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Creating Scotland's Sustainable Future

3 Aug 2013

I recently had the pleasure of attending the “Creating Scotland’s Sustainable Future” seminar, hosted by Robert Carr, Chairman at Anderson Strathern and organised by Robert and Catherine Hokin of EcoConnect.

Focusing on Green Industry and City Infrastructure, the evening highlighted how industry, academia and government must all work together to address demographic, economic and environmental challenges.

Willie Rennie, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, opened proceedings by recognising that not only do Scottish cities represent the best opportunity for economic growth, but that they will also have a huge part to play in meeting global environmental challenges. He also went on to add that Scotland’s cities can become the blueprint for excellence for future Global Eco Cities.

There was also a strong message that we need to build inertia to eradicate the aversion to risk that so often exists in the public and the business communities when it comes to new technology. Government has large part to play incentivising, motivating and encouraging change, and initiatives such as; “The Green Investment Bank” and “The Green deal” already serve as a catalyst to change. Robert Hokin complemented this with a rather apt quotation from Thomas Edison; “never be satisfied with the status quo”.

Calum Murray, managing Director of CCG Homes, and Director of City Legacy, a consortium responsible of delivery of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Athletes Village, spoke on how his own company have led the way in delivering sustainability and efficiency savings, not just in their factory, but across their entire supply chain. His aim is to eliminate waste and inefficiency, and to be the standard bearer for sustainability across the construction sector. 

Brian Veitch, Director of Arup Scotland and North East said that the majority us understand the complexities of what lies ahead for creating a fully environmentally sustainable industry. He did however state that the issue is less “what is required”, but more “how” we prioritise and deliver the large scale change required.

Richard Bellingham, Director of Smart Sustainable Cities and The University of Strathclyde explained that his team were set up specifically to answer that very question. In his mind strategic partnerships encompassing; Industry, Academia and Partner Worldwide Cities will be fundamental in meeting the challenges ahead.

David Forbes, Business Development Manager at SSE presented how eliminating waste and increasing efficiency in our power networks is a major driver for change within SSE. As a company they are seeking to optimise delivery of energy with minimal cost impact to the end user. As natural resources diminish energy costs will inevitably increase. Implementing ‘Better that Zero Carbon Technology’ and increasing efficiencies will provide part of the solution, but there is still a large programme of re-education required to inform consumers of their critical role in eliminating waste.

At Eden Scott, we certainly have a pivotal supporting role to play, including (but not limited to) reducing our own carbon footprint. Be it; engineers, entrepreneurs, technologists, commercial experts, academics or thought leaders, as a human resource and recruitment business we have a vested interest in ensuring that Scotland remains a workplace of choice for the very best the Global Talent pool has to offer.

There are some crucial decisions and changes to be made in the years ahead, but if the experts in attendance at Creating Scotland’s Sustainable Future were indicative of the market, we are in safe hands.

Read more about the event on the ecoConnect website.

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