When I was a child, my favourite film was The Karate Kid. I have many fond memories of sitting in my mum’s old living room, watching Daniel LaRusso being taught by the quirky but wise Mr. Miyagi.
Do you remember that most famous scene? You can’t hear the phrase ‘Wax on, wax off’ without hearing it in Mr Miyagi’s voice, or seeing the flat-palmed motion that went with it. But that’s the point, the teacher’s intention. It’s a simple instruction that can be turned into a habit, and when repeated over time, that habit leads to greatness. ‘Wax on, wax off’ was a defensive stance, that enabled the young fighter to fend off an aggressor. Once he could reliably defend, then he could move on to attack.
There are useful parallels here when it comes to our global climate emergency. When it comes to fighting climate change in our own construction sector, we need three Mr Miyagi principles:
It doesn’t seem like much help to get a sustainability consultant involved early in your project. But actually, that simple action of sending an email to companies like us pays huge dividends later on. When you get into the habit of informing us at the very beginning of the planning process – taking three minutes to send a quick email – we’ll arrange a time with you to speak about the project in more detail. From that point we’re on defence: defending against rising cost (both in money and time), against carbon emissions and against unsustainable building practices.
We all loved that final fight in The Karate Kid, seeing our hero, Daniel, standing weary but victorious. His amazing knockout kick would never have been possible without first starting with simplicity and repetition. Over the years I’ve been in business, I’ve noticed that the companies who are more successful, more sustainable and more in control of their finances have been the ones that have consistently taken three mins to send us an email about their projects.