John Bullock Lighting Design
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Responsible Sourcing and not Falling Over


I've yet to meet someone who thinks that the idea of trying to create a more sustainable future is a bad idea though I'm pretty damned sure they're out there somewhere. For the rest of us, its just that today's trials and travails make such a noise that its difficult to concentrate on something so... vague, as looking after the future.
And let's face it, it's this year's accounts that matters to the financiers and, besides, the boffins will eventually come up with something, so we'll probably be OK.

And so it goes.

The search for a sustainable way of going about business was described to me this week as being sound but too far ahead of the curve. I'll say to you what I said to that person: when I did my motorcycle training it was drilled into me that survival depends on anticipation. If you KNOW there's a curve coming up, its crazy and possibly fatal to wait until you're in the middle of it before you change down a gear. And it's an apt analogy. The more I type that out, the stronger the image becomes; a gear change is exactly what we need, and in double-quick time, because the curve is much, much closer than we think.

There are a lot of factors to be taken into account when we talk about sustainable behaviour and some things will take a lo-o-o-ng time to come about. But something that needs immediate corrective behaviour is the way that we're using up our material resources, with little consideration for what comes after. The construction industry is trying to get on top of this by looking at responsible sourcing. It's a way for clients and construction companies to influence supplier companies to look to their laurels and start doing more good stuff with less bad stuff.

You'll know when this initiative has reached a tipping point because you'll start seeing Pre-Qualification Questionnaires asking regularly for supplier credentials on such things as material traceability and environmental declarations on product ranges before they will be considered for a project.
And please bear this in mind; its far easier for someone to specify an impossible thing than it is for someone else to make it. I know, because I've been that specifier.

So lots of things to think about and not much time for those boffins to work out where our off-world supplies of minerals and energy is going to come from.

RIBA CPD in 2015

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