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The Civil Service Environment Network: why and how to develop your environmental capability

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: A Brilliant Civil Service, Better policy making, Climate change

The Civil Service Environment Network

The Civil Service Environment Network (CSEN) was created as a space for all civil servants, regardless of background or role, to share and build knowledge and capability in environmental policy. In one short year, we now have a membership of over 500 individuals.

Climate change and environmental issues are increasingly and rightfully becoming part of all our roles. Focus on these challenges needs to be embedded at the heart of Government and permeate through all its operations.

To illustrate, achieving Net Zero emissions by 2050 will demand a systemic change in all Departmental policy approaches. The scope of this monumental opportunity includes policy impacting on: energy, industry, transport, finance, agriculture, trade, diplomacy, housing, skills and education…

Our aim is to educate, develop and inspire civil servants across four cross-cutting themes - Climate Change; Natural Resources; Biodiversity and Ecosystems; and Sustainable Development - to deepen understanding and spark thinking in core environmental issues.

What does the CSEN offer?

  • Talks. We host monthly speaker-led events and have welcomed Nick Bridge (FCO special representative for Climate Change); Professor Dieter Helm (Chair of the Natural Capital Committee); Professor Tahseen Jafry (Director of the Centre for Climate Justice); and Dr Emily Shuckburgh (Director of Cambridge Net Zero), to name a few.
  • Discussion Groups. We host monthly facilitated discussions based around topical podcasts, and accessible news and academic articles. Recent topics include - natural capital and sustainability metrics; environmental justice; and behaviour change.
  • Coffee roulette. Every month, members have the opportunity to pair up to discuss and learn about anything environmental – a great way to grow your network.
  • Career talks. We host career-based sessions with senior civil servants which provide tips on how to forge successful career paths in environmental policy.
  • Volunteering opportunities. We offer opportunities to use your volunteering days - for example, through recent collaboration with City Harvest, a surplus food distributor.
  • CSEN online hosts our previous talks and resources for members to access and provides a forum for active discussion through blogs and online communities.

How to get involved and hear about the latest opportunities

Thank you to everyone who engaged with us so far, which has demonstrated the passion within the Civil Service to tackle these pivotal issues.

If not currently a member, we sincerely hope you connect to join the conversation and enrich our network’s membership. We also welcome views on how we can shape our offer to meet your needs!

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