Saving the planet, cinnamon swirl in hand

Saving the planet, cinnamon swirl in hand

Account Executive Katherine Brook helped promote the latest Construction Climate Challenge (CCC) seminar, which took place in Birmingham, UK.

Arriving at the venue early – notepad, pen and voice recorder in hand – I made my way through to one of the reception rooms where delegates congregated prior to moving through to the auditorium. As luck would have it, being early meant I had full choice of the breakfast spread (my love for food is no secret at SE10).

Hovering with a cinnamon swirl in one hand, a coffee in the other and my CCC booklet tucked under my arm, I scanned my audience, deciding who looked the most approachable. Still being early, I had just three people to choose from: A young man, who stood in the corner inspecting the day's itinerary; an older man, who seemed more interested in trying all the pastry options; and a woman with a friendly smile wearing bright red lipstick. No contest who to target.

I put on my best smile and introduced myself. She was very welcoming, and I soon found out she was there on behalf of the Environment Agency. Her name was Katherine Ibbotson and I was keen to find out more about her role. I took mental notes as she told me about her involvement with the Agency's Carbon Planning Tool and her leadership in implementing, monitoring and promoting it.

In fact, the whole day was spent listening to influential speakers, those presenting and the other participants. Each shared their thoughts on how the construction industry can reduce its carbon footprint of infrastructure projects, and drive sustainability throughout the value chain.

Distinguished speaker after distinguished speaker spoke with a genuine desire for a better, greener industry. This isn't all in the future either, I was amazed to see how far the industry has come already to lower its carbon footprint.

Breaking up the day were numerous coffee breaks and a lunch, which gave me a chance to mingle a little more. Having been part of SE10 for just over half a year, I've spoken to many more people over the phone than I have met in person, and this was the perfect opportunity for me to start putting some faces to the long list of names I am quickly racking up – if only I could remember them all!

Offering my strongest handshake – I was once told a good handshake is integral to first impressions – I set about meeting the likes of Bill Law, senior vice president at Volvo CE; Niklas Nillroth, vice president of environmental and sustainability at Volvo CE; and Jenny Elfsberg, director of emerging technologies at Volvo CE – many of whom spoke at the event.

Sitting on the train home to London that evening, I could finally relax. I kicked off my heels and sank back appreciatively into my seat, reflecting on the day's events.

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