I attended Think08 yesterday afternoon, visiting some of the free seminars and chatting to a good number of exhibitors. It was also good to meet up with fellow bloggers Phil, Mel, Paul, Rob and Casey for an early evening drink.
My impressions from the afternoon was that it didn’t quite have the buzz of last year but again a very worthwhile event to attend, pushing the boundaries of sustainability … but …
Resilience is the new sustainability
The biggest impression was that sustainability as a green label has run its course – has it been highjacked to mean sustainable business as usual, sustainabily? Someone at another online event recently planted this idea – sustainability is so 1990’s. We need a new describer – resilience. (A link to a post in draft)
I captured my key thoughts during the afternoon which coincidently numbered eight:
- its the way we use buildings, operate them and manage energy use that will have the biggest initial impact on energy performance – not necessarily new green ‘kit’
- focus on existing building stock not new build however ‘green’
- like wise focus on make existing communities sustainable – not new build eco towns and try to make them sustainable
- all this reinforces my view that sustainability in the built environment is a facilities management issue not a construction one – but when the fm sector will wake up to this is another post.
- among the exhibitors there were more planners / developers / investment organisations than noticed before, and encouragingly more colleges and universities
- does this lead to promoting services and competing on green issues – and the danger of greenwash though? – “choose use, we are the greenest with the best green credentials” and have been doing it for years
- why is nearly everyones sustainability concept, strategy or objectives a pastel coloured wheel?
- not as much focus on going zero – was that last years thing?
And Highlights for me – for being different:
Footpint friends– giving young people a voice on climate change and global warming.
Verveproperties and the Paintworks
I picked up far too much information which I will plough through – of note though was the information, papers and articles from the Town and Country Planning stand – informed views on sustainable communities and eco-towns.