Five things we learned at edie Live 2019
edie Live is the UK’s only event connecting energy, sustainability and resource professionals with the information, ideas and suppliers they need to make their businesses more sustainable. Here’s the key messages we took away from this year’s exhibition.
1. People are the starting point for change
Whilst technology is key in unlocking news possibilities and opportunities, so are people. So alongside capital investment and operational improvements, energy savings and improvements can also be achieved by engaging with and involving the people around us. When we listen to people within our organisations, it can start the journey towards a new solution. Ibstock Brick is a prime example of how this can be achieved. Group Sustainability Manager Michael McGowan highlighted its People First approach during the Ambition into action: Energy and the built environment session.
2. More needs to be spent on research and development in the built environment.
We were shocked to learn that amount spent on research and development in the built environment sector stands at just 0.16% of total revenue. This is compared with 23% the IT industry and 15.5% in the automotive sector. The prize for sustainable development is vast so it is surprising that companies are not investing more in this area.
3. One change can make a big difference
In order to be more energy efficient, organisations don’t need to make a lot of changes. One change can still make a big impact. In order to adapt a one change mindset, companies need to know their energy behaviour inside out, decide on the change they want to make, collaborate with internal stakeholder as well as external experts and treat the change being made as an on-going, shared journey. What change will you make today?
4. Partnerships are key
This was a key message across many of the sessions. Ben Golding, Director of energy efficiency from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) was just one speaker who highlighted the importance of partnerships when outlining the Clean Growth Strategy, saying: “We need partnerships to make this happen. It’s not going to be easy, and we may need to raise our ambitions further.”
Zachary Rootes, Sustainability Advisor – Leadership & Innovation at the UK Green Building Council, was another who cited the importance of partnerships when highlighting the organisation’s approach to innovation.
5. Don’t be afraid of failure!
In order to succeed, organisations need to try. And sometimes this results in failure. And if you don’t fail then perhaps you aren’t trying hard enough? Several big-name companies proved that failing to reach ambitious targets could still count as a success rather than a failure, and any achievements in improving efficiency should still be communicated and celebrated. That’s food for thought…