Subscribing to our award-winning Hub enables readers to receive regular emails with the top articles most likely to interest them

Climate change is such a huge issue it can seem impossible to tackle but it must be

The Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres recently quoted the title of a Hollywood film when he tweeted: “Our world needs climate action on all fronts: everything, everywhere, all at once”.

The film he references has a complicated plot with ‘bizarre and bewildering dangers that appear from the multiverse as the fate of the world hangs in the balance’.

Maybe you can see why he drew comparisons with the film, but for me, the dangers we all face from climate change are no longer ‘bizarre and bewildering’, instead science tells us it is our activity as humans that is the primary cause

… and we REALLY need to do something about it pretty soon.

Perhaps a simpler but more effective rallying cry could be ‘everything, everywhere, one by one’?

Martin Fahey Green Martin Fahey Head of Sustainability

Step by step

Absolutely everyone except the hardline ‘flat earthers’ now realise and accept that we need to do something about everything, everywhere.

However, the main difference with the film title is that although things are urgent, I think we are unlikely to be able to undertake things ‘all at once’.

Perhaps a simpler but more effective rallying cry could be ‘everything, everywhere, one by one’?

  • If a roof space is available and correctly orientated then put solar panels on it
  • If a building needs to be upgraded, then add more insulation so that you reduce the need for it to consume energy for heating and cooling
  • When your gas boiler is nearing the end of its useful life, replace it with renewable heating (NOTE: you won’t have much longer left to do this anyway as we are now at the end of gas, despite what the hydrogen lobby say)

Stop using energy

We also need everyone to realise that the most efficient unit of energy is the one you don’t have to consume.

This is why we are such advocates of adopting a whole-life approach to things that use energy.

If a building is designed or refurbished with a central focus on carbon, then the operators will know how much carbon is embodied in the equipment and materials they choose to use. They will understand and know how much carbon is emitted from the operational use of that building, and they will know how much carbon is emitted from the removal and (hopefully) recycling and recovery of the material or equipment.

I say this as someone who works for a manufacturer of energy-consuming HVAC equipment and taking this to its logical conclusion means that our customers will need less products from the likes of us.

Our stance on this means we will always work with our customers to select the right product or system for their individual circumstances. This is likely to mean them selecting a smaller system than previously, because modern systems are more efficient.

For us, finding sustainable solutions that help our customers is simply the right thing to do.

We realise that the only way for us to build a sustainable business is to promote sustainability and customers therefore need the most sustainable solution for their own unique set of needs.

And on a personal note

For everyone else who is a user or occupant of a building, it may seem that there is little that you can personally do to help, but actually, there are lots of things that we can all do and choices we can all make, that collectively add up to really make a difference.

  • If your next vehicle purchase or lease can move you away from the need to consume fossil fuels, then do it
  • If you can walk to the shops or take a bus instead of jumping in the car, then do it
  • If you can upgrade your home heating system away from using fossil fuels to a heat pump, then do it
  • If you can reduce your meat consumption or even stop by switching to plant-based alternatives, then do it

For me and my family, at home we cannot claim to be meat free but we certainly have meat free days (easier when it is just my wife and I and our carnivorous boys are not home!).

Doing these things when we can which (spoiler alert!) is now by the way, will one by one, little by little, step by step, really help to make a difference.

And a final thought is that everything, everywhere that I have mentioned works, and is available as an option today!

Martin Fahey, Head of Sustainability