The IEMA Graduate Award aims to find, nurture and promote emerging environmental talent. By focusing on recent Graduates of environmental studies, IEMA aims to find and reward those who have achieved their first green role and made a real difference to their business.

Lorna is Environmental Assistant for British Gypsum (part of the Saint-Gobain group), a worldwide organisation which has almost 1,000 manufacturing and distribution sites in the UK and Ireland alone.

Since originally joining the organisation in 2007 for her gap year, Lorna returned to work at British Gypsum each summer to gain experience during her degree and finally joined as a full-time member of staff in September 2011upon graduating with first class honours in Environmental Science from the University of Plymouth.

In her role, Lorna has headed a focus on water management within British Gypsum’s environment team. To successfully meet Saint-Gobain’s global water use policy, Lorna was required to research, understand, develop and apply relevant tools and techniques and through her tireless efforts became the first employee to actually implement the policy. As a result, Lorna has spent much of 2012 leading the group work on water policy, developing tools and methodologies to gauge usage and waste across several operational sites. Part of this project involved a pioneering and highly successful pilot study which led to the uptake and roll out of Lorna’s evaluations across all UK priority sites.

The success of the pilot led to Lorna being asked to present her work and lead a practitioner workshop at Saint-Gobain’s international Global Safety, Health, Environment and Risk Forum in Germany. A further opportunity to establish her methodologies as best practice came at the company’s 2012 UK, Ireland and South Africa EHS Forum where Lorna presented the work to other brands and businesses that operate under the Saint-Gobain name.

Lorna’s nominator said, “Lorna personifies the type of young people we need to encourage into the organisation. Lorna’s professionalism in her conduct and in the way she communicates with her colleagues at all levels of the business bring a level of respect and credibility both to her personally and the subject area, allowing both her and ourselves to make real progress against our environmental targets.”- Allen Gorringe, Head of Environment, Saint-Gobain.

Lucy Barrett and Hayley Jewitt were both named as runners up in this category.

The IEMA Graduate award is supported by Land Securities, who also provide the prize fund of £500 each for two runners up and £1,000 for the winner.

Lorna’s nomination and supporting evidence clearly demonstrates not only her passion for the environment, but also her professionalism and ability to innovate and lead projects. Her range of skills is impressive, enabling her company to achieve their targets and by working at a strategic level she has effectively engaged colleagues and stakeholders to make change happen

Hayley Jewitt
Lucy Barrett

Agnieszka Chuchla
Joseph Clark

More information about the Sustainability Leaders Awards is available here.

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Energy Efficiency: Sainsbury’s

Waste Management: Food & Drink: Sainsbury’s

Sustainability Reporting: Coca Cola Enterprises

Renewable Energy: Northumbrian Water Group

Best Environmental Consultancy: Arup

Sustainability Practitioner: Kirsten Henson, KLH Sustainability

Water Management: ABP Food Group

Sustainable Transport: London 2012

Sustainable Building: P+HS Architects

Carbon Management: The Co-operative Group

Stakeholder Engagement: Sony Europe

Waste & Resource Management: Nextek

Sustainability Communications: The Co-operative Group

IEMA Graduate Award: Lorna Philbin

Sustainability Leader: Dale Vince, Ecotricity


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Entry to the 2013 Sustainability Leaders Awards will open at the beginning of March 2013. Bookmark our awards site to be kept in the loop.

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