Delivery and content of courses at Schumacher College in Devon has been designed to provide inspiration on how best to apply sustainable practices to construction businesses.
Attending any part of the college's business and sustainability course programme involves studying and living together with fellow students for the duration of the training. The intended outcome is to stimulate development and exchange of new ideas on sustainability, both from a personal and business perspective.
This may sound ethereal, but the method works, according to Maunsell chief executive Peter Head, who recently attended one of the week long residential business and sustainability courses.
'The experience was quite life changing at Schumacher, and it is a fabulous course, ' he says. 'Sustainability is an important issue and the subject is fairly deep with a cultural element that challenges attitudes to energy consumption at a personal and corporate level.
'The course included study of important writing on business and community values and was attended by people from a variety of backgrounds.
Living and studying together proved valuable as it encouraged exchange of different views.
'My experience at Schumacher has been particularly useful for developing a clear way of approaching change, thinking differently about how we work and steering Maunsell towards sustainability.'
Schumacher College is introducing the first construction specific course to its business and sustainability programme in December 2001. Inspiring construction will follow the same key ethos of change to provide greater understanding of sustainability and how it can be implemented to construction.
Project manager of the business and sustainability programme Antony Turner says: 'We hope to attract a diverse range of construction professionals to this course. In essence, anyone who wants to develop a more sustainable approach to business is welcome.'