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11th – 15th August 2014

Monday I immersed myself in working on our refresh of the Resource Efficiency strategy. Working through the document took most of the day but I did manage to also complete a near final draft of our Value from Waste competition and have a discussion about doing circular economy in a big company (or not) with Cisco. The day ended with a call to try and help a project reshape to be able to start. Sadly too many things were against it and the excellent ideas will have to go forward in a different way.

Tuesday I read up on challenges in the waste sector (see stat of the week) and worked some more on plans for the next circular economy competition. I finished the day being interviewed by Forum for the Future on sustainability trends affecting business.

Wednesday I travelled into London starting with a meeting over coffee with Susanne Baker from EEF. We discussed their recent Innovation Monitor and Materials for Manufacturing reports. Insight from EEF members is extremely useful for us on business innovation challenges and EEF can help us reach more companies.

I then headed to our KTN offices to meet with Rob Holdway of Giraffe Innovation and Ben Griffin our design lead to talk about how design can help innovation. We agreed the common view of design is wrong and that most technical innovators don’t see the value in using a designer for insight. An excellent discussion and great war stories that I had to cut short to get over the Hub Westminster for my next meeting.

At the Hub we were bringing our communications team and The Long Run Venture together to continue planning the next Clean and Cool Mission. We are about to enter purdah (for the Scottish referendum) which means we can’t announce new things. We have long planned to open the Mission competition on 1st September (in the middle of purdah) so were clarifying how that would work. We also worked through the timetable and aims and how we would capture the great stories and successes the missions generate.

Thursday I went to the Swindon office suffering awful train journeys there and back. Only and hour late getting in but not home until 10.30pm! The core of my day was a series of meetings with the Communications team about different aspects of the sustainability programme. There was also a meeting to organise our project portfolios across the strategy. As ever being in the office meant a lot of quick conversations with people as I saw them on things that need progressing and are much easy with a chat than an email. I didn’t have enough of them though so will have to go back in a week or so.

Friday mainly saw me sending in a final draft of a competition brief and working through the process of transferring our email system over to a new email address, but more on that next week.

Other topics discussed this week: whale foreskins in design, Roman concrete, train conductor stamps.

Stat of the week:  just one fluorescent lamp contains enough mercury to pollute 30,000 litres of water – 100m are sold every year in the UK

This week’s travel carbon footprint: 62 kg CO2

Mike Pitts