Ethny Childs; Joseph Lewis
November 2023

Transforming the planet: Our vision for the future of environmental science

Environmental scientists will play a key role in facilitating the transformation to a sustainable society. Adapting to changing social, economic and environmental contexts will be imperative, to ensure that the workforce is in the best position to provide leadership in developing multifunctional solutions to the interlinked environmental crises of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.

The Institution of Environmental Sciences’ (IES) year-long Future of ES23 project brought the environmental science community together to outline a pathway for achieving a positive future for people and the planet. The work was informed by extensive engagement with environmental professionals on the key areas shaping the sector and this document outlines these findings.

The vision is a future where environmental scientists are knowledgeable, skilled, diverse, and trusted. Their role is to help people to solve environmental challenges and co-create a sustainable society where people and nature thrive.

The profession must act to realise this vision now; due to path dependency, the decisions made now will have a large impact on the future. The IES is committed to a leadership role in shaping environmental science and working with our members and partners to achieve our vision: a future for environmental science that will enable current and future generations to benefit from all that a healthy environment offers and where both humanity and nature flourish.

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