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  • ESG on ‘ASPIRE’ Conference 13.06.23

    The ESG congratulates the Department of the Environment as organisers of the Aspire Conference, for a very well run and thought-provoking event.

    Dynamic opening speeches from DCM Dr Joseph Garcia and Friends of the Earth ex Director, Tony Juniper, set the tone for the event with the latter calling for action and need for a revolution to address the climate emergency we are so clearly facing.

    Focusing on sustainable development, some of the points made during the day include:

    – large scale Government intervention required

    –  robust response from industry and business needed,

    –  community engagement

    –  integrated development to encourage community friendly environment

    –  adoption of simple and well tried measures to increase sustainability from scratch

    –  exploration of all possible benefits of electrical solutions

    –  the urgent need to foster a circular based economy that promotes reuse and recycling of unwanted or broken waste to reduce the reckless demand for our worlds dwindling resources

    All with immediate effect and all measures supported by the ESG.

    It was made clear by a number of speakers that the earlier sustainable practices are introduced in a construction project, the more financially viable they become. In the same way, buildings need to be prepared so their green credentials, once operational, can be efficiently measured.

    The importance of radical change in development where most of the building is constructed offsite was another crucial point made. This method can reduce CO2 by up to 80% as well as reduce local impacts and pollution. Building ‘adaptable structures’ that can respond to different needs over time was a case very well made too. A strong message made, which we have failed to follow here in Gibraltar, is that:

    “ the greenest building is the one we already have..”

    • Those at the conference were clearly inspired by the many excellent speakers but, unless the Government, together with industry, rise to the challenge of the climate emergency, the conference will have failed in its aspirations, and this would be a disaster for the future. The group urges a greater commitment for greener and strategic construction from all in the sector and will lend its support wherever possible.