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From the blog

The value of volunteering

by Connie Lynch

I am currently in my second year of studying for a degree in BSc Geography at the University of Lincoln. As an optional module, I chose to complete a voluntary placement, and so I reached out to PECT and its environmental accreditation scheme Investors in the Environment (iiE) in the hope of applying and developing my geographical skills within a charity-based and sustainability-focused workplace.

I’ve been working within the iiE team, who have introduced me to their national accreditation scheme, which has been implemented to support organisations in reducing their environmental impact, and as a result, get promoted for their green credentials.

iiE offers guidance to help organisations achieve a more eco-focussed business strategy. iiE supports and encourages members to achieve environmental improvement in order to secure accreditation. iiE works with all sizes and sectors of businesses and focuses on realistic ways to improve sustainability.

For my placement, I was expected to carry out tasks across an array of platforms. Therefore, I applied the skills learnt from my degree (formal writing, research techniques, base knowledge of business practices) to create content for iiE members. Some key focus areas that I have learnt about include waste management and long-term commitment and planning to include climate action and community involvement.

Now I’m almost halfway through my placement, I have found my time with PECT and iiE to be incredibly rewarding. My experience prior to my placement was mainly in physical geography, including fieldwork and surveying, and I have developed an increased confidence in independent working, and have expanded my writing capabilities. I am also now able to appreciate the complexity of sustainable business management and am looking forward to applying the knowledge I’ve learnt in my degree and future work opportunities.

My experience has further re-enforced my desire to work in environmental journalism, and I would strongly encourage anyone, where able, to partake in volunteering as it is a valuable learning experience, regardless of previous experience or knowledge.