My zero-carbon awakening

Michael Brogden
October 28, 2020

Just like with my running, we all achieve more when we make a conscious decision towards a positive future

The Climate Emergency is changing our world.  Yet, despite working in the construction industry for 13 years as an energy assessor, I wasn’t fully awake to why change is so vital.   

I listen to the news and know about world affairs, but I hadn’t joined the dots and appreciated the scale of the problem.  

Of course, I knew about climate change concepts and of new requirements in my work, but I didn’t feel engaged in it or touched by it.  

In fact, I felt a lot of it was being done to me, and I had no choice but to be compliant.

Take shopping. Tesco took away my free bag. I either kept one in the car, or I had to keep paying for another. Same with the recycling. I did it, but only because I needed to. I did things because my external environment shifted, and I was compelled to change with it. But I went dragging my feet. 

My feet stopped dragging and started moving when I began working on B Corp certification for Darren Evans. 

We wanted to find a way to structure our business so that it reflects our purpose to build a better future of creating sustainable spaces where people and planet can thrive.   

A focus on people, planet and profit 

A B Corp certification, for us, is a great way to reflect our commitment. B Corp is a global movement that uses business as a force for good. It means people, the plant and profit are our triple bottom lines, that our growth should have a positive impact on our employees, our customers, communities and the environment.  

It’s a rigorous standard, and I’ve spent a lot of time learning about climate change and the precarious situation we are in with global warming.  

I feel embarrassed that I had not joined up the dots. I hadn’t realised that small changes make a big difference. Tesco didn’t just take away my free bag; they were doing their bit to reduce emissions, waste and energy consumption. Suddenly after being on the sidelines, I feel drawn in and reinvigorated.  

I feel enthused

It reminds me of the feeling I get when I have a new running challenge after being without a goal for a while. In those times, I’ve had nothing to get me out of the house, to motive me or to believe in.  

But during Covid, I set myself new running challenges to see how far I could push myself. I was responsible for myself, for my goals. And in many ways, this is how I feel about climate change too.    

Now I feel personally responsible for making a change. I feel a desire to act. I feel enthused by it.  

Just like with my running, we all achieve more when we make conscious decisions towards a positive future.  

To achieve our net-zero goals, all of us need to have our own awakening and choose to act differently, rather than just responding passively to legislative changes.  

Where you’re at in this journey doesn’t matter – don’t feel bad about where you are. 

Change is down to every one of us. The question is, how do you want to be part of this change?  

If you’d like to chat more about making the transition to net zero in construction, get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.  


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