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Paul Sanderson's Friday Blog

Date: 27/09/2013 | Author: Paul Sanderson

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IPCC report: let's strive for 1 per cent improvement in everything we do

This morning the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its fifth report on climate change, following its last one four years ago.

If there was any doubt that climate change was man made, this report put that view to bed (although sceptics will no doubt continue to find reasons to doubt it).

But the question must now be asked, what will be done?

For those involved in resource efficiency, recycling, sustainability, water, energy or whatever, will we see Governments around the world get together to drive change while still delivering economic growth, or will they shrug their shoulders, do something tokenistic and move on?

There is a real danger of that happening, as the evidence was pretty conclusive last time, and is even more so on this occasion.

As European Commissioner Connie Hedegaard tweeted:


Yet it is also a massive task to reduce carbon, to prevent sea levels from rising and climate temperatures to rise. If we start to believe climate change is inevitable, then we might just wait and deal with the consequences.

But, human beings can be resourceful, innovative and quite amazing when we want to be.

My view is that if we treat climate change as this big scary thing and seek dramatic change, then we probably won't succeed - kind of like going on a strict diet, and then ending it and putting the weight back on or sometimes even more. 

So maybe we need to learn from Dave Brailsford and his team at British Cycling and Team Sky and the philosophy he has installed that we need to strive for 1 per cent gains (or efficiency) in everything we do. We should set a global strategy to reach our goal and then identify the 1 per cent improvements we can make across our economies, and then look to build on those 1 per cent improvements again and again and again. This will need to be done at a supra-governmental level, a national level, within companies and organisations and also at an individual level. With this will come personal and commercial success for our businesses, but also a real difference to climate change. 

I'm going to think about the small improvements I can make this week to make my life more resource efficient as well as my business. My small improvements this week will be:

  • At a personal level, I will look to buy goods where the packaging is easily recyclable
  • At a business level, I will see if there are ways to make printing and delivery of our magazine more efficient. 

What small improvement can you make this week to start making a difference? Tweet @ResourceEBnews with your ideas

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