base 2010 – Where business met sustainability

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

March 16 & 17, 2010 saw base 2010, the business sustainability conference and exhibition held at the Platinum Suite at London's ExCel conference and exhibition venue in the Docklands.

This was the first of what is planned to become an annual event and let us sincerely hope that it does.

More than 1000 registered delegates attended the keynote speeches given by government ministers, shadow ministers, leaders in business and leaders in the environmental business, the round table discussion, which I found very interesting, and workshops.

The exhibition that ran alongside the conference has 38 exhibitors and the show and conference was supported by 35 sponsors, founding and associate partners.

Tom Burke CBE – base advisory board Chairman: “Sustainable development is a window on a world of opportunity and risk. All companies, no matter what their size, need to know where they sit in that world. Contributing to the global transition to sustainable development is an imperative for business and not an option. base sets out to show the opportunity, explain the risk, and hasten the process of change for all businesses. It is the pivotal business-to-business forum on the subject and I urge you to be there.”

“We need a critical mass in the business community to accelerate the pace of change and adoption of low carbon and sustainable practice. I believe base will be a major contributor to this process,” said Colin Challen MP - base advisory board member.

He then continued: “It is extremely important that business sees that we can become a super-efficient economy by tackling climate change positively rather than seeing it as a cost or threat. In many ways it is business that can lead the way and I am fully supportive of base in contributing to this.”

In my opinion, base is an extremely important conference and exhibition and – in the future, hopefully, the exhibition side will be getting bigger and better as well – to get businesses and industry to understand what needs to be done as regards too climate change and their environmental footprint.

As readers will know I do not like the term carbon footprint for we are looking way too much at “carbon”, as in CO2, all the time, and seem to be entirely, nigh on, forgetting and sidelining other issues.

I am not saying that this was the case at base 2010 because in some of the talks and roundtables definitely the talk was about waste, waste management and waste reduction but businesses and industry, in the same way as individuals and households, and let us not even talk about government institutions, must come to understand that reuse is also important and must be promoted more.

The same is true as to impact of water usage – often needless usage – in businesses as much as in homes and government. Everyone talks carbon and forgets that there are some issues that may even be more important.

With the right vision this could all be covered and addressed in future editions of base and hopefully people – especially business leaders – will take the message to heart.

Copyright © 2010