Friday, 11 January 2008

The Big Green Challenge (BGC)

The Big Green Challenge flashed across the radar the other day and it struck us that estate agents, commercial agents and all other professionals were in a unique position to assist in reducing the carbon footprint – if we listen to the government (which of course we do not) then the home is one of the largest polluters on the planet. It is not our intention to get into an environmental emissions argument, but with Home Information Packs (HIPs) forced upon the industry the buzz at the moment is to ensure your home is as environmentally friendly as the rainbow warrior. Indeed, we have all seen the Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) (coloured charts) that tell the home seller/buyer whether a home is a good green or bad green!

Anyway, we thought why not use the HIP process and the useless EPC chart to actually do some good for the community and the world at large. Why not enter the Big Green Challenge and encourage every estate agent to enter into a programme that would see home sellers/buyers committing to a monitoring period during which time they would be encouraged to reduce their carbon footprint through a number of schemes and educated in the benefits of green wellies. Indeed, we would all benefit from such a scheme: the agent has an opportunity to continue marketing and building relationships with already known clients (something agents too often neglect), the community benefits due to the locality and proximity of agents' clients and the world is a better a place. Who knows we could even win and share the prize money of £1 million with our agents to continue and spread the green love.

So it is with great sadness that our ideas will not see the inside of the judge’s brown envelope as we are not permitted to enter this competition. Why?! We are not a ‘not for profit’ organisation (unfortunately not making a profit is not the same!!). Without getting into another debate on business and the environment, if the organisers, The Daily Mirror and NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) had considered other industry examples, such as how the travel industry is responding to environmental issues, they would have recognised that effecting change through enterprise is one of only a few sustainable solutions to long term environmental change.

Rant over. We think we could help make a change and £1 million competition to be shared with all our agents is a good incentive. Let us in!!

As an aside -

Mashup map thoughts – when data is available for EPCs we can plot this on the map and indicate what are good areas and bad areas for green wellies, green zones if you like!

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