FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday 19th January
The Green Organisation Reception for Environmental Responsibility in the Built Environment
Wednesday 18 January, Stranger’s Bar, Palace of Westminster
The Green Organisation in partnership with House Magazine and ePolitix hosted an evening reception to showcase successful environmental building projects and to highlight issues within the building industry raised by the ‘Green Deal’.
This highly successful event was held in the Stranger’s Dining Room in the House of Commons with contributing presentations from The Green Organisation, Land Securities, Alumet and Lafarge and was attended by 150 guests.
Roger Wolens, Managing Director of the Green Organisation, opened the proceedings welcoming guests and raising the issue of the 750,000 homes left empty partly as a result of the failure of the Pathfinder scheme. In partnership with the architect Mark Hines the Green Organisation is seeking to fund a project to set up a social enterprise for building trades people and to refurbish, rather than demolish, terraces of homes. He outlined the benefits of this approach reducing the environmental impact and cost without losing the character of much-loved terraced streets to provide homes.
Darren Gardner, Business Development Manager from Alumet, a leading solar provider, outlined a series of CSR projects the most significant being the formation of RETA, Renewable Energy Technology Alliance, a best practice group serving their local area providing support and advice on renewable technologies. The success of the group has been instrumental in projects that will see PV arrays installed on the roofs of both Coventry Cathedral and the Ricoh Arena.
Land Securities’ Robert Noel, Managing Director – London, provided some thought provoking questions around the need for behavioural change in people to match technological improvements. He also stressed that the market needs to place a premium on low carbon buildings order to drive investment in new technologies.
The last presentation from Lafarge and Search Architects shared the dream of a beyond zero carbon future inviting the attendees to meet with residents from Unity Gardens, Lincolnshire, who have lived free of energy and heating bills for three years. Furthering that dream they previewed their new project, Waterford Hamel, a commercially viable and replicable development that will offer the opportunity to live a virtually fossil fuel free lifestyle. The audience were invited to consider a future where fuel poverty could be eliminated improving the health and wealth of the nation.
It was an unexpected pleasure that Lord Taylor of Holbeach addressed the gathering congratulating the Green Organisation for setting up awards and making a public forum with House Magazine to recognise the developments that are being made every day by so many businesses and people across the country to build a greener economy.
Being a near neighbour to Unity Gardens he praised the scheme and welcomed the publicity and interest the scheme had attracted by showcasing the engagement of residents, councils and businesses to build a green economy in the UK.
Roger Wolens said: “I am delighted that so many MPs, peers and visitors have attended this evening. So many Green Apple Award winners have invested in new technology and new ideas to bring to completion so many examples of best practise in the built environment arena. Heritage buildings have been brought back into use for communities and it is only right that their efforts receive the recognition they truly deserve”
Richard Collins, the national organiser of the Green Apple Awards, said: “With the government’s sustainability agenda gathering pace, and the introduction of the Green Deal later this year, the country needs the support pro-active businesses to lead the way in reducing carbon emissions.”
Contact: Geraldine McIlwaine
Company Name: Milestone Awards Ltd.
Notes for Editors:
The Green Organisation, an independent not-for-profit environment group, that is funded from membership, sponsorship and dedicated to promoting the positive side of environmental endeavour.
The Green Apple Awards were launched in 1994 by The Green Organisation and are now in their eighteenth year. They are well established as one of the major environmental recognition schemes, both in the UK, Europe and internationally.