The IEMA is focusing on sustainability performance on an international scale by providing new levels of support and recognition to its members. Workers with relevant jobs will be equipped with the necessary environment and sustainability skills. The announcement comes as the need to tackle growing global environmental problems becomes ever more present.
For the first time IEMA has formally embedded sustainability principles – such as human rights, poverty issues and education – into each of its globally recognised professional standards. To ensure IEMA members have a clear and continual career path that is navigated with manageable steps rather than huge strides, the body has launched an entirely new membership level – Practitioner – and has updated its ground-breaking skills map to become an interactive competency development tool that has value for individuals and employers seeking to upskill their organisation.
The relevancy and attractiveness of membership has also been broadened to benefit those currently outside of the environment and sustainability profession. From students who recognise that sustainability will become a key part of any future role, to CEOs who know their organisation must upskill to survive, becoming a part of the alliance of professionals means new opportunities to learn, contribute and connect.
Tim Balcon, CEO of IEMA, says that mobilising those with environment and sustainability skills is critical to the future survival of business. He said: “The fact that the world is changing is undeniable. Businesses everywhere are having to adapt to secure their own survival. Arming themselves with the right sustainability skills across their operations is the only viable way to go. In order to support organisations everywhere to survive and remain future-proof, IEMA has changed. We are leading the profession and we supply the right skills to business.”
Professional bodies typically adopt a traditional “ladder” or hierarchical approach to its memberships. IEMA is abandoning this approach in favour or a constantly moving journey that involves continual learning, development and collaboration towards the next steps. Where there had previously been a perceived gulf in the levels of experience and skill demonstrated at the practical and compliance Associate stage of a professionals’ career and the managerial Full membership level, the new and industry demanded Practitioner grade bridges the gap.
Feedback from a number of employers clearly indicated that the language of “Practitioner” completely appeals to them as the name correctly captures the desired level of competency and experience such a mid-career professional will bring to their business. Demonstrated by the brand new PIEMA suffix, this career stage is pitched as the benchmark for environment and sustainability professionals with sleeves rolled up; membership for the working experts who are driving change.
Further to the new membership grade, IEMA is recognising the years of learning and career trajectory of Graduates. For the first time this early career membership grade is being awarded formal professional recognition with the GradIEMA suffix.
Skills to Tackle the Perfect Storm
The new membership journey was inspired by a 2013 consultation with Environment & Sustainability Professionals and industry stakeholders. Feedback suggested IEMA needed to change its membership structure from a traditional hierarchy to an innovative membership journey with wide appeal and relevancy. This push was offered by stakeholders in recognition of the shifting nature of the profession, changing threats facing businesses worldwide and the absolute necessity for all jobs to be done in a more sustainable way.
IEMA’s two “Perfect Storm” reports from 2014 and 2016 outline and update on the global sustainability megatrends that are bearing down on businesses and forcing organisations to radically upskill with the right environment and sustainability competencies. Depleted resources, volatile energy costs, increasing climate change threats, population growth, issues around ethical sourcing, and equality issues all threaten the future sustainability and prosperity of business. Skilled and experienced Environment and Sustainability professionals are crucial for all organisations to meet these 21st Century challenges and prosper in spite of them.
CEO Tim Balcon explains that this new look IEMA has been shaped by the profession it serves. He said: “The passion and dedication shown by IEMA’s members for their work and the wider impacts of what they can achieve is completely inspiring. Three years ago members told me they needed IEMA to change to be bolder, ultra-relevant and provide the right momentum for the profession. We listened and have spent the time since reshaping what we do to meet those very valid demands.
“We’re ready to reveal what the changes look like, and I can’t wait to see the impact of what this profession has sparked.”
To find out more about the new membership journey and to tour the new interactive skills map, visit the new look www.iema.net.
Road Trip! How to Choose the Greenest Vehicle for Your Growing Family
When you have a growing family, it often feels like you’re in this weird bubble that exists outside of mainstream society. Whereas everyone else seemingly has stability, your family dynamic is continuously in flux. Having said that, is it even possible to buy an eco-friendly vehicle that’s also practical?
What to Look for in a Green, Family-Friendly Vehicle?
As a single person or young couple without kids, it’s pretty easy to buy a green vehicle. Almost every leading car brand has eco-friendly options these days and you can pick from any number of options. The only problem is that most of these models don’t work if you have kids.
Whether it’s a Prius or Smart car, most green vehicles are impractical for large families. You need to look for options that are spacious, reliable, and comfortable – both for passengers and the driver.
5 Good Options
As you do your research and look for different opportunities, it’s good to have an open mind. Here are some of the greenest options for growing families:
1. 2014 Chrysler Town and Country
Vans are not only popular for the room and comfort they offer growing families, but they’re also becoming known for their fuel efficiency. For example, the 2014 Chrysler Town and Country – which was one of CarMax’s most popular minivans of 2017 – has Flex Fuel compatibility and front wheel drive. With standard features like these, you can’t do much better at this price point.
2. 2017 Chrysler Pacifica
If you’re looking for a newer van and are willing to spend a bit more, you can go with Chrysler’s other model, the Pacifica. One of the coolest features of the 2017 model is the hybrid drivetrain. It allows you to go up to 30 miles on electric, before the vehicle automatically switches over to the V6 gasoline engine. For short trips and errands, there’s nothing more eco-friendly in the minivan category.
3. 2018 Volkswagen Atlas
Who says you have to buy a minivan when you have a family? Sure, the sliding doors are nice, but there are plenty of other options that are both green and spacious. The new Volkswagen Atlas is a great choice. It’s one of the most fuel-efficient third-row vehicles on the market. The four-cylinder model gets an estimated 26 mpg highway.
4. 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
While a minivan or SUV is ideal – and necessary if you have more than two kids – you can get away with a roomy sedan when you still have a small family. And while there are plenty of eco-friendly options in this category, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is arguably the biggest bang for your buck. It gets 38 mpg on the highway and is incredibly affordable.
5. 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Diesel
If money isn’t an object and you’re able to spend any amount to get a good vehicle that’s both comfortable and eco-friendly, the 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Diesel is your car. Not only does it get 28 mpg highway, but it can also be equipped with a third row of seats and a diesel engine. And did we mention that this car looks sleek?
Putting it All Together
You have a variety of options. Whether you want something new or used, would prefer an SUV or minivan, or want something cheap or luxurious, there are plenty of choices on the market. The key is to do your research, remain patient, and take your time. Don’t get too married to a particular transaction, or you’ll lose your leverage.
You’ll know when the right deal comes along, and you can make a smart choice that’s functional, cost-effective, and eco-friendly.
How Climate Change Altered this Engineer’s Life
Living the life of an engineer likely sounds pretty glamorous: you are educated and highly regarded, typically have high paying gigs, and with the breadth of knowledge and array of fields of specialty, your possibility for jobs is usually immense. But what if there was something else that needed your attention? Something bigger than just being an engineer, going to work every day and doing the same technical tasks typically associated with the profession?
For Kevin McCroary, that is exactly how it played out. A successful engineer, gainfully employed in a prosperous job, a simple trip to the Philippines made him see that there was a bigger issue at hand than using his engineer training in a traditional profession. This bigger issue was that of climate change. And working as a volunteer for underprivileged children in the Philippines, he saw first-hand the extensive pollution and poverty that existed here and that impacted the livelihood of these kids and their families.
Upon returning home, from his trip to the Philippines he had a new perspective of the impact we as individuals and as humanity have on the earth, and more than that Kevin wanted to know more. He started to do some research and study these human-environmental interactions, and shortly thereafter ended up in Greenland. There, he spoke to a man who had lost his home in a tsunami, and, who, through consistent weather tracking could indeed confirm that the current weather trends were “strange:” there was undeniably a general warming tendency happening in the arctic, causing an array of negative effects.
The combination of these observations, as well as his own research, led Kevin to conclude that something had to be done. With that in mind, he launched his project Legend Bracelet. The mission is simple: create a reminder of the legacy we are leaving behind. As individuals and as humanity, we are leaving behind an imprint on the earth, and the magnitude of it is something that needs to be brought to the forefront of public awareness. The idea is to have a bracelet that can serve as a daily reminder of the impact on the earth that each of us can have every day, regardless of how big or small. The bracelet has two capsules: the first is filled with sand or earth, and the second is empty. As the owner, you are to fill the empty one with your own earth, carrying it with you as a reminder and symbol of your connection and commitment to helping look after our environment.
We are all impacted by climate change, and we all have a responsibility to help. And it can start with something as simple as putting on a bracelet. Support Kevin on his Kickstarter campaign for Legend Bracelet, tell others about it, or take action in your own way and play your part in slowing down the effects of climate change. You may think “but I’m just one person!” You are indeed. But so is he. Every change starts with one.
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