- Ian Boyd, Arc Consulting
Everyday Wins for Wildlife
One of the many excellent things about the BIG awards is that they generate such a clutch of exciting projects every year and then share those can-do stories far and wide. It’s a great way to build the wide-angled constituency of support for business-led wildlife work that leads to real and lasting legacy. It’s worth exploring this idea a little more because there’s more to it than meets the eye!
Legacy projects can sometimes wither in real life while their trophies glint on the shelf and headline on the website; that’s the problem with exceptional things (and award-winning projects are always by definition in some way exceptional), they risk being set aside as curiosities that just for a moment illuminated their place in the world. We can’t build legacy from exceptions and that’s why the BIG awards matter.
BIG famously calls for its entrants to ‘do one thing’ for biodiversity and that may seem a little unambitious at a time of critical nature loss. Of course, most of the competition entries do in fact offer much more than just one thing in their detail but the focus remains on a single coherent category of replicable effort, and that is exactly the right way to share innovation and embed new practices.
The key to a positive ecological legacy in the constrained built environment of the corporate world is to make small, concentrated constructed habitat enhancements that accumulate, repeat and connect. This approach works both on-site and on-line, they are analogous networks of positive change.
BIG seeks to celebrate exceptional efforts for biodiversity and then to rapidly convert these into guidelines for the delivery of everyday wins for wildlife. That’s the great advantage of the awards being hosted by CIRIA, the organic relationship that inevitably develops between projects and training.
We are proud members of CIRIA’s Biodiversity Community of Practice, a forum of people who have been BIG sponsors, award winners and judges over the past eight years, with a tremendous range of experience and expertise in conservation land management. The work of the CoP includes the task of turning winning projects into winning methods, new approaches to boosting biological diversity and abundance that can be shared, developed and enhanced across the construction industry.
Environmental legacy planning is always a work of translation. Moving from the technical vocabulary of new biodiversity and climate metrics to reimagined site maintenance contracts aggregating wildlife benefit year on year; from the celebration of award-winning moments in the lives of a few businesses to the new common standards of better ecological intervention in the lives of all businesses.
Please join the movement and sign up for BIG Biodiversity Challenge 2022, expand the shared legacy of more enlightened practice, grow the knowledge and understanding of our industry, and build better places for wildlife.