It’s Ecobuild time again so the ether is filling up with marketeers attempts to convince us that re-branding is as good as actually addressing the environmental impacts of a product. The sheer band-waggoning on display at Ecobuild is enough to make anyone question their eco-credentials. Last year I noted a wide range of products that differed from those on display at conventional trade shows only by the addition of the “Eco-” tag to their branding. Classics included electric pumps for removing water from leaking basements, “green” plumbers merchants and “certified zero carbon carpet”.
Speaking of carpet, in past years I have questioned the sustainability of an event that glues down acres of carpet to the floor of Excel for just one week. Now there are many questions over the environmental impacts of cheap carpet anyway, but note that the carpet is Ecobuild blue. So I suspect that at the end of the week it is all scraped up and sent to land-fill. This year I am going to make it my task to find out from the organisers how much carpet has been recycled from past Ecobuilds.
By the way, this year I will be speaking at a special Edge Debate on the Politics of Carbon Emissions Data along with Richard Lorch, Tadj Oreszczyn and Lynne Sullivan (Wednesday 6th 16:30-18:00).