"Learning to embrace uncertainty as the new norm" was the crux of RPS Europe CEO Trevor Hoyle’s opening address as co-chair at Environment Analyst’s Third Business Summit held in London last week.
Over 90 delegates attended the event from more than 50 businesses spanning a global and market breadth across environmental consultancy and management. Large international organisations met with independent SMEs to explore challenges and opportunities posed by the unique political, industrial and public climate that the world’s population is now experiencing. In the environmental sector, public sentiment is pushing forward despite political distractions. Market opinions of yesteryear, where the need was to court clients and consumers to adopt measures to meet environmental standards, have been turned on their heads as the challenge becomes that of keeping up with the will of the consumer world as it pushes back against austerity measures set against a general backdrop of mistrust. By no means is the current climate one that is easy to navigate and the event provided the opportunity for professional networking to explore the issues.
Trevor opened the event with an overview of the principal challenges facing our world today, including population growth; climate change; increasing demands for water, food and energy; water contamination; air pollution and deforestation. The address was centred on the need to meet the demands of our ever-increasing world population with the equivalent of a new Germany being created every year.
The session was also co-chaired by Peter Skinner, EMIA CEO from AECOM and represented by speakers including Dr. Hisham Mahmood, Golder Associates’ President and CEO; Matthew Farrow, Environmental Industries Commission Executive Director and Julian Rose, Environmental Analyst Managing Director. Key themes throughout the day were government:public relations in the UK and USA, the need to foster and nurture trust, changes in focus for the UK’s environmental bodies throughout and after the process of leaving the EU, private sector growth and environmental due diligence, the importance of diversification in business development, professional activity and recruitment, a growing focus on smart cities and the need to not only keep pace with technology but to also set its pace with creative analytics and complex innovative design.
Industry representatives speaking at the event represented Anglian Water, Costain, Heathrow Airport, Transport for London, IBM, Royal HaskoningDHV, BP; Crossrail and Anthesis Group. Government representatives included the Environment Agency and the Crown Estate.