Amusing vignette on the New Start blog that will be familiar to those who have attended public health-related conferences:
During the recent UK Public Health Association annual forum in Scotland, delegates were huffing and puffing as they hauled themselves up and down the stairs of the multi-storey Edinburgh International Conference Centre.
Many blamed this unplanned bout of exercise on the escalators having broken down as they navigated between sessions. But at the final meeting it was revealed that the moving staircases had in fact been deliberately switched off by event organisers as a gesture of solidarity following an outstanding speech [on obesity] given earlier that day.
It's always a slightly uncomfortable feeling when a speech about obesity reaches its crescendo - and the portlier members of the audience suck in their stomachs. If public health professionals themselves huff and puff when climbing stairs, how confident can we be that their target audience will bother to listen?
Organisations have to do more to practice what they preach - and that's just as relevant for carbon reduction as healthy lifestyles. All parts of Groundwork are working hard to reach the BS8555 environmental standard (some offices are further advanced). The controversy about the carbon impact of the forthcoming Live Earth concerts is an example of how the increased importance of climate change as a political issue is bound to bring increased scrutiny too, of those promoting a green message.
We'll outline some of the steps we've taken to improve the environmental impact of this office in a future blog post.