Green Vision

Open Knowledge Exchange and Sharing

Month: September 2012

A truly inspirational Talk from an exceptional Entrepreneur

Despite the floods and tremendous downpours in Calderdale over the last week, a committed few Calderdale SMEs came together this evening at the Holiday Inn in Brighouse to hear from Chris Hopkins, MD Ploughcroft Ltd as part of the Business Growth Calderdale Programme, which is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

This evening’s event has been for me probably the most interesting insight into real business that I have ever heard, told in such a personal and honest way by a true entrepreneur.

Chris Hopkins of Ploughcroft shared with the Green Vision Calderdale network his account of the highs and lows of business over the last 10 years.  Only two weeks ago Chris called me to say that he didn’t think he could present this evening and then much to my delight he reconsidered.  He arrived straight from site booted and wearing his trademark red t-shirt to give, unbeknown to me, the news that in fact Ploughcroft Building Services Ltd had gone into administration at 10am that very morning.  His account of ‘taking his eye of the ball’ ‘all eggs in one basket’  not helped by the current recession and continued cuts in the Feed in Tarrifs had left Ploughcroft in serious difficulty.

His energy and positivity resounded throughout his presentation which was brought to a close by an honest applause from all delegates for sharing so openly his recent turbulent story with us. Dedicated to excelling at training provision and being the best and most trusted brand  in his field he will continue Ploughcroft Ltd with a revived energy and enthusiasm and awareness of the need to work to a different business model in these difficult times.

A truly inspirational talk from an exceptional entrepreneur, thank you.

At our next Green Vision Calderdale event we will hear from Sustainability Leaders  Interface Flor , more info to follow soon

Materials – our sustainable building blocks

Construction materials are quite literally the building blocks for a truly sustainable design, construction and maintenance industry.

No longer do we to specify and procure materials on function and aesthetics alone, but the consideration of a myriad of economic, environmental and social sustainability aspects is now essential. Balancing these ‘triple bottom line’ aspects brings a new approach to traditional material choice, to value management and engineering exercises, increasingly recognised as ‘appropriate sourcing‘.

Alternative, natural, ‘sustainable’ materials are now established in the choice mix along side the traditional petroleum based products.

Social specification and procurement of materials is key to successful and meaningful localism agendas, whilst also reducing transport miles and carbon. (Up to 70% of a projects construction CO2 is related to transportation of materials to the project)

Consideration of healthy materials is likely to dominate sustainable construction thinking over the next few years, we hear ever-increasing reference to red list materials, in their manufacture, transport, handling, impact on building occupants and disposal.

Waste is now accepted as a  huge driver and factor for sustainable construction. We have made great improvement in waste management over the last decade. Yet maybe we have to step back and understand the recycling spiral loops we have embedded in to our industry, to question whether we are really being resource efficient.

Collectively these emerging material restraints and opportunities are game changers in the world of material specification, procurement, construction and facilities management, and critical to a successful sustainable construction strategy.

Green Vision’s autumn 2012 series tackles the material issue head on, themed around the Cradle to Cradle philospohy with a collection of evening presentations, Tweetchat discussions on alternative materials and modern material specification issues, an online Tweetchat based book club discussion of Cradle to Cradle, culminating  in a half day web enabled conference in Leeds with a Cradle to Cradle keynote speaker.

If you are involved in material selection, specification, manufacture, procurement, construction or maintenance, this autumn series will be of great benefit in increasing your awareness and understanding in this crucial area.

See you there.

Series overview:

15th Oct #GVisChat  Tweetchat Alternative Materials 8pm UK Time

17 Oct Whole Life Thinking  17.30 Leeds, featuring:

‘Drivers for Sustainable Material Choice’ Paul Toyne, WSP

‘A Lifecycle Approach to Sustainable Product Strategies’ Louis Brimacombe, Tata Steel

12th Nov #GVischat Tweetchat  Specifying Green Materials/Red Lists’ 8pm  UK Time

14th Nov Specifying Green 17.30 Leeds, featuring:

‘Green Specifying using NBS Create’ John Gelder, RIBA Enterprises

‘REACH: Impact on Construction Materials’ Dr. Peter Ruifrok, Eagle Rock Life Sciences,

10th Dec #GVischat Cradle to Cradle Tweetchat discussion 8pm UK Time

12th Dec Sustainable Materials 13.30 Leeds OBC  Half Day GVis Conference

To register please click here

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