Exceptional board leaders required for Scotland's environment protection agency as Chair, Bob Downes, reappointed

date19 June 2019

Exceptional board leaders are required to help transform Scotland’s environment protection agency (SEPA) as a recruitment campaign for four new board members is launched. The recruitment comes as the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham MSP, today announced the reappointment of Bob Downes as Chair of the Board.

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  • Recruitment opens for four new board members to join Scotland’s Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).
  • SEPA Chair, Bob Downes, reappointed to role.

The new board members will both help create a world-class EPA fit for the challenges of tomorrow and ensure the delivery of the agency’s ambitious strategy, One Planet Prosperity.  The strategy focuses on helping businesses and communities thrive within the resources of our planet.

“The scale of environmental challenge facing humanity is enormous, with a real urgency to act”, said Chair Bob Downes.  “Every day SEPA works to protect and enhance Scotland’s environment, helping communities and businesses thrive within the resources of our planet.  We call this One Planet Prosperity.

“We’re firmly focused on building on the significant progress made and to further supporting Scotland’s globally ambitious sustainability objectives. That’s why just like progressive businesses, SEPA is changing today.

Mr Downes added “in addition to being delighted to be reappointed at Chair, SEPA is looking forward to being joined by four new board members who are both passionate about the potential of our strategy and represent the diversity of the communities we serve.  The right candidates will be agents of positive change who can also face the challenges of working in and influencing a forward-thinking, progressive organisation as we work to achieve more for Scotland.”

Scotland’s principal environmental regulator and national authority for flood forecasting and warning, SEPA’s four new board members will join the agency in January 2020.

Candidates from diverse backgrounds with varying experiences and skills are being invited to apply for the four board appointments, which have become available as four existing candidates come to the end of their time as members.

SEPA currently has 10 Board members, who come from a variety of private and voluntary sector backgrounds as well as NGOs and bring with them a wealth of knowledge and expertise, as well as passion for environmental issues.

“Applicants don’t have to be an expert on the environment or science to join the SEPA Board,” Downes says. “Experience in finance, marketing, business or community leadership or working in non-profit are all skills that could support your role as Board member.”

SEPA’s board is responsible for the organisation’s overall direction and performance, including its efficiency and effectiveness as a public body. It also enables the agency to deliver its statutory purpose of delivering environmental protection and improvement, while contributing to health and well-being benefits, and sustainable economic growth.

SEPA’s One Planet Prosperity strategy involves working with businesses to help them meet – and go beyond – environmental compliance, for example by reducing their use of water, carbon-based energy and raw materials and by cutting or designing-out waste.

Appointments to SEPA’s Board are made by Scottish Ministers and are regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments in Scotland. Appointments are normally for a four-year term with the possibility of a further term, subject to evidence of effective performance and satisfying the skills, knowledge and personal qualities required on the Board at the time of re-appointment.

The appointments are remunerated for a time commitment of a maximum of 30 days per year.

On the Chair’s reappointment, Ms. Cunningham said:

“In his role to date, Bob has supported an ambitious agenda for the development of SEPA and the implementation of a new approach to regulation.  I look forward to Bob continuing to play an important role in ensuring that the environment and human health are protected; and that Scotland’s natural resources are used as sustainably as possible and contribute to inclusive, sustainable economic growth”

SEPA is headquartered in Stirling and employs around 1,300 staff at 24 offices across Scotland including Lerwick, Kirkwall, Fort William, Aberdeen, Perth, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dumfries, Ayr and Balloch.

Candidates are invited to find out more and apply at sepa.org.uk/boardrecruitment

The closing date for applications is 15th July 2019 at midnight.

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