What I learnt on my travels…
I’m writing this post on the train down to Cambridge to finish off a manic three days which has taken in Harrogate, Southampton and next, my old college to talk to students.
Here are the learning points from the various sessions I ran or attended at the Low Carbon Best Practice Exchange at Harrogate:
• Participants did report a worrying relegation of sustainability in their organisations due to the financial situation (despite evidence that green makes you more recession proof than conventional rivals);
• Staff engagement remains a key concern of practitioners;
• Staff engagement should be fun, meaningful and consistent;
• Data collection is essential both to management and staff feedback;
• Communication needs to be tailored to suit the audience;
• Don’t preach;
• Green marketing is about giving consumers what they want guilt-free (controversial?);
• Retailers are acting as gate-keepers of consumer demands;
• Once you start down the green path, you need to keep going strong to keep up with your improved reputation;
• The future shape of the UK’s Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) is a mystery to all – yet the CRC is a massive driver for many organisations.
I wasn’t participating as much in Southampton – but it was clear from the participants that they are really starting to get it. I gave two keynote speeches, one on the business case for sustainability (similar to the video clip on our YouTube channel) and one on Green Business Leadership (structured around this popular piece I wrote for Management Issues). The second was slightly marred by my throat starting to creak – I’ve been fighting the lurgy all week – but it went down very well.
Both days I met people who had read the Three Secrets of Green Business which was great – one person quoted something back at me that I had forgotten I had written!
Tonight’s talk is about green careers and is basically the story of my own, comparing and contrasting with what I would do if I was starting now.