Environment Agency - champion of race equality

The Environment Agency is a non-departmental public body, established in 1996 and sponsored by the United Kingdom’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with responsibilities relating to the protection and enhancement of the environment in England.

We have head offices in Bristol and London with other offices spread across England. We employ over 10,000 employees and we work to create better places for people and wildlife, and support sustainable development.

With regards to people, we are committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in all we do and value the diversity of our workforce, customers and communities. Our overarching principle is

"To be an organisation where everyone can be themselves; enabling their individuality to benefit people and the environment."

Our aspiration is to be an organisation where all employees are actively supported in giving their best contribution to our aims and objectives. We therefore aim to:

  • attract, develop and retain people from all parts of the community
  • value the differing skills and abilities of all our employees
  • respond flexibly to the needs of individuals

We acknowledge the importance of having strong leadership so we have Executive Champions who lead on protected characteristics. They are personally responsible for taking action, as well as acting as role models internally and externally. Some executive diversity leads have leadership groups to support them - we have leadership groups in place for age, disability and race.

Our employee networks continue to grow with an active Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) forum, Islamic Fellowship and Sikh Fellowship amongst many others. We recognise that employee networks help our employees feel empowered and supported and play a powerful role in supporting our organisation’s diversity initiatives.

We provide tailored development opportunities for BAME, Disabled, Female and LGBT+ colleagues. These include externally run leadership programmes (with Coaching Squared), personal development courses as well as mentoring opportunities including the Business i the Community Mentoring Circles programme and a Mutual Mentoring Programme led by our chief executive and his executive directors’ team.

We continue to strive to make progress in becoming more representative of the communities we serve. For example, through our apprenticeships and our graduate programmes. We also do this by ensuring our job adverts are inclusive thereby attracting the best people from the communities we serve. Our Race Executive Champion has set up a partnership with Brunel University which has become the model for other Executive Champions and managers to replicate. This resulted in summer placements from Brunel University with a significant proportion of the students from a BAME background. Some of the interns have gone on to secure employment with us helping us achieve our aim to be more representative of our communities.

Learn more about the Environment Agency's corporate diversity and inclusion objectives.