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June 19, 2008

UK shadow minister hails importance of green expo

Speaking at the recent Sustainabilitylive! 2008 event, held over three days at the NEC in Birmingham, Peter Ainsworth, the shadow environment secretary, Peter Ainsworth MP, stressed the crucial role of the event for people working in the environment industry.

"It's a great way of bringing people together to share ideas about new technologies, to raise awareness of new developments and to enable people who are creating businesses in this sector to know that they are not alone – to know that actually there's a growing army of people making good businesses and profitable companies out of helping people to go green," he said.

Sustainabilitylive! 2008 featured more than 450 exhibitors, an extensive conference programme with high-profile speakers, master classes and seminars, along with extensive networking opportunities.

With leading experts in the environment, energy, water and land sectors attending, the event created the ideal setting for sharing industry knowledge and inspiration.

As well as an awards ceremony celebrating sustainable achievements, Sustainabilitylive brought together key thinkers in the environmental field. As well as praising the show, Ainsworth acknowledged that the solutions to making the UK greener are available to everyone. “But, the opportunities are only sustainable if they are affordable,” he added.

Using other, “more advanced” European countries as an example of how microgeneration could be made more economical, Ainsworth commented that the Government is lagging behind in its efforts to encourage the UK to tackle the sustainability challenge – both at home and in industry.

“Introducing feed-in tariffs and requiring the use of carbon capture and storage technology with any new coal-fired power plants are among the ways that the government could do things differently,” he told delegates.
Other key elements of the event included The Environmental Industries Commission seminar, which took place at Brownfield Expo (BEX), and focused on the Government Green Business Strategy – attracting an impressive number of attendees. It included speeches from strategy director Peter Young and Stephen Bass from Defra, who told delegates that the Government was largely in agreement with the findings of the Commission on Environmental Markets and Economic Performance (CEMEP).

Many of the exhibitors commented on the quality of the networking opportunities at the event, including the UK Director of British Water who felt that the International Water and Effluent Exhibition (IWEX) offered a great chance for them to establish themselves further within the industry. “This allows us a great platform to highlight our services – supporting our members and bringing innovative technology and best practice to the water industry,” he explained.

Commenting on SustainabilityLive! 2008, event director Donna Bushell said: “The event has exceeded our expectations this year. It has been so well received by exhibitors, visitors and supporting associations alike. Seeing the success of the show has reinforced what we already knew – that these industry areas are continuing to expand, offering increasing business opportunities.

“Comments from attendees have confirmed that this event really is unrivalled if you are in business within any of these sectors (land, energy, environment and water) – offering networking opportunities, groundbreaking discussion on legislation and insight into the most innovative of products.”

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