020 Environmental Professional of the Year Winners:

Mandhy Senewiratne CEnv
Director at Fyrefly Global Sustainability Ltd
Registered via the Institute of Water

David Symons CEnv
UK Director of Sustainability at WSP
Registered via IEMA

Highly Commended Finalists:

Prof. Daniel B. Oerther CEnv
Professor of Environmental Health Engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology
Registered via the Society of Operations Engineers

Claire Wansbury CEnv
Associate Director of Ecology at Atkins
Registered via CIEEM

Judging panel Chair, Dougal Driver CEnv – Vice Chair of SocEnv, notes the reasonings behind the unprecedented outcome of joint winners: “The nominations presented for both Mandhy and David shone through as exceptional examples of effective, passionate, modern environmental professionals. The work they do and the approach they take are very different, but their individual impact and commitment are unquestionably impressive to an inseparable degree, so much so that the panel were unable to separate them. They are both highly deserving winners of this prestigious accolade.”

Another first for the SocEnv Awards was the introduction of the Registrant Newcomer of the Year award – designed to highlight individuals who have really hit the ground running having recently achieved their CEnv or REnvTech registrations (since 1st January 2019 in this instance).

2020 Registrant Newcomer of the Year Winner:

Chris Landsburgh CEnv
Environmental & Sustainability Manager, Wills Bros Civil Engineering Ltd
Registered via IEMA

Highly Commended Finalist:

James Hicks CEnv
Senior Ecologist, Atkins
Registered via CIEEM

Dr Emma Wilcox, judging panel member and Chief Executive of SocEnv, said: “The enthusiasm and strategic thinking across his work whilst still in the early stages of his career made Chris a very worthy first winner of the new award.”

Reflecting on the strength of the three award winners together, Emma added: “In the top level driving force and exemplar leadership provided by David, Mandhy’s passion for educating the next generation and her innovative engagement methods and Chris’s commitment to greening the civil engineering sector with collaboration as a constant theme, we are proud to have three truly outstanding winners.”

CEO of IEMA Sarah Mukherjee said: “I am absolutely delighted for IEMA members David and Chris. These highly prestigious awards are a reflection of their professionalism and hard work. As Dougal Driver says, the joint award for Environmental Professional of the Year is unprecedented, and is a testament to David’s passion and impact. Chris has also broken the mould in being the first winner of the newcomer award, which is a fantastic tribute to his commitment and energy in the first stages of his career. Well done to both of them!”

In a year in which SocEnv awarded its 10,000th CEnv registration, the judges were impressed by the extremely high standard of nomination received. The judges were keen to note the very high calibre of each finalist across a record number of nominations, which resulted in lengthy debates to deduce the final results.

The Chair of SocEnv and award presenter, Professor William Pope HonFSE CEnv, said: “Congratulations to the winners, the highly commended finalists and the finalists overall for their environmental commitment and achievements. We look forward to your continuing positive impacts on the environment and the profession. We all need and want you to make a difference”.

A virtual platform was utilised for the results announcement for the first time due to the current COVID-19 restrictions. The free, virtual event took place on the 5th June 2020 to coincide with World Environment Day – a UN Environment initiative championed by SocEnv each year.

Reaction from the winners and details of their work will be available at in the coming days.

To find out about all of the award finalists, visit


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