Our values, in particular our environmental commitments, set BEC apart.

But having strong values can make the world a lonely place sometimes. It can seem hard to keep doing the right thing, especially for us in the property sector, where it can feel like we are operating in an industry where many don’t share our commitment to doing everything in our power to prevent climate change.

We’ve told our in-Cumbria readers a few times how shocking emissions from the building and construction sector are – a fact which always spurs us on to do more and be better.

Last month didn’t feel so lonely though. For Green Great Britain Week (GreenGB) from October 15 to 19, we stood shoulder to shoulder with countless other businesses and individuals led by BEIS to say we all prioritise clean growth.

People who believe that growth of our nation’s economy no longer needs to be built on polluting and harmful industries.

People who believe that we can modernise and improve our approach to business.

As GreenGB-inspired announcement after announcement after announcement poured out from government departments, private industry and individuals alike, my heart lifted and the team here at BEC could see how many people shared the values we recruited them for.

So, what did I learn over the course of this week?

Innovation can even come from the most unlikely sectors. If I think it can be hard decarbonising property... I spare a thought for those in shipping.

But on October 16, we saw a green letter day as the shipping minister confirmed a commitment to emissions control.

We are NOT alone in our green construction aims.

I was so heartened to see Wilmot Dixon’s GreenGB pledge.

As principal sustainable development manager Sharon Davies announced: “We pledge that we will procure 100 per cent clean, green, renewable energy for our construction sites by the end of 2018, following on from a similar commitment made for our offices last year.”

Cumbria is poised to be a real low-carbon centre.

From battery storage to new sustainable forestry work, this county had its fair share of GreenGB announcements.

We have a huge part to play in this. When I consider the work we are doing to bring forward a smart microgrid at Westlakes Science Park and to embed green practices in our North Shore development I am reminded of the very real role BEC has to play.

The North Shore scheme, in particular, brings a unique opportunity for the coast of Cumbria; it is already a centre of nuclear excellence and home to world-class skills and people, but there is also significant opportunity in the broader low-carbon world – offshore wind, EVs and district heat networks to name just a few.

All this means Cumbria can be the path-finding region for Government as it tackles its ‘Grand Challenge’ of Clean Growth.

As we see central Government looking for regions with a sector strength, I feel nowhere has a stronger offering in energy transformation/clean growth than Cumbria.

Considering the Government’s drive for clustering centres of excellence, we here in Cumbria now need to maximise existing relationships with local government, private industry, and education.

It is more important than ever to stand shoulder to shoulder with each other and offer a coherent, joined up low-carbon offering so the region can benefit from this massive opportunity.