News

Environment minister challenges EIC to lead new technology ideas panel

Rory Stewart, environment minister

Bring me a “dozen of the best ideas” in the industry to challenge government and help shape future environmental policy, Rory Stewart MP tells EIC annual conference.

Environment minister Rory Stewart this week challenged the Environmental Industries Commission to bring together the UK’s best technology ideas to help drive future policy decision and bring new thinking into the market. 

Speaking at the EIC Annual Conference this week, Stewart urged EIC executive director Matthew Farrow to take up the challenge to find new ideas from across water, air, soil and nature sectors of the environment that would challenge current government thinking and policy. 

“We are increasingly aware as a government how much we have to learn in the field of technology and data and how much this can help us – and how bad in many ways that governments are in responding to this,” Rory Stewart.

“What I would like to do is corral together a group of 10 to 12 technological ideas in the water, air, soil and nature [sectors of the environment] which we could really challenge our chief scientist with and which we could challenge ourselves with,” said Stewart. 

Is that something that the EIC would like to take forward?” he asked. “In which case I make the offer that if EIC can bring this forward I would love to sit down with those people in my office and have a more details discussion about some of these technologies,” he added pointing out that It would be “really exciting” to be challenged by a “dozen of the best ideas coming out of Britain”. 

Farrow immediately embraced the opportunity and agreed to take up the minister’s challenge.  

“The minister has today laid down a substantial challenge to - and opportunity for - the environment sector to step forward with the vital ideas and technologies that will drive future growth across the UK’s green economy,” said Farrow. 

“The EIC stands ready to meet his challenge and help the industry to demonstrate the role that it can play in driving the UK’s economic growth agenda,” he added. “We will be knocking loudly on the minister’s door as we accept his challenge to form an industry led technology forum.” 

Over 160 professionals from across the environmental sector gathered this week for the EIC annual conference at which Stewart gave the keynote delivery to delegates.

“The EIC stands ready to meet this challenge. We will be knocking loudly on the minister’s door as we accept his challenge to form an industry led technology forum.” Matthew Farrow

After an update on the latest government environmental thinking Stewart challenged the industry to bring forward ideas to help set future policy and feed into the 25 year environmental plan currently being prepared by government.

The use of new technology to drive future environmental performance was highlighted by Stewart as central to his thinking.

“We are increasingly aware as a government how much we have to learn in the field of technology and data and how much this can help us – and how bad in many ways that governments are in responding to this,” said Stewart.

“I am trying to bring together a 25 year environmental plan which will set out some of the fundamentals or where we go in Britain’s environmental policy over the next 25 years. This plan matters,” he added. 

“I would love to know from you where you are using data and technology and what ideas and thoughts you have on how you as businesses in the private sector can actually improve the British environment - what opportunities you think are missing and what models we can learn from.”