The first quarter of 2011 kicked off with the launch of ICE’s State of the Nation report on waste and resource management.
The report called for a waste sector ‘evolution’, which would see a shift towards a culture where the focus is not only on increasing the quantity of recycled materials but on retaining the quality and value of reusable materials as they move through the waste cycle - so they can be returned to and benefit the economy as first rate, saleable goods.
The report gained much attention across national, regional and trade media, with ten journalists attending the launch at ICE and an interview with the Today programme being the first of over 100 broadcast and print clips, with a potential audience of 20 million. Defra said the report contained some interesting ideas and suggestions, which they would look into as part of their review on waste due out this year. This is a great example of how we can utilise the expertise across our membership to produce a report that could positively influence government policy.
The spring certificate presentation ceremony (CPC), which saw 190 engineers achieve different grades of ICE membership, was another important media tool this quarter. The CPC provides an ideal opportunity not only to celebrate an individual’s achievement in their local newspaper, but to increase awareness of the value of a professional grade of ICE membership and importance of civil engineering to society. Coordinated media activity across the ICE regions resulted in 20 regional articles celebrating our profession.
The 2011 Budget at the end of March didn’t carry as much cause for celebration, with the news that the proposed Green Investment Bank (GIB) would not have the power to borrow until 2015 at the earliest. Nevertheless, the increase in the GIB’s start up fund and the commitment to launch it earlier are welcome. The rest of the Budget and accompanying Strategy for Growth also showed that progress is being made with some key policies that could pave the way for infrastructure to be a strong economic driver. ICE’s Budget submission and reaction to the announcement on the day was covered in 24 articles in key trade and regional titles – and ICE will continue its ‘public voice’ work in quarter two and beyond, to ensure Government’s plans get translated into actions and importantly, that accountability for this is transparent.
Download a copy of the report