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IEMA Announce Sustainability Support for Members



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.”

The Journey

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


Want to Connect With Nature? Start by Disconnecting From Busyness



Connect With Nature

Have you ever found yourself staring at one of your (many) devices and feeling slightly disgusted with how much time you waste on technology? If so, you aren’t alone. We all have moments like these and it’s important that we use them as motivation to change – especially if we want to be more connected with nature.

How Busyness Impacts Your Connection With Nature

Whether you realize it or not, you live an ultra connected life. Between smart phones, tablets, computers, and wearable devices, you’re never very far from some sort of technology that can connect you to the internet or put you in touch with other people. That’s just the world we live in.

While it could be argued that this sort of omnipresent connectivity is a positive thing, it’s also pretty clear that being permanently tethered to technology impacts our ability to strip away distractions and connect with nature.

When you’re always within arm’s reach of a device, you feel a sense of busyness.  Whether it’s browsing your social media feed, uploading a picture, reading the news, or responding to an email, there’s always something to do. As someone who wants to spend more time in nature, this is problematic.

4 Practical Ways to Disconnect

If you want to truly connect with nature and live a greener lifestyle, you have to be proactive about finding ways to disconnect. Here are a few practical suggestions:

1. Switch to a New Phone Plan

It’s not always practical to totally unplug from the world. Family and work responsibilities mean you can’t go off the grid and continue to fulfill your responsibilities. Having said that, there are some ways to scale back.

One suggestion is to switch to a prepaid phone plan. When you have a prepaid phone plan, you’re far less likely to spend hours and hours of your time making phone calls, sending texts, and surfing the web. It forces you to be more conscious of what you’re doing.

2. Get Rid of Social Media

Social media is one of the biggest time wasters for most people. Whether you realize it or not, it’s also a huge stressor. You’re constantly being exposed to the best snapshots of everyone else’s lives, which makes you feel like you’re missing out on something (even when you aren’t).

If you want to feel a sense of relief and free yourself up to spend more time in nature, get rid of social media. Don’t just delete the apps off your phone – actually disable your accounts. It’s a bold, yet necessary step.

3. Create Quiet Hours

If you aren’t able to get rid of social media and disable various online accounts, the next best thing you can do is establish quiet hours each day where you totally detach from technology. You should do this for a minimum of three hours per day for best results.

4. Build Community

Do you know why we’re drawn to social media and our devices? Whether consciously or subconsciously, it’s because we all want to be connected to other people. But do you know what’s better than connecting with people online? Connecting with them in person.

As you build real life, person-to-person relationships, you’ll feel less of a need to constantly have your eyes glued to a screen. Connect with other people who have an appreciation for nature and bond over your mutual interests.

Untether Your Life

If you find yourself constantly connected to a device, then this is probably a clear indicator that you aren’t living your best life. You certainly aren’t enjoying any sort of meaningful connection with nature. Now’s as good a time as any to untether your life and explore what a world free from cords, screens, and batteries is really like.

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6 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Move



Moving can be a stressful and challenging time. No matter how many times you’ve done it in the past, the process of packing up, transporting, and unpacking isn’t very fun. It’s also not very eco-friendly. As you prepare for your next move, there are things you can do to ensure you leave less of a footprint behind.

6 Tips for a Greener Move

Because of the stress and pressure felt when moving, it’s pretty common for people to rush through the process and focus on getting it done. In fact, a lot of people take an “at all costs” approach; they’ll do whatever it takes to make the process as cheap and fast as possible. Don’t be one of those people. It doesn’t take much effort to turn a standard move into an eco-friendly move.

1. Maximize Each Trip

When moving across town, it’s imperative that you make as few trips as possible. Each trip requires more gas, more emissions, and more waste, and more time.

If you’re taking your personal vehicle, consider pulling a trailer behind it. You’d be surprised how much stuff you can fit into a small trailer. Not only will it make your move greener, but it’ll also save you a lot of time.

2. Donate Things You Don’t Want to Keep

The longer you live somewhere, the more junk you accumulate. This isn’t always obvious until you start packing for a big move. Instead of bringing all of these things with you to your next home, get rid of the stuff you don’t need! If the items are useful, donate them. If the items don’t have much value, toss them.

3. Reuse Moving Boxes

Not only are moving boxes expensive, but they’re also wasteful. If you need a bunch of cardboard boxes, consider looking around on Craigslist, asking friends, or checking the dumpsters behind stores. You can usually find a bunch of recycled boxes of all different shapes and sizes. Here are 12 places you can get them for free.

4. Get Creative With Packing

Who says you need moving boxes? You may find that it’s possible to do most of your move without all that cardboard. Things like storage containers, trashcans, filing cabinets, buckets, and dressers can all store items. Blankets and sheets can be used in lieu of bubble wrap to prevent your items from getting damaged.

5. Use Green Cleaning Supplies

Once you arrive at your new place, resist the urge to pull out a bunch of harsh chemicals to clean the place. You can do yourself (and the planet) a favor by using green cleaning supplies instead. Ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and ammonia are great to start with.

6. Forward Your Mail ASAP

Don’t delay in forwarding your mail from your previous address to your new one. Not only is it wasteful for the Postal Service to route your mail to a place where you don’t live, but the next owner is probably just going to toss your letters in the trash.

Moving Doesn’t Have to be Wasteful

Most people only move once every few years. Some people will go a decade or more without a move. As a result, the process of moving often feels strange and new. The less experience you have with it, the less likely it is that you’ll be as efficient as you should. But instead of just diving into the process blind, take some time to learn about what an eco-friendly move looks like. That way, you can leave behind the smallest footprint possible.

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