The Green Register (TGR) had a small-but-perfectly-formed stand at Ecobuild in Earl's Court this year. The position of our stand was much better than last year's so we received many more visitors including lots of familiar faces - friends, fellow colleagues and TGR members - and all of us staffing the stand were grateful for these visits which kept us going throughout the 3 days.
But we had lots of interest from those who hadn't heard of us. Sadly some industry professionals were telling us that they have been made redundant, yet they were interested in using this time to gain more skills, particularly in sustainability – which is where TGR can help! It was good to have the opportunity to tell all about the activities of TGR and its members, that we were in our ninth year of operation and that our commitment to reducing carbon emissions in the construction industry remained our raison d'être.
This could not have been said for some of the stands - the greenwash was evenly and thoroughly spread across the two huge halls. Last year I estimated that about 90% of the companies' stands were business as usual with a bit of green sprinkled on top - this year it's down to about 85% but still I wondered why so many of the stands were there at all. Possible libel suits prevent me from naming any particular ones but you'll know who they are. When asked, I advised visiting the smallest stands-there was a direct relationship between the size of the stand and how environmentally sound they were. In particular the stands in the Green Shoots area filled me with hope - lots of really exciting new initiatives from really committed people.
We are considering whether to attend next year-just the fact that the entire carpet used for the three days was going to a landfill at the end of the event is enough to make us think twice but we are mulling over the idea of having a separate (but within Earl's Court) area where those who can sign up to a green manifesto can exhibit. This would be it easier for visitors to distinguish between light green, deep green and those violets yet to see the light.