Updated Criteria for inclusion in the PPN Environmental College
15 Feb 2024

Updated Criteria for inclusion in the PPN Environmental College

Does your group focus on environmental work? The PPN Environmental College is open to groups whose core work is environmental, including biodiversity, sustainability, education, protection, resource efficiency and more.


If this describes your group’s work, we would like to invite you to join the PPN Environmental College. We would love to hear from you if you are interested in joining the PPN as an environmental group. You may be new to the PPN, or be registered as a Community & Voluntary group or Social Inclusion group and believe that you are in the wrong category.


If you are interested in joining, see below for some further information.


What is an environmental group?


In order to be considered an environmental group, your core focus and ethos must be environmental, focusing on ecological environment rather than built environment. This means that the main activities of the group should be undertaken in order to improve the surroundings to benefit nature and sustainable living. This is different to projects being undertaken to improve the built environment, which would have a focus on upkeep of buildings, as well as more traditional maintenance of green spaces that put aesthetics over ecological health.


With this in mind, we’d ask that a group consider whether your core focus is environmental or not. If you do some environmental work, but it is not the main focus of the group, then you would not qualify as an environmental group. If this is the case, we would ask that you join the Community & Voluntary or the Social Inclusion College of the PPN instead.


You can see a list of suggested activities that environmental groups work on in the Criteria document, section B, as well as a list of groups who are already considered to be environmental groups in section C.


How to join the PPN as an environmental group


If you agree that the core focus of your work is on the ecological environment then you can use the Community Groups Eligibility Form to join the PPN Environmental College. If you’d like help with the form, or would like to chat about your group’s work beforehand to see if you could be eligible you can contact Catherine at catherine@ien.ie, who is happy to arrange a call.


Filling out the form

The seven tick boxes at the top of the form are very important. Some groups miss these when completing the form so we wanted to take a moment to point them out. These standards are non-negotiable and a group should meet all seven. Please consider them carefully.


We know that there is a learning curve when working on environmental goals, and if a group plans on focusing on environmental work as their core mission it would be very helpful to have this written into the group’s guidance documents such as your mission statement/constitution, as this can continue to guide the group even if the committee changes over the coming years. Having this environmental focus written into your guidance documents as the main focus of the group is the best way for us to determine whether a group is an environmental group or not.



Criteria for Membership document

Community Groups Eligibility Form (doc)

Community Groups Eligibility Form (pdf)

You can also find the links to download on the IEN website: www.environmentalpillar.ie/ppn/