Following our esteemed leader’s recent speech to the US congress, in which he urged President Obama and America to rise to the challenge of simultaneously solving the twin problems of economic crisis and climate change, it is sobering to remember what is happening in our own country, and this sector in particular, in tackling this ourselves.

It seems we have reverted to type as the recession has squeezed, and rather than innovate and create new opportunities we have focused on squealing about those being swept away by the receding tides of banking ineptitude and wider economic malaise.

Now is the time for a bold, brash and courageous move in which we gird our loins and drive ourselves ever harder towards the sustainable future we all claim to aspire to. The status quo is not an option, nor is the approach that preceded it.

If building services and the construction sector are to survive and flourish in this downturn we must do something new, do it better and maybe even change the world through a revolution in retrofit and sustainable new build inspiration. Why else do we exist if not to achieve these ambitious but also achievable aims?

Ed Gillespie, co-founder, Futerra