Early on in my career, I travelled from my home in Bristol to a meeting in Chelmsford, and being familiar with the usual traffic on the M4, M25 and A12, I decided I needed to leave as early as possible. It was a four-hour journey at least, but I made good progress, and wasn’t fazed when my oil light flickered on. I was travelling through a section of contraflow on the A12, and was sure I’d have time to get through it and on to the services beyond. If only I’d noticed the sign telling me that the traffic was set to be diverted for at least ten miles!
Well, my mistake cost me dearly. Had I paid attention to the sign, I’d have pulled my car over onto the hard shoulder and called for roadside assistance. Instead, I had to push my broken car, along with three other kind (but irritated) people, off the contraflow lane, and wait for the free recovery service to take me to a place where I was no longer blocking the traffic. I missed my meeting, wrote off my car with irreparable engine damage, and caused a tailback that negatively affected dozens of other people.
So many times that day I castigated myself for not taking in the signs. I saw them, and part of my mind took in the message, but I didn’t apply them to my own situation, or act in accordance with the messages. I thought the oil warning in my car was telling me that I could pull over when convenient. The consequences of ignoring it were severe. If we want a smooth journey, it’s vital to take action in the moment, as soon as the warning sign flickers on.
And so it is with net zero carbon. The warning signs in the climate have been blaring for decades, and we’re responding already to those signs with our combined efforts to build sustainably. Just like my own car catastrophe, we’ll see better results when we include net zero carbon in our building plans right at the beginning, rather than only responding once we’re in a crisis.
That’s where we come in. Send us a quick email at the earliest stages of your project, and we’ll help guide it to the destination you’ve got in mind.