Vote: Fairsnape Best Green Blogger Nominee

The Fairsnape iSite blog now in its 10th year with just under 1000 posts has been providing news, comment and challenges to the built environment sector and beyond.  It is always great to get recognition, and am delighted that this blog is a Green category Best Blogger nominee for the 7th Annual 2016 JDR Industry Blogger Awards!JDRBadges_2016_Green

Voting is now open on the JDR website (from Monday, February 29th and closes April 15th)

Please take a few moments to vote for this blog here

The blog with the most votes in each category (Architecture, Interior Design, Remodelling, Construction Business, Green, and Microblog) will win that category.

 

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thank you, and best wishes to other nominees

 

 

Heros and Texts for a future Built Environment based on #CSR

“suddenly the air smells much greener now”

Listening to ‘These Streets’, lyrics by Paolo Nutini summed up the brilliant, inspiring Green Vision conference in Leeds – exploring CSR within the built environment.

A mix of talks, presentations, round table discussions and pecha kuchas from Mel Starrs, Eden Brukman, Tamara Bergkamp, Eddie Murphy, Martin Brown, Faye Jenkins, Claire Walker, Rick Hamilton, Mark Warner, Pedro Pablo Cardoso-Castro, Andy Ainsworth, Paula Widdowson and many others showed that there is real emergence and a future for a Built Environment founded on social responsibility principles.

The air smells much greener …

We heard of excellent progress being made by individuals, projects and organisations on the CSR journey, and how behind these are great influential thinkers, often outside of the sector, many, unsurprisingly, related to the ‘outdoor’ sector.

Many of the speakers were enthusiastic in sharing CSR heros and recommended CSR reading. So here, as a summary, or reading list are those mentioned during the day. I wonder how many of these are on the reading list within design, construction and fm education? (Book titles link to Amazon)

Yvon Chouinard

Rock climber, environmentalist and outdoor industry businessman, noted for his contributions to climbing, climbing equipment and the outdoor gear business. His company @Patagonia is widely acclaimed for its environmental and social focus. According to Fortune magazine, Chouinard is arguably the most successful outdoor industry businessman alive today.

The Responsible Company What we have learnt in the first 40 years at Patagonia by Yvon Chouinard and Vincent Stanley (see my blog)

Let My People Go Surfing Yvon Chouinard – Probably the ‘must read book’ to understand CSR in Business

(On my blog: How can construction learn from Patagonia?)

Ray Anderson

Founder of Interface Inc., one of the world’s largest manufacturers of modular carpet for commercial and residential applications and a leading producer of commercial broadloom and commercial fabrics. He was known in environmental circles for his advanced and progressive stance on industrial ecology and sustainability.

Ray was was posthumously awarded an Outstanding Achievement award at this year’s Guardian Sustainable Business Awards in 2012. (There is a related, must watch, video here: John Elkington describing the work and legacy of Ray Anderson)

Confessions of a Radical Industrialist: Profits, People, Purpose: Doing Business by Respecting the Earth (2009) Later released in paperback as Business Lessons from a Radical Industrialist in 2011.

Paul Hawken

An environmentalist, entrepreneur, and author. Ray Anderson of Interface credited The Ecology of Commerce with his environmental awakening. He described reading it as a “spear in the chest experience”, after which Anderson started crisscrossing the country with a near-evangelical fervor, telling fellow executives about the need to reduce waste and carbon emissions.

Hawken’s book, Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution (1999) coauthored with Amory Lovins and Hunter Lovins, popularized the now-standard idea of natural capital and direct accounting for ecosystem services, a theme revisited by Rio +20 and likely to become more mainstream across the built environment.

Janine Benyus

Her 1997 book Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature defines Biomimry as a “new science that studies nature’s models and then imitates or takes inspiration from these designs and processes to solve human problems”. Benyus suggests looking to Nature as a “Model, Measure, and Mentor” and emphasizes sustainability as an objective of biomimicry. Key thinking in the Living Building Challenge principles, as is

E O Wilson

Edward Osborne Wilson an American biologist, researcher, theorist, naturalist and author. In the mid 80’s developed the concept of Biophilia, the connection between humans and nature, which translates into architecture and the built environment as comfort, well being and productivity through exposure to natural light and natural surrondings or imagry.

Anita Roddick

Dame Anita Roddick, human rights activist and environmental campaigner, best known as the founder of The Body Shop, a cosmetics company producing and retailing beauty products that shaped ethical consumerism The company was one of the first to prohibit the use of ingredients tested on animals and one of the first to promote fair trade with third world countries. Roddick was involved in activism and campaigning for environmental and social issues, including involvement with Greenpeace andThe Big Issue.

John Elkington

John Elkington @volansjohn is a world authority on corporate responsibility and sustainable development. He is currently the Founding Partner & Executive Chairman of Volans, a future-focused business working at the intersection of the sustainability, entrepreneurship and innovation movements

His latest book The Zeronauts, Breaking the Sustainability Barrier describes many of todays inspirational leaders : “Just as our species broke the Sound Barrier during the 1940s and 1950s, a new breed of innovator, entrepreneur, and investor is lining up to break the Sustainability Barrier”

Jorgen Randers

2052: What will the world look like in 2052

Jeff Hollender,

Jeffrey Hollender is an American businessperson, entrepreneur, author, and activist. He was well known for his roles as CEO, co-founder, and later Chief Inspired Protagonist and Executive Chairperson of Seventh Generation Inc., the country’s largest distributor of non-toxic, all-natural cleaning, paper and personal care products. www.jeffhollender.com/

Gary Hirshberg,

Gary Hirshberg is chairman and former president and CEO of Stonyfield Farm, an organic yogurt producer, based in Londonderry, New Hampshire. Now part of the Danone group.

Published in January 2008, Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World is a book about socially minded business that calls on individuals to realize their power to make a difference in the marketplace, while doing business in ways that adhere to a multiple bottom line – one that takes into consideration not only finance, but the environment and health as well.

Jeffrey Swartz,

Jeffrey Swartz is the former president and CEO of The Timberland Company an organization that believes that doing well and doing good are inextricably linked. Timberland’s commitment is to reducing global warming and preserving the outdoor environment.

David and Claire Hieatt,

Founders of Howies a clothing company based in Cardigan Bay, Wales produces eco-friendly T-shirts, jeans and sportswear, and aims to have ethically correct practices. Howies use natural fabrics as alternatives to petrochemical-derived modern fabrics. Examples include organic cotton, Merino wool and recycled cotton. Howies T-shirts often have images or slogans with political or environmental themes

Dee Hock

Dee Ward Hock is the founder and former CEO of VISA , described systems that are both chaotic and ordered, and used for the first time the term “chard” and chaordic,combining the words chaos and order.

More?

Over to you –

Follow the discussion on twitter with the #GVis2012 hashtag.

Who are your CSR Heros and CSR Texts to add to this Built Environment inspirers list?

What additions or comments would you make to the entries above?

A full record (video, blog, tweets, presentations, storify) of the Building CSR Event is being curated on the be2camp event page here.

Construction lacks green, key business and foresight skills

Construction lacks essential skills. A recent poll of 1,450 construction employers, conducted by Construction Industry Training Board and Sector Skills Council, CITB-ConstructionSkills, skills gaps such as understanding the implications of green issues (43%), identifying potential new business (39%) and not having sufficient IT skills (43%) were all areas picked out by industry managers and supervisors as lacking in their organisations.

In addition, a third (32%) of employers said that keeping up to date with the latest innovations, products and techniques was an important concern for their business. A further 32% also stated that their management team’s ability to identify the training needs of staff was an area that needed improvement.

Begs the question what have we been doing in the world of construction improvement over the last two decades since these skills were identified in seminal reports, eg Egan , Latham and others.

Importantly it also demonstrates a lack of awareness and vision at board, owner or senior management levels to identify, acknowledge and prepare for emerging trends, particularly in the sustainability, IT and social media arena.

Links:

A Low Carbon Diet For Construction Boards (CSRWire post by Martin Brown)

Future Proofing the Boardroom – Part One: Grounding and Stargazing (CSRWire post by Lucy Marcus)

Link to CITB 

What is Green Deal: the hard, the soft, the CSR and the terminology.

Just what is Green Deal? Associated with my support for organisations developing strategies and implementation plans for ‘transition’ to eco refit or green deal work, the following documents are proving very useful indeed.

Getting Ready for Green Deal (Fairsnape and PBEnergy)  Is your organisation ready and equipped to work in green deals? Check against our top tips.  Time to green your board. It is absolutely essential that your Green Deal approaches are fully supported and sponsored by a board level director or equivalent. Green Deal has to be a key element of your CSR and Business strategy, not a bolt-on or suck and see approach.

What is the Green Deal and how will it work? (greenenergynet.com) Gives a general overview of what will be involved in Green Deal, who it is aimed at and useful terminology

Behaviour Change and Energy Use (Cabinet Office Behavioural Insights Team). Its not all hard technology and finance as this recent publication demonstrates. Energy reduction alongside Green Deal is one of behaviour change, nudge approaches and good CSR understandings.

This paper draws on evidence from behavioural economics and psychology to outline a new approach to enabling people, at home and at work, to reduce their energy consumption and reduce their bills in the process.

Behaviourally based changes that reduce emissions have major advantages. First, the benefits can be very fast, unlike major infrastructure changes that can take years, or even decades – a 1% gain today is worth more than a 1% gain tomorrow. Second, they can be highly cost-effective. Third, they can provide savings and other benefits directly to citizens

Green skills ‘essential’ to carbon-conscious building industryRecent Guardian Sustainable Business article.

Green Deal Terminology

Improver – The household, business or community that carries out energy saving measures through the Green Deal.

Green Deal Provider – This is the organisation funding the Green Deal. They could be your utility supplier or commercial companies, charities or social landlords.

Accredited Advisor – This is the person who recommends energy saving measures that could be carried out on an improver’s property. The advisor would document the energy saving measures on an Energy Performance Certificate which he would pass on to the Green Deal Provider and Improver.

Accredited Installer – Approved contractor who carries out measures recommended by the accredited advisor. The Green Deal provider could be the Accredited Installer but could also contract this work out. Whoever the Accredited Installer is the contractual agreement is always between the Improver and the Green Deal Provider.

The Green Deal Plan – The Green Deal Provider offers the Improver a Green Deal Plan. This includes arranging an accredited advisor and installer. It also includes the financial and contractual agreement between the Green Deal Provider and Improver.

The Golden Rule – The financial savings derived from the Green Deal energy saving measures recommended by the accredited advisor must be equal to or more than the cost of implementing the energy saving measures and the repayments must not be longer than the expected life span of the measure.

For more on Green Deal awareness of support 

Sustainability in Built Environment dominates Guardian Sustainable Business Awards

Sustainability in the Built Environment dominates Guardian Sustainable Business Award winners:

At British Land – winner of the Guardian Sustainable Business built environment award:

As the relationship with Camden council shows, British Land takes its corporate responsibility seriously and this is reflected in the goals for Regent’s Place. From design to construction, the project team has been expected to apply the highest standards of ISO 14001 certified sustainability brief for developments. As a consequence, all the new office buildings have Breeam “excellent” sustainability ratings.

From fit-out to property maintenance the developer has worked with occupiers and on-site teams to use natural resources efficiently, with a waste guide and sustainability brief for management – leading to 8% less like-for-like energy use since April 2010.

When the masterplan is complete, the Regent’s Place estate will double in size, providing 2m sq ft of office, retail and residential space for 14,000 workers and residents. What an opportunity, then, for a showcase site with sustainability at its core.

At Sainsbury’s – winner of the Guardian Sustainable Business energy award:

Crayford Sainsbury’s biggest UK store … is a breakthrough project – the first time a UK supermarket has used the so-called geo-exchange system to tap natural geo-thermal energy trapped deep under the ground.

At the heart of the system is an advanced ground-source heat pump that is linked to boreholes that capture and store waste heat from the store. This is released, when needed, to provide heat and hot water for the store and on-demand cooling for refrigeration.

Most importantly, it has allowed the supermarket group to increase the size of the store with no increase in either energy use or carbon emissions. The expanded store has exactly the same footprint as the smaller store it replaces.

As such, Crayford provides a blueprint for the UK’s second biggest grocer as it plots its future store development. The system will be used on several new and redeveloped stores now being planned.

At Tescos: winner of the Guardian Sustainable Business carbon award:

An all-timber new look store in Ramsey, Cambridgeshire, is meanwhile creating a zero-carbon template for future store development at home and abroad.

A range of new technologies is being tested, including sun-pipe lighting, renewable combined heat and power (CHP), harvested rainwater to flush toilets and run carwashes, the first ever LED car park lighting system and on-site renewable energy production. Similar stores in the Czech Republic and Thailand will be built in the coming months.

Some 614 UK stores have also been fitted with electronic energy boards showing staff at all levels, and in real time, if their store is operating in an energy efficient way and suggesting ways to improve the results.

The Livingston distribution centre in Scotland will soon be equipped with a six megawatt CHP plant, while the California distribution centre has one of the largest roof-mounted solar installations in North America.

And

at InterfaceFLOR – winner of the Guardian Sustainable Business waste and recycling award:

In 1995 InterfaceFLOR, a carpet tile and commercial flooring company, launched mission zero, a promise to eliminate all of its negative environmental impacts by 2020.

Born from an “epiphany” that founder and chairman Ray Anderson had on reading Paul Hawken’s The Ecology of Commerce, the mission moved the company away from the “take, make, waste” cycle of manufacturing towards a more sustainable business model.

The path to mission zero is made up of seven clear and ambitious goals, ranging from eliminating waste and using wholly renewable energy to maximising recycling and using resource-efficient transport.

For InterfaceFLOR, eliminating waste meant eliminating the concept of waste, not just incrementally reducing it. Recycling is seen as a last resort and only considered in cases where waste cannot be prevented or reused in any way. It’s an approach the judges thought eminently replicable.

At Capgemini – short-listed for the Guardian Sustainable Business built environment award.

Capgemini has established a new approach for building energy efficient data centres. Rather than build from scratch, it has used an existing building ‘shell’ and populated it with prefabricated modules, similar to those used as mobile hospitals by the British army in Afghanistan.

This in itself minimises the environmental impact that would come with a new-build project and cuts development time from 18 months to just 22 weeks.

Merlin aims to achieve a step-change in every aspect – from the smart engineering of the building to the use of many innovative features, such as fresh-air cooling, battery-free uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and use of recyclable or reusable materials.

The key feature is the cooling system, which combines fresh air and pre-evaporative cooling. It is set up to ensure the tightest possible real-time control of temperature, humidity and air-flow at minimum energy cost.

Merlin includes new “flywheel technology” in its UPS system, with kinetic energy replacing high-carbon batteries.

sustainable resources and publications update

Items of interest to built environment + natural environment + sustainable communities filtered from the Sustainability Development Research Network (SDRN) update

Engaging Places
A new initiative has been launched by CABE and English Heritage to help every school exploit the world’s biggest teaching resource; ‘Engaging Places’ will champion and support teaching and learning through the whole built environment, from grand historic buildings to the streets and neighbourhoods where we live. Great web resource here

Creating green jobs: developing local low-carbon economies
This publication outlines measures to help create 150 000 new jobs in the low carbon economy – jobs that help save carbon, reduce fuel poverty, increase our energy security and build resilience in those areas at greatest risk from climate change. A must read document.

Policy Exchange Report – ‘Warm Homes’
This report argues that Government efforts to improve energy efficiency in the existing housing stock have been slow and expensive. The grants available are too complicated to administer and have had to be applied for on household-by-household basis, with those that do wish to upgrade required to cover a large part of the upfront costs. This has resulted in millions of homes not applying for the grants to which they are eligible and those unable to find the cash for upfront installation costs being excluded. In addition, such a variety of organisations are responsible for the delivery of energy efficiency improvements, including the Warm Front Scheme and the Energy Saving Trust, that effective joined-up action is prevented and the costs of bureaucracy increased. To quickly install basic energy efficiency measures in every household that needs them, ‘Warm Homes’ suggests that the structures of energy efficiency finance and delivery have to change and makes recommendations of how to achieve this. More…

Comfort in a Lower Carbon Society
The January edition of Building Research and Information includes a set of five commentaries on the earlier special issue ‘Comfort in a Lower Carbon Society’. The commentaries examine from different perspectives the opportunities, barriers and potential for significant carbon reductions through changing the social expectations and behaviours for what constitutes thermal comfort. The heating and cooling of buildings consumes a significant proportion of energy in developed countries and the trajectory of consumption continues to rise. Given that developed countries have a large and slowly growing building stock (less than 2% per annum), technical solutions to upgrading the building stock will take a substantial period of time. Altering societies’ behaviour and expectations surrounding the consumption of ‘comfort’ – specifically through how much heating and cooling we require – presents an important opportunity for lowering energy use and carbon dioxide emissions. Commentaries are written by Jim Skea, Mithra Moezzi, Harold Wilhite, Russell Hitchings, and Ian Cooper. More…

Tackling Climate Change, Reducing Poverty
A new coalition of leading UK environmental and social justice groups, convened by Oxfam and the new economics foundation (nef) and including Friends of the Earth and the Royal College of Nursing, has released a report – ‘Tackling Climate Change, Reducing Poverty’ – showing that tackling climate change actually offers a huge opportunity to boost the economy and tackle UK poverty at the same time. The report shows how the need to combat climate change could present a huge opportunity to tackle poverty too. Key recommendations include: increasing household energy efficiency, reducing both emissions and fuel poverty; planning for an equitable transition to a low carbon economy (paving the way for the UK to capitalise on the opportunities and reap the benefits of the new low-carbon economy including the creation of new ‘green collar’ jobs; promoting sustainable public service provision, including low carbon food procurement for hospitals and schools; improving the existing housing stock (moving towards low carbon design in housing and urban development); and investing in a public transport system, which is better for the environment and more equitable. More…

Natural England Draft Policy – ‘All Landscapes Matter’
Natural England is leading on the implementation of the European Landscape Convention (ELC) in England.  This document sets out their detailed policy for working with and through England’s landscapes as an integrating framework for managing change and raising the quality of all landscapes and the benefits they provide, whether they are rural, urban or coastal, ordinary or outstanding. Key policies highlighted consider: landscape management, protection and planning; dynamic and evolving landscapes; landscape as an integrating framework; European Landscape Convention; valuing landscape; landscape, design and development; European and International context; Landscape Character Areas; and landscape monitoring. Natural England is keen to hear views on this draft policy, and invite written comments until the 13th March 2009More…

Community development in local authorities
This new report from CDF examines how community development teams are structured in local authorities. Findings are amalgamated from discussions with a number of local authorities, together with findings from a more formal process of investigation. It attempts to give practice-based insights and intelligence about the role of community development teams. It looks at different structural models and the key factors that help community development, and therefore the voice of the community, to have an impact. This report is part of an ongoing project and the final section poses questions for those currently engaged in developing CD within their local authority. More…


More @ SDRN 


Green Building Elevates Expectations

Two thousand seven may go down as the year that green buildings became  cornerstone of a global strategies to address global warming

Green building in the US gets a good review in the recommended recently published paper from Greenbiz.com State of Green Business.  (Download from Greenbiz.com).  The report neatly summarises sectors into swimming, treading water or sinking in efforts to address green and environmental issues.

As to building and property, the following extracts should wet your appetite to download and read:

In this fast-rising environment, green building is becoming less the exception than the norm, embraced by sectors ranging from hotels to health care to housing

The price premium for green building is shrinking, reducing one of the few remaining barriers to the industry’s growth.

Moreover, green building can  provide a competitive advantage in a tough market,

Demand and planning for green buildings is rising like a skyscraper on steroids, the product of everything from high energy prices to corporate vanity to a better understanding of the dividends paid by environmentally sensitive facilities