The Group has particular interests in:
- Legislation and standardisation
- Air, land and water pollution assessment and control
- Environmental impact assessment and management
- Effects of hazardous materials on the environment
- 'Clean', low-carbon technology
- Waste and water management
- The interaction between industry and the community
- Sustainability issues
On the international front, the Group has been actively involved in the derivation of the ISO 14000 environmental standards (see below). Members of the Group are also noted for keeping abreast of the latest developments in legislation, particularly European Union legislation.
The Group regularly holds joint meetings with other like-minded organisations, particularly the Royal Society of Chemistry's Water Chemistry Forum Forum and the British Occupational Hygiene Society.
The Group, through its members' activity, has contributed to the development of British, European and international standards through representation on BSI and international committees. SCI has been active in covering expenses, not otherwise met from grant in aid from the UK government, for approximately the past 20 years.
With the aid of this support, its members have been able to influence the development of various standards both as principal authors of documents and chairing of committees at various levels throughout the standards organisations involved.
The goal of members has, and will always be, that of delivering the best possible science, and particularly chemical sciences, to a business interface, to ensure a practical ethical application of the benefits to industry and society as a whole.
Benefits of Continued Support
The benefits of this activity to SCI are:
- An open, transparent public fulfilment of SCI charitable objectives facilitating the application of science at the highest level.
- Promotion of SCI goals and objectives
- Maintenance of an extensive network of active scientists. The advantage of this network is that speakers are approached for the many events run by the Environment Group on behalf of SCI.
Members contribute their time freely to this activity, which in some cases totals many days each year, without charge. Employers also bear some costs in this activity, by the sacrifice of staff from normal activity. Self-employed members arguably make a greater sacrifice because their fundamental ability to earn a living is sacrificed by spending time on this activity.
Areas of Activity
In all cases the motivation for this activity is the greater public good through the conduit of SCI goals.
Principal areas of activity followed by the Group in this regard are standards relating to:
- The assessment, maintenance and management of soil quality
- The assessment, maintenance and management of water quality
- The characterisation and management of sewage sludge disposal, to maintain public health and minimise environmental impact.
- Development and maintenance of environmental policy within CEN and its application in the development of future standards.
This work is also supported by an SCI involvement in the Standing Committee of Analysts (SCA) at a strategic level. It is the voluntary work of the SCA which provides the fundamental method development work, which allows the UK to contribute strongly through BSI to the development of standards outside the UK, by donating the research output freely at a global level.