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Environmental sector launches pledge to support delivery of UK’s greenhouse gas emissions targets

· Signatories will commit to science-based targets to meet UK’s 2050 net zero target and publicly report progress each year

· Ambition to showcase the UK’s environmental services sector as a world leader in taking action to cut greenhouse gases

Environmental experts have today launched ‘Pledge to Net Zero’, the first industry commitment in the UK requiring science-based targets from its signatories to tackle greenhouse gas emissions within their organisations.

The pledge aims to support the UK’s net zero greenhouse gas emissions target and is aimed at all organisations working in the environmental services sector.

It comes at a time where countries are ramping up their greenhouse gas commitments ahead of the global climate summit in Glasgow in 2020, and aims to provide leadership for the private sector to lend full support.

The initiative, led by the Society for the Environment (SocEnv), the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE), the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) and the Environmental Industries Commission (EIC), together with leading environmental consultancies, WSP and AECOM, seeks to make the sector a leader for taking action on climate change.

All signatories have committed to three pledges:

1. Set and commit to deliver a greenhouse gas target in line with either a 1.5°C or well below 2°C climate change scenario – covering buildings and travel as a minimum.

2. Publicly report greenhouse gas emissions and progress against this target each year

3. Publish one piece of research or thought-leadership piece each year on practical steps to deliver a net zero greenhouse gas economy.

David Symons, UK Director of Sustainability at WSP, said: “The environmental services sector is at the heart of delivering a sustainable and prosperous economy through its advice. It’s tremendously exciting that the sector has now come together to take action on its own greenhouse gas emissions.”

Dr Emma Wilcox, Chief Executive at the Society for the Environment said: “We are delighted to be part of this initiative. It is so important that the environmental services sector, which stands for professionalism and competence, takes a united leadership role in achieving Net Zero by 2050. We hope it will encourage organisations around the world to be part of the solution to the Climate and Environmental Emergency.”

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor for IEMA, said: “The transition to net zero carbon emissions is the defining challenge of our time. We are fully supportive of the environmental services sector pledging science-based emissions reductions which align with the urgency of addressing the climate and environmental emergency.”

David Barwell, Chief Executive, UK & Ireland at AECOM, said: “The environmental services industry is home to many of the individuals who will make the road to net zero emissions a reality. It will be the defining work of our careers. But if we are to be convincing champions for our clients, then we must lead from the front and that is why AECOM is kicking the carbon habit and joining hands with our peers and professional institutions to galvanise this effort.”

Matthew Farrow, Executive Director, Environmental Industries Commission, said: “All organisations have to step up and take responsibility for their emissions if we are to reach Net Zero and the environmental consultancy sector is no exception. As well as being a huge force for good in the work consultancies do with their clients they should lead by example and EIC is delighted to be supporting Pledge Net Zero – we will be encouraging our member firms to sign up.”

Companies wishing to be part of the commitment can make their pledge with Director support at The pledge is open until 31 January 2020, with organisations asked to report back performance on their commitment by the end of December 2020.

- ENDS -

For further information, please contact:

Katie Brown, Senior PR Executive

020 3057 2228 / 07899776923

About WSP

WSP is one of the world's leading environmental and engineering professional services consulting firms. With more than 8,200 talented people in the UK and approximately 49,000 globally, we engineer projects that will help societies grow for lifetimes to come. WSP has been involved in many high-profile UK projects including the re-development of London Bridge Station and Quarter, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, HS2, Transport for the North Strategic Development Corridor studies, One Blackfriars and the Shard. With our 1000 environmental professionals, WSP has initiated and worked closely with

About the Society for the Environment

The Society for the Environment is the body responsible for the registration of environmental professionals. We are the custodian of the Chartered Environmentalist and Registered Environmental Technician registers, and since 2004 have established a sound platform as the body tasked with championing and registering the expertise of environmental professionals. Working as a partnership with 24 Licensed Bodies, we ensure the quality, relevance and awareness of our registrations and enabling our partners and registrants to work together. We are in a unique position, bringing together a range of disciplines and sectors to reflect the multi-disciplinary practice of environmental professionals.


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