Recently, I ran another training course for a group of mechanical services contractors on M&E Sustainability. We covered the key messages of selling the benefits to their clients.
This turned into a discussion about why they thought 'man-made climate change' was the biggest con of all time. They said that as a group of contractors, they felt put upon by big brother who was trying to find another way of taxing them even more and turning them into automatons for installing plant and equipment in a sea of paperwork!
The debate also extended to the “fact” that the climate had always gone through natural cycles of warming and cooling and that any number of natural disasters, such as a super volcanic eruption could make all of this, very academic. “All valid points” I said.
I put across my point of view, that I was convinced that we were having an influence and that we were “tipping the climate over the edge”. I showed them the graphs that I’ve built up from many years of research and discussions.
This didn’t convince them! Not a total surprise. So I then wrapped up the debate with this simple statement; “Don't get hung up on Climate Change”.
Instead, let’s consider the more relevant and important issues that you are facing as contractors in the building services industry.
Fact: Energy prices are rising, do you agree? "Yes" they replied. So why is this happening? The reply came... we are using too much and countries including China etc, want even more.
"So", I asked, “do you all agree that carbon fuels; oil, gas, coal are finite?" "Yes", they said. So, what’s the answer?
A discussion then took place around the issue of commodities and supply and demand. The conclusions that united us, were the clear fact that we cannot carry on with business as usual. So, how are you as mechanical services contractors going to deal with this?
By saving energy by designing, installing and commissioning more energy efficient kit. So I said, “is there a big business opportunity here?".
All were happy and agreed the future looked good for the industry and that ultimately climate change was irrelevant to them.
It’s too complex and not exactly easy to convince the average client to spend money on purely saving the planet. Carbon this and that, is all too confusing. The government and scientists have forgotten to explain these issues in simple terms that ordinary people can understand.
What we need is the simple message that saving energy saves significant amounts of dosh...and oh...by the way saves carbon and potentially the planet.
This is a win-win that makes the wider debate on who’s right and wrong on whether we are changing the climate irrelevant. So again I say, don't get hung up on climate change.