Chartered Environmentalists meet to discuss new DEFRA strategy

20 Feb 2019

Thirty of the Institute’s Chartered Environmentalists and others interested in environmental issues recently met to consider and discuss the materials-related implications of the government’s recently published Resources and Waste strategy.

Following the official opening by Dr Colin Church, IOM3 CEO, the audience was briefed on the fine detail of the strategy by Pat Jennings, Head of Policy and Communications at the CIWM, the professional body for resource and waste managers, who had been involved in the development of a number of the strategy’s key points. Pat’s presentation was followed by case study focused presentations, each touching on a specific materials-related aspect of the strategy given by four of the Institute’s Chartered Enviromentalists: Dr Cem Selcuk, who outlined work being done by the Brunel Innovation Centre at TWI – Kevin Clarke who has developed a compostable alternative to CPET trays used for ready meals, Dr Andrew Clifton who gave a view from the aerospace industry perspective, and Ian Bowbrick who spoke of the need for the general public understanding and buy in to ensure the objectives of the strategy were achievable.

A group working session followed lunch during which delegates addressed the challenge of what the Institute should be doing to support the delivery of the strategy. The unanimous view of those present was that the Institute should engage with DEFRA and lend it support to the delivery of the strategy using the knowledge and competence within the membership, alone or in collaboration with other professional bodies. In addition, it was felt that the Institute should engage more with government departments to ensure that materials cycle-related issues are properly understood and considered when reports or policy is formulated.

Commenting on the meeting Dr Colin Church said, ‘the task-based one-day workshop model is a new approach to Institute meetings which this meeting has trialled. There is a clear need for the Institute to discuss and reach a position on these societally important materials-related issues and I look forward to us organising more of these in the future.’