John Bullock Lighting Design
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What we did this Summer

11-10-2013

Time for an up-date on what's going on in the business of lighting design and sustainability. As you probably know, I've been banging-on to anyone who'll listen about the inevitability of the construction industry embracing some kind of system of sustainable reporting; it's just that we don't yet know what form that reporting will take.

Well, maybe a load of people took a different kind of reading material with them on their holidays this year, because there is a very different smell in the air this autumn and it ain't burning leaves.

The issue of Responsible Sourcing is being given far greater emphasis in sustainability specifications. The M&E sector, within which Lighting stands tall and proud, of course, accounts for a decent portion of the build-cost, but there is no obvious way to demonstrate the provenance of a complex product such as a light fitting or a heat pump. That conundrum is now being discussed with some enthusiasm as we grope towards a system of reporting that can be inclusive for manufacturing companies of all sizes and shapes (not just the self-policing global giants who'll do it their way, whatever).

And it looks as though those same lighting companies are waking-up to the broader conversation I've just mentioned. Now, you may think that this would be a response as natural as night following day (whut? client talking about Responsible Sourcing must get onto that one straightaway!) , but the mill that is UK Lighting grinds exceeding  slowly and not always finely. But I'm pleased to report that more companies are now speaking to me about the best way to invest their businesses with sustainable behaviour. Huzzah to that.

Of course, not all of the drivers relating to a sustainable way of doing things have been positive ones. The related issue of Reputational Management has also been in the headlines, as some industries and companies have taken deserved batterings:
Qatar World Cup: construction companies in the Middle East abuse migrant workers.
Er who'd-a-thunk it?
Climate Change becomes Catastrophic Climate Breakdown (according to George Monbiot, who's mean to know about these things)
Factory collapse in Dhaka: leads to fashion companies signing-up to the Accord on Factory and Building Safety in Bangladesh. As outcomes go, this is a good one, but let's be clear: here we have fashion companies in the wealthy northern hemisphere agreeing not to permit workers to be burned to death at work or have buildings collapse on top of them. And that's Progress?

 

 

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