The Chartered Environmentalist came of age in 2012, and is ‘Made in Britain’
by Dave Hampton – the carbon coach - Chartered Environmentalist
who know me have been asking: “What’s with all this Chartered Environmentalist CEnv
malarkey Dave? You seem a bit OECD*
about it lately?”
(*That’s like OCD, but with an added E for Eco?)
It’s true, it does seem to be grabbing my inner psyche; I do seem to be emotionally investing and bodily identifying with the whole “CEnv” thing. And… I happen to believe it’s wholly healthy and wholesome. Good news. Exciting even. J
I’ve been a member of the Board of The Society for the Environment, the registration authority for the CEnv qualification, for almost a decade, curiously. And likewise I’ve been a Chartered Environmentalist myself for quite a while. So maybe I’ve been slow to “get it”? And maybe it’s all been shaping up steadily, from within.
I believe the Chartered Environmentalist is a vital force for good: professional, grown up, integrated environmentalism, worldwide, starting in the UK.
2012 was the year the Chartered Environmentalist really tipped:
We got a new CEO, a new Chair, and in Tony Juniper a fab new President (our first). We’ve got the A-team; a triple A-rated, self-coherent and motivated leadership team. A bit like three buses coming along… but all coupled together… all joined up.
This leadership team being the icing on top of a cake that has been painstakingly baked for a decade, with hard work, dedication, prescience, planning, mixing and leadership from within, and dozens more ‘A-team’ people involved from day one.
At the heart of it all, I suspect, is the word “integration”. Tony Juniper points to this.
Environmentalists have come of age – we are integrating ourselves: our aspirations with reality, our activism with strategy, our words with our deeds, and our desire for urgent change with cohesion and solidarity. We are being the change we wish to see, starting internally. Like charity, environmentalism starts at home.
Instead of the ‘CEnv’ slipping off the end of a long list of letters after my name, I now use it all the time. Of my ‘post nominals’ it is the first and foremost, and sometimes stands alone. It’s almost like a CBE to me!
And I spell it out too, the full version. (“Cee enve” sounds awful and says nothing.) My elevator pitch, even at parties is:
“I’m Dave Hampton, Chartered Environmentalist, and I’m pleased to meet you.”
Yes, sure I get “looks”. That’s the point! And we are legion: 7000 of us already.
Don’t get me wrong. Chartered Environmentalists won’t ever “sing from the same hymn sheet” - that would be dull - and unhealthy - but we will probably be humming the same background tune. You know, the one that resonates eternally with Nature.
A couple of years ago I was asked to talk about my solar panels on the BBC Today program, and I asked if they would be willing to introduce me as “David Hampton, Chartered Environmentalist” -rather than as “the carbon coach”
At 7:30am, over her breakfast, the woman on the Clapham subway (c.f. man on omnibus) heard the message, loud and clear:-
“Hmm; here’s another of those ‘environmentalist’ types; but wait; they said he was “Chartered”?... that sounds a bit different; interesting; promising; if they are Chartered maybe they know their onions? Might even pay me to listen up?”
When the BBC wants to make ‘environmentalists’ sound good, or at least sound normal and healthy, then the world really has moved on.
Some of the greatest inventions in the world are also the simplest. I think we have witnessed the birth of a new profession. Grown up Environmentalism. The Chartered Environmentalist. Made in Britain.
Wanna change the world, who you gonna call?
it is, best check they are CEnv. Whatever
you want done, professionally, whether by architects, engineers, lawyers,
accountants, surveyors, planners, designers, it will be a whole lot better if
they are *also* a Chartered
(e.g. as well as Chartered Engineer, or a Chartered Surveyor, or whatever…)
After all, you don’t want anything
done non-environmentally – do you?
Although the standards required to become a CEnv are set high enough to be meaningful, they are not unachievable - with a bit of experience, study, tenacity and application. And you can apply via any of 23 Institutions so far.
The Chartered Environmentalist ‘badge’ worn with pride – can change the world.
plants the small seed of a big idea - in the established order - that an
“environmentalist” can be professional too!
We even have a Royal Charter!
#MadeInBritain #London2012 #RoyalCharter #Olympics #Winners #Gold
plants the seed that it is safe now, for us all to lower the drawbridge and
allow a professional environmentalist or two to come back into the fold. Back inside our long established fortresses. The
environmentalist within: within our boundaries, within our corporate bodies and
within our homes/castles. We’ve been missing them!
We can welcome them back now. They’ve ‘moved on’ too. Now they are ready to bring happiness, health and prosperity again. They are no longer peddling guilt and inaction, frozen in the headlights, angrily at odds with both progress and lack of it!
The same small seed also plants the big idea - by extension - that maybe just maybe there really is profit in all this ethical and ecological malarkey! Environmentalists have long been saying that it makes good financial sense. Now they are professionals - Chartered Environmentalists - just doing it. Harvesting green economic shoots.
This is the profound shift: the 2012 tipping point?
More dollar value in healing the Earth, than in asset stripping and laying waste?
Don’t get me wrong. I will always remain deeply proud of my committed activist friends on the barricades, and in most cases they are still badly needed there. I am proud to share with them the good name of the “environmentalist”.
But the times they are a changing, and the doors of Portcullis House are already open - to bright eyed Chartered Environmentalists who can communicate and represent a sound evidence-based, broad-based case for positive change – who can advocate for change from within – from within! Especially when they live those values, and model that change.
Watch out for a new bike rack of Bromptons (foldaway cycles) in the House of Lords!
To be an activist, I no longer need to hide my education and professionalism.
To be a professional, I no longer need to hide my passion for radical change.
In short, I am proud to be both ‘the carbon coach’ and a Chartered Environmentalist (and a Chartered Engineer) again. This feels way more centred and action-oriented.
Margaret Mead famously said “Never doubt that a small group
of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only
thing that ever has.”
Today she’d have added that they’d probably be Chartered Environmentalists!