Northamptonshire Enterprise recently held a low carbon event over at the University – a morning of short talks by local businesses and organisations aimed at helping to promote low carbon growth in the county. I heard about it through the Daventry Environment Business Network and thought it would be good for my colleague and I to attend.
So, was it useful? Yes and no. As with all such events, speakers are there to make money and to advertise their wares – who can blame them, their time is valuable. However, I do believe that if you are going to speak at one of these events, you should have a worthwhile message to get across even if the audience is not in the market for whatever you are selling.
A lot of it was not new, it is already out there and it was not presented in a new way. However, it is easy to forget that long list of things that you had intended to do and never got round to. I also came across a couple of new ideas that I had not really considered before.
The first couple of speakers were very good and mainly spoke about waste minimisation, cleaner processes etc without too much of a sales pitch. Later talks were more about particular products – biomass and wood burning boilers, LED lights or services – water leak detection. I think I would have liked to have heard more about successes and efficiencies that local companies had achieved though, as this would probably have given me more ideas. However, I do not know where most of the other delegates were from, so maybe it was more applicable to them.
So, apart from completely unrelated things that occurred to me, what else have I thought about following this?
Firstly is an idea that has also featured in an environmental course I am doing – the idea that what is one person’s waste is someone else’s input stream and that recycling should be a last resort. I need to review all of our waste and see how much is avoidable and whether any other waste streams can be sold or given away. This points me towards some very interesting projects at one of our other sites.
Secondly, we really need to be more imaginative in order to change the hearts and minds of those around (and above us).
Thirdly was the saying from one of the speakers – do what you do, but do it better – that is – increase efficiency – this, I think, is the key to being more environmentally sound.
What will I be doing next? Waste audits, awareness campaigns (waste and energy), increased recycling and checking out renewable heat incentives and other available grants.
Continuing the recycling theme from previous posts I note that there were some rather fancy recycling bins inside the building – although, unlike us they do not have any facilities (yet) for crisp packet recycling! Perhaps I should send them a memo!