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World Environment Day Blogs
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A series of blogs to highlight environmental practises and sustainability for World Environment Day 2017.


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How Lockhart Garratt is Connecting with Nature

Posted By Phil Underwood, 05 June 2017
Updated: 06 June 2017

Blog Provided by the Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF): 

Chartered Forester Justin Mumford FICFor CEnv a Fellow of the Institute, Managing Director at Lockhart Garratt, tells us how Lockhart Garratt is connecting with nature.

The two assumptions that people always make when you tell them that you’re a forester are a) that you work for the Forestry Commission and b) you’re very environmentally friendly.  The disappointment on their faces is palatable when you answer the first assumption with a ‘no’ and the second with an ‘only sometimes’.  In recent years, however, it’s become much more than just an assumption, it’s become a necessity driven by both our clients, future clients and also by our staff and future recruits.

When we updated our three-year rolling Business Plan, back in the summer of 2015, one of its main objectives caught the attention and excitement of the whole company; to “promote sustainable development and work to protect, improve and enhance the natural environment”.

This is very much easier said than done, so we have subsequently broken this down into reducing our carbon footprint, influencing policy at national and local level, and maintaining and promoting the company culture of taking the right environmental decisions.  This has gone down well with many of our clients, particularly the larger development clients, some of whom are insisting that we take it a step further and become ISO 14001 accredited which I can see getting into the next Business Plan. In the meantime, it’s been encouraging to see how lots of little steps are starting to add up.  Some of these quite subtle.

As a company, one of our biggest polluters is the fleet of cars (mostly diesel, no electric) parked outside the office.  I estimate that, as a company, we probably travel 200,000 miles a year, which would be well on the way to getting out of Earth’s inner atmosphere and almost to the moon.  One of the big culprits of clocking up the miles is travelling long distances to see clients or between our offices in Corby and Chipping Norton.  The purchase of two, wide-screen televisions for the respective meeting rooms has allowed us to Skype each other and clients and has made a massive difference; not only reducing miles travelled but also clawing back all the ‘dead time’ sat in the roadworks just outside Towcester.

Although both our offices are probably less than 30 years’ old, it’s amazing how inefficient they are, both in terms of keeping warm during the winter and cool in the summer, and how much modern architecture has come on since then producing much more energy efficient buildings.  One of our Board has been appointed the ‘Green Champion’ to look at ways of improving matters and we are already seeing how changes in lightbulbs and hot water systems are reducing our electricity bills and carbon footprint.  Building efficiency is also something that is testing many of the land agents who we work alongside as they endeavour to bring their aging, rented property portfolio up to date and are racing against time to meet the new, legal requirement of a minimum rating under the Energy Performance Certificate of at least ‘E’ by April 2018.  Failure to do so will trigger the penalty of up to a whopping £4,000!  Of course we always recommend using more wood as a fuel.

Planting.Image: Forestry Commission Scotland.

The biggest change that we can make is to encourage our clients to undertake more tree planting and manage their woodlands.  This can be difficult in the East Midlands and East Anglia where the alternative arable land use governs a premium.  However, through careful assessment of the holding, identification of less productive areas of land or identifying opportunities to connect existing woods (particularly if it has other benefits for shooting enterprises or the landscape) can allow for an informed decision to be made and is all that’s required to persuade more trees to go in the ground, albeit on a modest scale.  Once again, little steps soon add up.  Everything came together only last week when I was invited to help with a new woodland creation project  for a potential new client who had made his money from energy-efficient light bulbs! It was a real light bulb moment.

Follow #EnvProfsWED #WorldEnvironmentDay.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Institute of Chartered Foresters or the Society for the Environment. 

Tags:  Chartered Environmentalist  Chartered Forester  ICF  World Environment Day 

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Aspiring CEnv Highlights His Work Towards Creating a Greener Business

Posted By Phil Underwood, 05 June 2017
Updated: 06 June 2017

Matthew Slaughter MCIWM has been the chair of the London and Southern Counties Centre New Member Network (NMN) since April 2015. His role involves organising site visits, career and networking events and encouraging new members to join the CIWM. He is passionate about helping new members gain their chartered status by introducing them to the breadth and depth of the wider waste industry.

With more than seven years’ experience in the waste management sector, he is now an Environmental Manager for O’Keefe Construction dealing with their environmental and waste issues. Previous jobs included working for Grundon Waste Management on their hazardous waste transfer station and looking after waste acceptance at inert landfills for Cemex UK.

Matthew is passionate about the environment through his career and at home. Although not a registered environmental professional as yet, he is keen to showcase his work with our registrants and the wider audience in the lead up to World Environment Day. 

Matthews says, “The next 12 months will be very challenging but the plan is to push O’Keefe Construction into a new realm of environmental understanding. 

Having been employed last year as their first Environmental Manager, I have had a blank slate to implement my views into the companies.

Go Green Ltd have been brought in to remove the companies waste from our construction, demolition and head office sites. The contracts were signed a mere two months ago so this was a major step in the right direction. We now have the ability to track our waste, reduce our waste and divert waste from landfill.”

Image: Matthew Slaughter MCIWM

Matthew continues, “Another key idea, which is coming to play is tracking the companies carbon emissions. This idea has been slowly being incorporated into the company’s procedures with the intention of capturing data which will enable us to set KPI’s and reduce our carbon emissions. 

We also plan to continue our internal environmental audits across all sites to ensure everyone within O’Keefe fully understands the company’s environmental obligations.”

To add to his experience and current registration, Matthew is currently looking to become a Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv). He explains, “It is a recognised professional registration which would show my environmental commitment both within my working environment and through my CIWM work. The CEnv status will help me focus my knowledge, which I can then use to expand the ideology throughout my company and in everyday life. I think it is important to understand that a professional institution should not be just incorporated into just a working environment, but should be embraced into one’s lifestyle.”

Interviewer for the CEnv status with CIWM, Neil Tytler FCIWM CEnv, says “I am delighted to hear of progression within companies in relation to becoming more environmentally aware, via registered environmental professionals and wider professionals alike.”

Neil adds, “I have known and worked with Matthew for many years. The work he is doing to improve processes for the good of the environment, and the company itself, is an ideal example of how environmental roles can make such a positive impact. I am excited that I now hear more and more examples of such work – we are certainly moving in the right direction!”

The Society for the Environment invites not only registered environmental professionals to join them at the World Environment Day Conference, but also volunteers, interested parties, aspiring environmental professionals and more. The expert led conference takes place on the 5th June 2017 at One Birdcage Walk, London. For more information, please click here

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Society for the Environment. 

Tags:  Chartered Environmentalist  Showcase 

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Expert Speakers at the World Environment Day Conference Have Their Say

Posted By Phil Underwood, 15 May 2017

World Environment Day and the aptly named World Environment Day Conference are exactly three weeks away today! 


To mark the occasion we have been discussing what this globally significant day means to the experts who will be speaking at the World Environment Day Conference in London on the 5th June 2017. Each of the four main speakers, as well as the conference chair and special guest Savita Custead, happily contributed.

We are delighted with the responses that all illustrate the importance of World Environment Day and their passion for using it as a tool to further promote environmental and sustainable practices, collaboration and general awareness. We hope that you find their thoughts interesting:

"World Environment Day highlights the need for international collaboration in order to both solve global challenges, and to share expertise in tackling more localised environmental problems. Society for the Environment is the foremost U.K. organisation to assist in brokering the multi-stakeholder and cross-disciplinary initiatives that are needed, by working closely with its 24 Licensed Bodies and providing a collective voice for environmental professionals."

 - Professor Carolyn Roberts CEnv, Vice President of the Institution of Environmental Sciences.

"Few people would say that they do not care about the environment but with the complex and growing pressures on individual lives and communities, it is hard for people to focus on doing something practical to protect and enhance their environment. World Environment Day is a great way of focusing busy minds on taking actions, however small, to improve our world, now and forever. Whether it is a local action to plant a tree, a national action to develop a future proof city region or a global action to curb environmentally damaging trade, we can all play a part and celebrate together on the 5th of June."

 - Dougal Driver CEnv, Vice Chair for the Society for the Environment 

"Collaborating across disciplines is central to CIWEM’s integrated approach for water and environmental management. In this context, professional registration – to recognise individual expertise and promote professional standards – is becoming increasingly relevant, especially in the “post-truth” political environment that that has gained momentum over the past year. World Environment Day 2017, with a focus on partnership and its importance to the value of nature, is an opportunity to reaffirm our evidence-based approach to environmental sustainability."

 - David McHugh, Trustee of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management. 

"Today, for one day, let's not be scientists. Let's not explain nature with complex algebra, or demonstrate its value with economic models. Rather, today, let's go outside and let our feet feel the earth beneath them, our faces feel the sun (or the rain!) and our spirits soar with the joy of that perfect shade of green that artists strive to reproduce. This planet is our home. It matters."

 - Dr Stephanie Wray CEnv, President of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management.

"World Environment Day is a driver for establishing collective opportunities between these experts, providing a platform to influence environmental management on a wider scale, and a great opportunity to demonstrate commitment to the understanding that mankind cannot be green by regulation alone. However, when considering the continued impact that we have on the environment across all sectors, the awareness of this highly pertinent UN initiative is still too low, which we aim to change."

 - Dr Peter Matthews CBE OBE, Chair of the Society for the Environment

"We’re thrilled to be launching Festival of Nature at such an important national event for the sector. World Environment Day is an opportunity to raise awareness about all of the important issues facing our natural world, and more importantly, to create more alliances to work together."

 - Savita Custead, Chief Executive of Bristol Natural History Consortium


World Environment Day Conference

For further details and to register to attend this expert led conference, please visit the event listing

Tags:  Chartered Environmentalist  Environment  World Environment Day 

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