March 28, 2013
Following the launch of our last report, Making a Difference we had a bit of a party to celebrate the work of the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 over the past seven years, before we finally close down at the end of this month.
Around 100 people turned up but we could have filled the room many times over with all the people who have helped us over the years.
My role as chair of the commission has been unique and I feel very honoured to have been given the opportunity. Working in large corporations, it is tempting to think you are working with a broad church of people but this is not necessarily the case. (more…)
January 24, 2013
It is 10 years since I tore up the sustainable procurement rule book and started again. My environmental colleagues wanted me to send an incredibly complicated questionnaire to all my suppliers about their environmental practices and apply a 5 per cent weighting to all tender evaluations based on this information. (more…)
November 15, 2012
1. The Olympic Park had its own power station. If you look beyond the Copper Box you can see a tall chimney with “ENERGY” written on it. This is a plant that generates electricity in a gas engine and uses waste heat to provide hot water and heating for the buildings. It is linked to a similar unit that powers the Westfield Centre. There is a lot of spare capacity in this system, allowing more engines to be added without digging up the Park and replacing pipes, and it will provide efficient energy for generations to come. (more…)
May 28, 2012
The headquarters of the National Audit Office is probably not everybody’s idea of an inspirational place, but I like it there. It is an art deco building opposite Victoria coach station in London. It has recently been refurbished to a very high standard, maintaining the character of the building while providing everything needed for a modern office environment. In the reception area, it proudly displays its certificate boasting that the building is compliant with this BREEAM excellent standard. This was probably the highest standard for a sustainable building at the time, but the ‘outstanding’ designation has recently been introduced. Next to this proud accolade is the Energy Performance of Buildings certificate, a legal obligation. It proclaims a very middling C rating. How can this be? (more…)
May 21, 2012
Since the start of 2012, I’ve been to the US three times and it is interesting to reflect on what is going on in the world of sustainability. It is tempting to say “not much” and make this a very short blog, but that’s not the case.
I never imagined I would spend time in Texas working on sustainability with a company that exclusively supplies big oil with capital equipment, but I did. I never imagined I would end up helping the United Nations deliver the Rio +20 event in a more sustainable way, but I have. I did not predict spending time with the UK, US and Canadian institutions for civil engineering talking about more sustainable infrastructure development, but I have. And I expect to be back in the summer, working with at least two other global businesses. And yes, I offset my flights! (more…)
February 11, 2011
At yesterday’s Sustainable Procurement – The New Era conference I was able to quiz a few of the experts in the subject on the challenges and issues facing buyers at the moment. (more…)