After an incredibly hectic November and early December - I interacted with some 750 individuals over this time - things are finally winding down here at Terra Infirma Towers. This is the last full day of operation until the New Year.

So, here's a little reflection of the fifteen most important things I've learnt/had reaffirmed over the last 12 months:

  • Despite "the current economic climate", the big players are doing more on sustainability, not less;
  • Partially as a result, sustainability is becoming an issue of life and death for small/medium size businesses;
  • Expecting a direct return on investment on your environmental programmes is like driving on a motorway in second gear;
  • You should be 'farming' rather than 'hunting' sustainability;
  • There is a big shift from worrying about outputs (emissions, pollutants) to inputs (materials energy);
  • Learn from the Feed In Tariff hoohah - beware subsidies;
  • The main barrier to sustainability is only 6 inches wide - the space between your ears;
  • Culture change is more important than shiny new technology
  • Chip & Dan Heath's "Switch" model of culture change works well for sustainability;
  • Participation is an effective method of engagement;
  • To ensure sustainable change you must hunt down and eliminate perverse incentives with extreme prejudice;
  • If you're going to appoint sustainability champions, make sure they have a well defined role, not just vague words like "ambassador";
  • Questions are the most powerful weapon in the sustainability practitioner's armoury;
  • Responsibility must be aligned with authority and vice versa;
  • Sustainability must be integrated into everything, by everybody, everytime.


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