It’s the little things on the green agenda that we should focus on when all seems lost
When the word “sustainable” is muttered we tend to all too quickly think of carbon emissions, rainforest destruction or melting ice caps. But if we go back to the core meaning of the word, “to maintain or keep going continuously” then we may find the rallying call that we need for the next few years.
The legislative trajectory for environmental issues seems to involve a lot of water, not just the ever increasing risk of flooding, but mainly for the purpose of watering down all the requirements that were in place.
The only real areas that government is investing its money in is the Electrical Demand Reduction (EDR) scheme where it will be funding schemes to reduce peak electrical use between 4pm and 8pm between November and February. This provides a clear sense of priority; the need to keep our electricity supply going and the very real risk of not doing so.
The in-cockpit videos of oil refineries in Syria being bombed doesn’t give me any sense of rejoicing in defeating evil which appears to be enveloping parts of that region, it does make me think that the price per barrel of oil is going to spike again and one of our biggest challenges is going to be how to keep going with fuel price inflation running so high.
We have just enjoyed a period of fuel price deflation but no forecast maintains that position for long.
Sustainability is often about the little things much more than the larger fundamental changes
In the light of increasing pressures on all fronts (the increasing need for efficiency but the gradual dilution of top down legislative support), keeping going can often feel like an upward struggle.
So it is worth renewing the motivation sometimes - and now seems like a good time - to ensure that we give some time to ensure that the organisations we are involved with really are sustainable.
We should ensure that they can keep going amidst these future challenges of lack of electricity; higher costs and increased water. More importantly we need to ensure, the built environment we are creating, much of which might outlive ourselves, can be sustained with success into the future too.
Sustainability is often about the little things much more than the larger fundamental changes to organisations.
The small gains and the day-to-day will keep us going. We all should ensure that we give some time to make the organisations we are involved with understand this and understand that they can add up to a much bigger result.
So keep going with the small steps as together they will lead to a long and well-travelled journey.
Matt Fulford is the director of Inspired Efficiency