Impact List 2023: How was the selection made?

ENDS Europe’s inaugural Impact List, published today, seeks to recognise the EU politicians and professionals who have had a significant positive impact in EU environmental policy over the past couple of years.

READ MORE: Impact List 2023: The politicians and professionals who are shaping European green policy


The selection has been far from easy, and it goes without saying that many more people could have featured in our selection. We finally whittled down our Impact List to 30 people, of whom 12 are women and 18 men, drawn from seven broad professional categories. We strove throughout to cover a balanced range of roles and sectors, and to ensure the fair representation in terms of aspects such as nationality and gender.

Despite our best efforts, we recognise the list still lack diversity, and believe this is a reflection of the status quo in the environment policy bubble and shines a light on areas that need to improve in the future.

How was the selection made?

Given the nature of ENDS Europe’s coverage and readership, the shortlisted candidates all held a political or professional role related to the environment and EU policy-making.

We invited nominations from our readers in a short web-based survey and followed up by seeking feedback from a handpicked panel of experts whose judgement we have come to trust. Our panel was asked to review initial proposals for inclusion in the list, and especially to identify any gaps or glaring omissions. We would like to thank each of them for dedicating their precious time to this project.

To feature on the list, an individual had to meet at least one of three broad criteria: having shaped or influenced EU environmental policy, having delivered positive results for the environment, or being an ‘unsung hero' who is delivering positive change through their work, without necessarily receiving the deserved recognition.

We sought to cover a variety of categories and sectors, from the EU institutions in Brussels to national policy-makers, regulatory agencies, business representatives, scientists and campaigners.

For Members of the European Parliament, in particular, the list could have been much longer considering the number of rapporteurs or shadow-rapporteurs dealing with the many environmental files in discussion, all of whom impact one way or another the final form that EU green policy takes. To shorten the list, we decided to focus on MEPs whose files have already been closed, as the outcome of the others is still to be determined.

We received some high-profile nominations, politicians who have done a lot in specific areas of EU environmental policy but whose views are perhaps controversial or seen as less constructive in others. We have decided to not include them, at least until it will be possible to clarify whether their impact on balance is positive. We also had to exclude some high-profile campaigners, who have worked relentlessly to raise awareness for the environmental cause, but whose influence was not specifically focused on EU policy-making for the purposes of our survey.

With ever more businesses taking action to curb the environmental impacts of their products, operations and supply chains, we were surprised to receive only a few nominations in this category, and we are sure there are individuals in the private sector who deserve recognition. We hope to see more names put forward in this category in the future.