I knew I couldn’t cover it all in my last blog. Too many thoughts raced around, along too many threads. So here I go with instalment number two.
This thread is Bristol.
As I said, several things had got me reflecting on our progress and purpose last week – namely, the implications of another Tory government on our environmental policy; a lively conversation with one of my wonderful advisors; and reading some of Soli Townsend’s blogs on the Paris negotiations. They lit a renewed sense of urgency within me, but also a slight sense of despair: are we really going to be able to make a difference? Are we going to reach the scale needed to create a dent on this beast?
But my optimism and determination was renewed when I headed down to Bristol. As European Green Capital 2015, Bristol is aflame with action on the environment. The momentum building there is massively encouraging. And even if their local patriotism is a little exclusionary (I have never apologised so frequently for being from Big Bad London), it creates an enviable sense of community and identity.
The packed programme for Bristol Big Green Week is testament to just how much is going on in the West Country (if you can get down there for some of the events, you really should). It’s going to be a great platform for discussion, connection, and inspiration, marking the midway point for Bristol’s year in the green spotlight.
But through several conversations, I detected a sense of nervousness that the overall momentum would fall away once 2015 is past. We can’t let that happen.
That’s why, along with Darren Hall and his team in Bristol, we hope to help Bristol build a legacy to 2015.
We’ve discussed the idea of inter-company programmes and leaderboards several times before, and there seems like no better time or place to put it into action than now, in Bristol. What better way to combine enthusiasm for the environment and strong sense of community than a great green leaderboard, pitting organisations from across the region against each other, ranked by their employee’s simple acts of good?
Bristol could be the starting point, where the momentum really begins. If we can demonstrate it working there, then other cities can join in. The whole thing grows. The movement begins to matter, to send a message, and to have power beyond the sum of it’s parts.
If you’d like to hear more about our plans, then come on down to our Business Breakfast on Behaviour Change on 17th June. We’ll be cramming a lot into the hour – ten tips on encouraging behaviour change; a showcase of the work we’ve done with ERM; discussion of our plans for creating a legacy to Bristol 2015; and, of course, some tea, coffee, and croissants.
Please be sure to sign up at the bottom of the Big Green Week page – it’s free, but places are limited, so do make sure you’re registered.