Today is the launch of the 'Diverse Sustainability Initiative' a new sector-wide collaborative programme of work with a vision to address and transform diversity within the sustainability profession and wider environment sector.

Did you know that only 3% of the sustainability profession and wider environmental sector identify as Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME)? We believe this needs to change. We believe this needs to change. Today, IEMA are launching a key collaboration with organisations in the environmental and sustainability profession and NGOS, to support and mentor those diverse people working in the environment. Inspired after the BlackLivesMatter movement and led by our CEO Sarah Mukherjee, IEMA are calling for recognition, mentoring and support for specialists who are underrepresented in the industry.

Sarah Mukherjee says:

“As a British Asian, speaking with diverse people in the sector, I am shocked and saddened by some of the stories I have heard of racial inequality within the environment and sustainability profession. We have a commitment to be far more representative of this country and I urge people to sign up and pledge their commitment to joining us in supporting and encouraging new diverse professionals, wherever they are in their career.”

IEMA are launching the ‘Diverse Sustainability Initiative’ website alongside our goal to build a profession and sector that over time, is reflective of modern Britain. The purpose of the DSI is to improve diversity through education, connection and transparency to support current professionals and increase appeal and access for future and potential professionals. With collaboration from partners ranging from Green Alliance to Bat Conservation and the RSPB, we are pledging to educate, reform and encourage the next generation of diverse professionals to join the environment profession.

By signing up with us, organisations are making a public commitment to improve diversity within their industries, being accountable and making a positive difference to bring about change. Although this is a long-term goal, the purpose is to improve diversity through education, connection and transparency to support current professionals and increase appeal and access for future and potential specialists. This journey starts with racial diversity, before expanding into LGBT+, gender and physical ability. Improving diversity will take a generation to achieve in its entirety as it requires a shift in mindset to engage a whole new generation of professionals.

“We are pleased to commit to the Diverse Sustainability Initiative. We’re very clear that we need to take concerted action to improve the diversity of the RSPB if we are going to tackle the scale of the nature and climate emergency and deliver our vision of a world where everyone can live in harmony with a world richer in nature. Addressing the issue as a sector and holding each other to account on progress makes complete sense as a way to drive the action required.”

Beccy Speight, CEO, RSPB

Full list of collaborating partners available here: Partners | Diverse Sustainability