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Chocolate Dog Marketing Services on the Shortlist for the Cornwall Sustainability Awards

I am delighted to have been shortlisted for these awards. As a small business with a dedicated office I wanted to expand and add a meeting room . This has been a long-term vision and it certainly was a long-term building project that was definitely a challenge.

I really wanted to have a contemporay design but it was important to use reclaimed materials, modern insulation, local sourcing where possible especially with local timber (where possible- a result of my research in the timber industry) and local, talented subcontractors.  My main builder had to understand this ethos. All the local talent was great and I finished the building by project managing the final stages. 

It was an ideal opportunity to change heating, reroof and add solar PV and solar thermal. We took advice and opted for a Kensa Ground Source heat pump. Kensa are a Cornish company and gave exceptional advice.We then needed Western Power to come and upgrade cables but all went well and the big switch on means we are now powered by the heat pump using 4 boregholes in the garden. 

CSA aims to encourage, reward and gain recognition for the excellent work businesses are doing to improve their own sustainability and that of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly as a whole. CSA was launched in 2002 by Jonathon Porritt and i found out about the awards at the Cornwall Expo. held in the autumn. 

So what is sustainability?

"Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

Bruntland Report for the World Commission on Development (1992)

I am passionate about becoming more self reliant and by carefully using our resouces carefully. We all need to do more and the UK has a lot to do.

According to a report in the Guardian - Uruguay has already slashed its carbon footprint. The national director of energy, Ramón Méndez says that now that renewables provide 94.5% of the country’s electricity, prices are lower than in the past relative to inflation. There are also fewer power cuts because a diverse energy mix means greater resilience to droughts.

It was a very different story just 15 years ago. Back at the turn of the century oil accounted for 27% of Uruguay’s imports and a new pipeline was just about to begin supplying gas from Argentina. Now the biggest item on the import balence sheet is wind turbine which fill the country's ports on the way to installation. Biomass, HEP and solar power now account for 55% of the country's energy mix (including transport fuel) with a population of 3.4 million. 

We all need to take a look at what we can do - it makes economic and environmental sense.